By Danielle Cantey, Staff Writer
“It’s just pop!” Sarah Palin exclaimed as she drank from a Big Gulp while mocking the recent overturning of the infamous New York City soda ban at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, according to an article on ThinkProgress.com.
According to an article by The Wall Street Journal New York’s pending soda ban flopped when state Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling blocked the ban. Tingling argued that because New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the bill straight to the Board of Health instead of allowing it to pass through City Council, Bloomberg exceeded the parameters of his authority. A technical ending for what has proven to be a controversial issue.
The ban would prohibit the sale of sodas over 16 oz in concession stands at sporting arenas and movie theatres, food trucks, delis, and restaurants. Palin is not the only one to mock the ban. Countless others have mocked the ban while downplaying the seriousness of the harmful effects of sodas.
However, is soda really as arbitrary as critics make it seem? According to the Center for Disease Control over one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese, and about 17% -the equivalent of 12.5 million- children 2-19 years of age are obese. Obese. Not simply overweight. The inescapable fact of the matter is that the U.S. is extremely unhealthy. It is no secret that obesity leads to a variety of health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and early deaths. Studies show that replacing soda with healthier drink alternatives (water, pure fruit juice) leads to immediate weight loss. Because of the case against the sugary carbonated drinks, others have taken note.
Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis and Boston Mayor Tom Menino have both voiced support of a soda ban in their respective cities. If a ban on a drink could save lives why is it so controversial? A slimmer nation requires less medical intervention for preventable diseases, in turn, yielding lower medical costs. Sure, removing large quantities of soda alone won’t end obesity in the U.S., but it’s a simple step towards promoting a healthy lifestyle. The fate of the proposed Cambridge and Boston soda bans remains to be seen now that New York’s ban has, at least temporarily, failed. Although with a culture so addicted to its soft drinks a world without 44oz containers of soda seems hard to imagine.