September 25, 2012
New York Soda Ban
It is no secret that portion sizes and waistlines in America have increased over time. The author of “Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents” informs that “two out of three adults and one out of three children in the United States are overweight or obese, and the nation spends and estimated $190 billion a year treating obesity-related health conditions. These statistics are alarming. It is about time someone initiates a change and sets forth an example to all other states. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent proposal to ban 32 ounce drinks from food chains can help set a new default serving on soft drinks. In return it may also help the general public with their health problems and health care costs.
This ban would be an excellent incentive to start promoting better health. Tara Parker-Pope, the author of “How Can a Big Gulp Look So Small?” states that “…we tend to consume what’s put in front of us” and “when we eat out, everything from a restaurant’s lighting to the menu design to the size of the plate or cup influences how much we eat and drink”. For instance, indulging in a sugary drink will briefly make someone feel energized and even happy but once that sugar spike goes down, people tend to feel lethargic and without motivation to do much physical activity. Lack of physical activity is a side effect caused by drinking too much soda, which then contributes to one of the factors that cause weight gain and obesity. Banning large soft drinks would help people take better control of their health by offering them a healthy sized beverage as their only choice and to also avoid over indulgence. Studies have shown that it is difficult for the human brain to perceive serving sizes accurately (Pope-Parker). Without limitations on a serving size, people can easily go overboard on their food and beverage consumption. The idea of banning soft drinks larger than 32 ounces may be disapproving to those who love their large sugary drinks, however once the benefits of consuming less soda start to have a positive impact on their lives, they will be nothing more but grateful for the change.
In addition to being harmful in large amounts to the bodies of people, the over consumption of soda also has an effect on health care costs. Consuming too much soda leads to weight gain and obesity, which then leads to chronic diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that “it is estimated that health care costs for chronic disease treatment account for over 75% of national health expenditures” (keiseredu.org). The rise in rates of overweight and obesity in people have been factors that contribute to chronic illnesses. The soda ban will be beneficial to those who are overweight or obese, which will then contribute to a decrease in chronic illnesses and health care costs. Jagadeesan, a medical doctor and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit, has found that “the average American spends more than $6,000 each year on health care” (Consumer Behavior Contributes to Rising Health Care Costs). Rather than spending that much money on health care costs, people could be spending it on things that are beneficial to their health such as gym memberships, personal trainers, weight loss programs and healthier foods. Banning a 32 ounce sized drink will not stop people from visiting a doctor’s office, however it will keep their visits to the doctor minimal and can help support the recommendations a doctor gives to an individual who is in need of improving their health.
Additionally to reducing health care costs and the waist line of many adults, the soda ban will also be beneficial to children who suffer from being overweight or obese. Alice Park, the author of the artile “Cutting Out Soda Curbs Children’s Weight Gain, Study Shows” states that research has shown that“…limiting children’s access to sugary beverages can indeed curb weight gain”. Since parents set forth the highest example on their children, limiting their soda intake will also limit their children’s intake. This can create a chain reaction within parents and their children on changing their drinking habits and reaching a healthier weight and better health. If a parent can change the drinking habits of a child during present time, our future generations to come will be less likely to struggle with being overweight or obese. It only takes a small intervention to change not only a child’s soda drinking habits but also their weight (Park). In other words, children can adjust to healthier drinking habits more quickly than adults. It might be more difficult for an adult to get adjusted to the change since they have been consuming large amounts of soda for a longer time than children have, but with time and patience both parties will adjust to the change. In sum, Mayor Bloomberg’s soda ban will be beneficial to adults and children who are overweight or obese by limiting their sugary drink intake. His ban will change people’s drinking habits in a way that will help them lose weight and get in better health. A reduction in chronic diseases will occur once people start to lose weight, which will then contribute to a reduction in health care costs as well. Over all, this soda ban will be an incentive to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Rising Health Care Costs Are Unsustainable.
Kaiseredu.org. 2011. Web. 24 Sept. 2012.
Jagadeesan, Raja. “Consumer Behavior Contributes to Rising Health Care Costs”. Health Care, 2012. N.p. N.d. Web. September 2012.
Park, Alice. “Cutting Out Soda Curbs Children’s Weight Gain, Studies Show”. Time Inc., 22 Sept. 2012. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. Parker-Pope, Tara. “How Can A Big Gulp Look So Small.” Nytimes.com. The New York Times
Company, 21 June 2012. Web. 22 Sept. 2012.
“Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet”. The President and Fellows of Harvard College. 2012. Web. 10 September. 2012.