Today, I break from my usual spiel about the bans of fancy-sounding and unusual dishes. After attending a lecture last night on the relationship between sugar-sweetened drinks and obesity in America by Yale professor Kelly D. Brownell, I watched the above video by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). We all know that soda, sports drinks, and the like are damaging to our physical health. Labels and advertisements might say otherwise, but there’s pretty much a tacit agreement that large-sized drinks ain’t so great for your teeth, weight, or history with chronic diseases, such as diabetes. While these are some obvious red flags, it’s apparent that consumers still need that nudge to make healthier decisions.
It comes as no surprise that there is much upheaval about New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg’s recent ban on sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces. Effective March 12, 2013, the ban applies to certain businesses and restaurants; these include fast-food chains, delis, movie theaters, sports arenas, and food carts. With this, drinks in grocery stores, alcohol, diet drinks, and those with 70% or more fruit juice content are exempt.
We see certain localities like New York City and Richmond, California taking action in promoting “healthier” lifestyles. Various organizations and coalitions, such as CSPI, work in unison to raise public awareness and support. Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign targets school lunches and children’s health. Thus, as the viewer watches the adorable polar bear family pour out their sodas, I’m reminded that it’s impossible to escape the nudging from the anti-sugar end. Marketing from both sides of the sugar-sweetened drink debate echoes the aggresive nature of the food ban itself.