Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban caps a maximum size of 16 ounces for sugary drinks – sold in cups or bottles – at food establishments including restaurants, fast food chains, delis, street carts and movie theaters. Drinks sold at grocery and convenience stores – including two-liter bottles and 7-11′s “Big Gulp” fountain drinks – would be exempt from the ban.
New research led by Dr. Brian Elbel, an assistant professor of population health and health policy at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, analyzed what impact Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal would have on a typical consumer’s calorie intake.
Elbel and fellow NYU researchers collected from diners at three different fast-food restaurants in New York City, Newark, N.J., Philadelphia and Baltimore from 2008 to 2010. Their research is published in a correspondence to the editor in the July 23 online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Based on the receipts and corresponding survey information collected from the studies, the researchers determined that 62 percent of beverages bought at these restaurants would be over 16 ounces and subject to the mayor’s new proposal. Elbel explained to HealthPop in an interview that if 100 percent of fast food consumers switched to a 16-ounce drink from their previous order, the average consumer would take in 63 fewer calories per trip to a fast-food restaurant.
Elbel is set to present his findings during the first of three public hearings beginning Tuesday on the mayor’s proposal.
Would a best-case scenario of 63 fewer calories per person per trip to a fast food restaurant really make a dent in a diner’s health?
“I’d probably say no to that,” said Nutritionist Karen Congro, director of the Wellness for Life Program at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, in an interview with HealthPop. “But it might get them to think about where their calories are coming from.”
Congro said calories are only “part of the problem” from drinking too much soda, and sugary drinks could affect how the body processes sugar, potentially leading to diabetes. But she doesn’t feel a ban would do much to boost New Yorkers’ health if they aren’t educated on all the health risks. She said television ads and signs or brochures in places where drinks are sold might be more effective at helping people make better choices than simply eliminating a larger sized cup.
Watch as the happy healthcare host, Mr. Divabetic goes on location in Central Park, New York City to find out people’s reactions to Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed Super Size Soda ban.
LISTEN NOW: Free Diabetes Roundtable podcast Inspired by Rev Run http://www.blogtalkradio.com/divatalkradio1/2012/06/12/diabetes-roundtable-inspired-by-rev-run