Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Would smaller soda sizes help fight the war on obesity? New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks so. That’s why he’s proposing all sodas and other sugary drinks sold at restaurants, sports venues, street carts and movie theaters in New York City be no bigger than 16 ounces. The limit would be the first of its kind in the nation.
Of all the soda sizes you can get at Burger King, only two of the cups are 16 ounces or less: the small and the kid's size. Other restaurants, like KFC, don't have small drinks at all.
“We have a lot of evidence to show the increase in the amount of sugary sweet beverages has contributed to the obesity epidemic. So I think any way we can get people looking at more normal size portions is a step in the right direction,” said Dr. Donna Bacchi, with Upstate Medical University Hospital.
The US FDA defines a standard serving size of a non-alcoholic drink as eight fluid ounces, but right now you can purchase up to 64 fluid ounces of soda at your local KFC drive thru.
The proposed ban in New York City aims to encourage a diet with less sugar.
“What happens when you drink sugar, it causes insulin to spike and if you're constantly putting sugar in your body, your insulin is a high level and it's always up and that can then drive more fat into your body and that's what really makes us fat,” continued Dr. Bacchi.
Central New York’s Rob Enslin supports the ban. He said, “As the parent of two young children and being healthy-minded myself, actually, I think it’s a good thing,”
Jim Murphy says the ban would limit our freedom, “If people want to drink 32 ounces or 10 gallons, I think it’s a dumb idea personally, but if you want to do that, who’s the government to step in and say ‘no.’”
Dr. Donna Bacchi says the ban can't stop people from drinking large amounts, but it would make people purchase more if they want a larger portion size.
“Certainly with this, they get their drink then they have to consider whether or not they really want to spend the money to get it again,” Dr. Bacchi said.
She hopes the ban will work to curb portion habits on the road, and at home.
The ban would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks or alcoholic beverages.
Mayor Bloomberg supports the ban, but the proposal requires approval from the city’s Board of Health. The ban, if approved, could go into effect as early as March.