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A Ban on Large Sugary Drinks: The Way to Go or Too Much?

Written on May 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm , by

Do we need to limit our soda consumption? (Photo by Jack Miskell)

As New Yorkers, we pride ourselves on our city’s healthy initiatives: the ban on smoking in public areas, limiting the amount of trans fat in food, public health ads on the dangers of smoking and an unhealthy diet, and posting calorie counts in food chains. But New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest proposal to prohibit the sale of sodas larger than 16 ounces in restaurants and fast food establishments has us divided: Cutting back on sugary drinks would help the fight against obesity, but should individuals be forced into making this choice?

Skeptics about this plan point to the specifics of the ban. The proposal would still allow the sale of large beverages in grocery stores and would not apply to drinks with fewer than 25 calories per serving. Some have argued that soda drinkers can go around the ban by buying more than one regular-sized cup and can drink as they please at home.

A decline in soda consumption and sugary drinks in general would be a step in the right direction; even the sugar and calories in fruit juice can add up. But would it be wiser to offer incentives towards switching to good old H2O and the use of reusable water bottles? And how do you think our society can better educate people to make healthy choices without infringing on liberties?

Now tell us: Do you approve of a ban on oversized drinks or not?

Watch those liquid calories: Read our guide and discover how to drink your favorite beverages while staying slim here.

Should Soda Be Taxed Like Alcohol and Tobacco?

Written on February 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm , by

A glass of soda may be a bit more pricey if a tax is approved. (Photo by Jack Miskell)

The debate around whether or not consumers should be taxed more for soda continues to spread, as the journal Nature recently published additional expert opinions. A few of their points, which are in line with numerous other reports:

  • More and more scientific evidence suggests chronic sugar consumption has a slow-moving, complex—but devastating—role in metabolic syndromes, such as hypertension and diabetes.
  • This class of diseases cost the U.S. $65 billion a year in lost productivity and $150 billion in medical care.
  • A levy on added sugars would help meet the growing costs of sugar-related health problems and discourage consumption.

Tobacco and alcohol are both already taxed differently, and we can’t help but understand why scientists (and the government) feel that soda might be the “new” cigarette or scotch.

Should there be a tax on soda? Tell us what you think, below!

Time to Kick a Soda Habit?

Written on March 3, 2011 at 3:36 am , by

Downing a soda a day may bring the doctor your way, new evidence suggests.

Soda and other sweetened beverages like fruit drinks are associated with higher blood pressure levels in adults, a new study in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association finds.

In addition, those who consumed more than one soda/sugary drink on a daily basis took in nearly 400 more calories per day and had higher body mass indexes (BMIs) compared to those who drank less, according to the findings. “People who drink a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages appear to have less healthy diets,” explains Ian Brown, Ph.D., research associate at Imperial College London in an AHA press release about the study. “They are consuming empty calories without the nutritional benefits of real food. They consume less potassium, magnesium and calcium.”

Opting for diet soda may not be a healthier option. While the study didn’t find a high blood pressure link in diet soda drinkers, separate research presented earlier this month showed daily diet soda drinkers had a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events (like stroke) than soda abstainers.