Today, we have multiple selections. Coca-Cola, as well as other beverage companies, bottles their tasty liquids in sizes from the original smaller one to liter bottles. Fountain drinks may range from seven ounces to sixty-four ounces. The larger the size, the cheaper the cost per ounce, enticing people to supersize for a bargain.
Americans consume about 200-300 calories a day more than they did thirty years ago. Most have increased consumption of sweet drinks without restricting calories from other sources.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City wants the drink industry to change. He proposes to restrict graded food establishments from selling any sugary beverages above sixteen ounces. The decree defines sugary drinks as those with twenty-five calories per eight-fluid ounces except those with fifty-one percent milk or milk substitute. His justification—the obesity epidemic.
Who favored government intervention? In a Rasmussen Report, a higher percentage of women and young adults (ages eighteen to thirty-nine) agreed with government control. The highest percentage favoring, however, were Democrats (forty-one percent) compared to Republicans (eleven percent).
The Executive Director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest praised the proposal as a “pioneering” effort to reduce American’s exposure to calorie-laden, non-nutritional beverages.
Not everyone agrees. According to the Rasmussen Report, nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose Bloomberg’s radical approach. Eighty-five percent did not believe government had the constitutional authority to prevent people from buying sugary drinks.
Food industries and businesses claim consumers have adequate information to make informed choices. McDonald’s stated that the proposal was “misguided.” The New York City Beverage Association questioned Bloomberg’s assumption that sugary drinks were the primary culprits in the cause of obesity noting that consumption of sugary drinks has decreased while obesity has increased.
Still others point out the numerous sources of calories on the market. A regular sixteen-ounce cola has about 220 calories. Compare that to the bucket of movie popcorn at 1,200 calories. Where do government regulations stop?
What Do You Think?
Should government control portion sizes of sugary beverages or any other foods? Send a comment and let me know your thoughts.