N.Y.’s ban on big sugary drinks lacks evidence
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have proposed “a ban too far,” as his one-time friends at The New York Times put it, when on May 31 he announced plans to ban some sugary beverages exceeding 16 ounces at certain restaurants and other venues.
To be effective in its stated goal — countering obesity — Mayor Bloomberg’s plan would depend on several factors functioning in concert:
- Sugar-sweetened beverages would need to be a major factor in weight gain.
- His restrictions would need to reduce fattening ingestions.
- His regulations would need to be amenable to enforcement.
Unfortunately, none of these requirements are even remotely fulfilled.
Take the claim by supposed “nutrition expert” Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, who stated in a letter to the New York Post that “[s]ugary soft drinks are the single biggest source of calories in the American diet and are the only food or beverage shown to increase one’s risk of weight gain.” In fact, a dearth of evidence implicates sugary sodas as a major factor in the decades-long rise in America’s BMIs and waistlines.