New York City, with the full co-operation of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has made some big changes in how its residents are being allowed to eat in public places.
Most recently, NYC is banning large sodas and other sugar-filled drinks from its restaurants and other food outlets.
Drinks that are over 16 ounces are banned, in an effort to curb obesity. Drinks that are made mostly of juice or are at least 50 percent milk are exempt from this law.
However, restaurants that offer refills may continue to do so. So a person can have as many 16-ounce drinks as they like, as long as they are contained in a container no bigger than 16 ounces.
According to a Yahoo News article on the subject, "Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't mince words Thursday in describing the role that sugary beverages have played in the obesity epidemic: He likened the restrictions on caloric soft drinks to banning lead paint, and cited the surge in young children being diagnosed with a type of diabetes more commonly found in overweight adults."
This law has its detractors. Many of them.
New York City, with the full co-operation of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, had previously banned the use of trans fats -- a former staple! -- in fast food places, school cafeterias and sports stadiums. Fast food places must also list the calorie content of all their foods.
Tired of being told what to eat and drink, many people see these laws as coming from a nanny state and complain that the government has no right to interfere with the choices people make about food consumption.
The fact that refills are available on 16-ounce sugary drinks is also causing a lot of eye rolls from commentators of the report.
Obesity is indeed an epidemic in America. A great part of this is due to huge portions, sugary drinks and fatty foods.
While exercise is very important for heart and lung health, for strong muscles and bones as well as mental health, it's what we eat that really matters when it comes to our weight.
Lean proteins, fresh fruit and vegetables, unprocessed foods and smaller portions all help to keep weight down.
Physical side effects are a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, high risk pregnancy, sleep apnea, female reproductive cancers and higher mortality rates with breast cancer. For a more in-depth explanation of these risks, click here for a list of ten problems associated with obesity: https://www.empowher.com/obesity/content/10-problems-obesity
Being obese causes more than just physical problems. There are also sexual side effects (like erectile dysfunction in men and libido problems with women) and social effects like not fitting in airplane seats, movie theater seats or restaurant booth, as well as size discrimination.
Will banning super sized drinks actually work? Most commentators on the subject don't believe it will. People will drink whatever they like at home, and double or triple up on refills on smaller drink sizes.
And as to whether the government has a right to interfere with the eating habits of its citizens -- let us know what you think about that.
Yahoo.com. Health. NYC bans big, sugary drinks at restaurants, by By DAVID B. CARUSO and JENNIFER PELTZ | Associated Press. Web. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
EmpowHER.com. Obesity. The Ten Problems with Obesity by Dr. Carrie Jones. Web. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
Reviewed October 1, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith