New York is trying to give the boot to super-sized sugary beverages and there has been plenty of uproar about this potential ban. Whether you are pro-or-con 72-ounces, it's important to understand the role all beverages play in your daily diet.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to erase sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces from the menu in restaurants, stadiums, movie theaters and other entertainment facilities in New York. The list ranges from large sodas at Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden and Citi Field, super-sized offerings from McDonald's, KFC, Wendy's, Burger King and other fast food chains. For many who get their much needed caffeine fix from Starbucks, Frappucinos will be banned as would be large sweetened teas.
Not all large sugary beverages will be banned. Any drink that is more than 51 percent dairy will be spared because dairy has nutritional value. The ban would not affect diet sodas, unsweetened coffees or teas, alcoholic drinks, diet drinks, drinks that are more than 70 percent fruit or vegetable juice and drinks that contain less than 25 calories per eight-ounce serving.
While there has been plenty of clamor, both for and against this possible ban, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics believes that education is crucial for this debate. Understanding beverage choice in your daily diet will allow you to make better decisions, choose healthier options but also be allowed to enjoy some sweetness on the side.
According to the Academy, New York City's proposed ban is based on theory and it is unclear how effective a possible ban may be in improving health or reducing obesity risk. Rather than you shock-and-awe tactics, the Academy suggests educating consumers on health risks, such as the consuming large amounts of sugar or empty calories found in sugary drinks, which could possibly lead to diabetes or obesity.
A ban needs to be evaluated in order to determine its effectiveness. Researchers need to know if a ban, like New York City's, could reduce the amount of sugary beverages consumed long-term and if that reduction relates to decrease in obesity and diabetes numbers.
While many may fret about their loss of large sugar-loaded beverage, there are a few bastions of hope. Grocery stores, bodegas and convenience stores will not be subject to the ban. That means you can totally have that Big Gulp and giant Slurpee 7-Eleven.