Melissa and Council Member Letitia James blogged about Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban:
There are few who would criticize Mayor Bloomberg for working towards the goal of a healthier New York. Unfortunately, there are many who would criticize Mayor Bloomberg for seeking to achieve that goal the wrong way. In fact, most New Yorkers think the so-called “soda ban”– which would prohibit the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages over 16 ounces by most food establishments — is a bad idea.
Although we stand with Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to support New Yorkers in making healthy food choices, and recognize the city’s outrageous rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes — especially among communities of color — we remain deeply concerned about the proposal for the following reasons:
a. the ban, if implemented, will yield an adverse economic impact for small businesses and may result in job losses; and
b. the ban would harm producers that ship soda-syrup and cups across state lines into New York, possibly violating the federal commerce clause; and
c. the ban infringes on the civil liberties (choice) of New Yorkers, and may be overturned
As Melissa and Letitia go on to mention, the administration should be focusing on goals that will have a greater impact on public health than a beverage ban that might hurt small businesses. The city should be expanding youth recreation programs, school sports and open spaces, and creating programs to subsidize healthy food access and rehabilitating outdoor parks and playgrounds, as well as indoor recreational spaces that would encourage New Yorkers to exercise.
Public comment on the soda ban ends July 24, 2012, which leads us to the question – what do you think?