New York City’s Board of Health has voted to approve a “soda ban”, which would now limit the sale of large sugary drinks within the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has confirmed. Under the measure, people will not be able to buy sugar-sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces at fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, movie theaters and food carts.
However, the limit does not apply to grocery stores and other venues or to dairy-based drinks such as milkshakes. ”[Six] months from today, our city will be an even healthier place,” Fox News quoted Bloomberg, as saying.
However, experts say it remains to be seen whether the city will actually be healthier. Critics have pointed out that people could just buy two 16-ounce drinks rather than a 32-ounce drink.
The researchers, who analyzed the receipts of about 1,600 fast-food restaurant customers in East Coast cities in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that if all consumers who had been buying larger sizes switched to a single 16-ounce drink (and none bought two 16-ounce beverages), the average calorie intake would drop by 63 calories per meal.
However, if only 30 percent of consumers switched, no decrease in the average calories consumed per meal would occur, the researchers said.
The magic number needed to see any effect was 40 percent as if that percentage of consumers switched to a single 16-ounce beverage, then overall calorie onsumption would decrease by close to 10 calories, according to the study.