Controversial Analysis: Ban on Soft Drinks

Topics: New York City, Obesity, Soft drink Pages: 5 (1862 words) Published: August 23, 2013
Controversy Analysis
Gabrielle DAnnunzio
Final Draft
“How far should the Government go to protect us from ourselves?” ( That is a question some New Yorkers have been asking themselves since September 13th, 2012, when the New York City board of public health officially put into effect a ban of selling sugary, soft drinks over 16 ounces (about half a liter). This soda ban has divided the city separating residents into two distinct views. Will this new ban benefit New York City and create yet another stepping stone against the obesity epidemic, or is it an unnecessary abuse of power by the government, that is unfair to big corporations and businesses? HISTORY: Supersize me documentary, negative effects of Soda and rising obesity in Americans The 2004 documentary Super Size Me, by Morgan Spurlock expresses the rising issue of obesity in the United States. Over 100 million Americans are either overweight or obese and is associated with over 400,000 deaths per year. Not only has America become the fattest nation in the world also the biggest consumer of soft drinks in the world as well. There are three-million soda machines nation wide, that is roughly one for every 97 Americans (Super Size Me). According to studies from the Beverage Marketing Corporation in 2010, the average American drinks 44.7 gallons of soda per year! That is equivalent to 487 cans or 286 bottles of soda, and all of that soda weighs a total of 375 pounds ( Unquestionably portions are getting bigger in the fast food industry but the drinks are as well. When Burger King first opened they had two sizes of soft drinks, a large 16-ounce and a small 12-ounce. Now the 12-ounce is the kid’s size, the 16-ounce is the small and they have added a 32-ounce (medium) and a 42-ounce (large). New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley recalls in the 1960’s the average size of soda was a 6.5 ounce bottle, now in 2013; the average size is a 20-ounce bottle ( A French tourist in New York City being interviewed by Morgan Spurlock outside a McDonalds exclaims in France the largest soft drink one could order, is equivalent to the American small. New car models are becoming especially made to accommodate the 64-ounce, half-gallon double gulp, which consists of up to 800 calories and 48 teaspoons of sugar. This overconsumption of sugary soft drinks has led the rise in obesity doubling the weight of adolescents in the past twenty-five years. According to Supersize Me, 1 out of 3 children in the year 2000 will develop diabetes and if a child gets diabetes before the age of fifteen that child looses seventeen to twenty-five years of their lifespan. This is an expensive problem, so much that 1 in 5 U.S health care dollars is spent on care for people diagnosed with diabetes spending a total of $245 billion dollars each year on diabetes, ( PROS: P1 more in depth description of the ban, rising obesity in NYC , P2 what Bloomberg is saying to defend it. “Half of Manhattan’s citizens are overweight or obese — it’s a wonder the island hasn’t sunk,” Jeff O’Connell, contributor and author of Sugar Nation, believes this new ‘Sugar Nation’ is “killing our citizens, bankrupting our healthcare system and is irrefutably harmful” On September 13th, 2012, New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Board of Public Health took the city by storm banning soft drinks over 16 ounces, voting eight in favor and one abstain ( 58% of New York City adults are considered overweight and according to New York Cities Health Department, one in three adult New Yorkers either has diabetes or is pre-diabetic due to obesity ( To care for these people, New York City spends an estimated $4 billion dollars each year on health care for overweight and obese people (, and its only getting worse. The obesity rate in New York City went up 6% in the last...
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