Experts: Proposed NYC Ban on Large Sugary Drinks Is Ill Advised, Doomed to Failure
“There is a huge cost to the potential failure of this type of measure, which disenfranchises price-sensitive portions of the population; it would set back what we are doing well in the fight against obesity.”
“Why are they avoiding fruit juices, avoiding chocolate shakes, lattes, and whatever else with similar amounts of calories or larger portions? This proposed ban is targeting a certain group of people. I also worry that this is a little bit of a regressive tax: It is not directly targeting obesity; it is targeting soda. Sodas overall are a pretty small part of the equation when it comes to obesity.
“There are win-win opportunities to do something better—something that will not tick off the consumers we are trying to target. We can encourage fast food restaurants to promote appetizing, lower-calorie options. For example, if you want to buy a 16-ounce soda, you get a discount if you choose diet soda—same type but larger portion.
“People buying super-sized sodas want their 32-oz soft drinks and will find a work-around to the ban. They’ll go to a place that offers fountain refills, or they’ll buy two. If they don’t have much money, they might cut back on fruits or vegetables or a bit of their family meal budget.
“Consumers hate bans but they love promotions. There is a better way: Soft drink companies and restaurants make money by selling beverages—not sugar. By working with these companies, New York City could discover new ways to better promote lower calorie options.
“We should be encouraging sales of healthier beverages—using a carrot instead of a stick. This approach would be welcomed by struggling retailers and manufacturers alike.”
Source: Cornell University