Jarter Jargon

Bye-Bye to the Sugar High

Posted on: September 24, 2012

As everyone knows, Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has been fighting hard for the ban of sugary drinks over 16 oz. in an effort to curb obesity. He is still keeping his firm stance and has recently received support from the NYC Health Panel who has stepped up to back his ban on super-sized sodas.

Restaurants, movie theaters and other outlets have six months to comply or face a $200 fine each time there’s a violation, the health department said. The ban doesn’t apply to convenience stores and groceries that don’t act primarily as purveyors of prepared foods, which are regulated by New York state. The rules do allow consumers to buy as many of the smaller drinks as they want and to get refills.

This means you fans of the 7/11 Big Gulp can breathe a sign of relief. Although, the 7-11 Double Big Gulp holds about twice the amount of fluid than the average adult human’s stomach. The average adult human’s stomach can hold comfortably about 32 ounces at any given time. The Double Big Gulp holds about 64 ounces of soda or Slurpee.

However, going back to the fact that even though sizes over 16 oz. in establishments that fall under the ban’s control, people are still able to buy as many 16 oz. cups as they want as a way to kind of circumnavigate the ban. But how are brands responding to Bloomberg’s efforts to combat obesity?

Many of the large players, Coca-Cola and Pepsi, are arguing that it restricts freedom of choice. In all actuality, will this ban really move their stock needles? The future shall tell. But what about the mom-and-pops of the city? This ban could have devastating effects.

While the ban restricts drink choices, certain beverages are “clean.” Drinks that you sweeten yourself are fine (e.g. certain Starbucks’ venti drinks), as well as certain beverages that are also 50% milk (e.g. a big 32 oz. Oreo Coolatta from Dunkin’ Donuts).

What can companies do to offset the effects of the ban? They could undercut consumers and jack up the prices of the 16 oz. drinks, but that is highly unethical. Another route that I could see happening is a revamping of drinks offered. Is it possible that we could see new lines of drinks rolling out to get around the ban?

Let me know how you feel about the ban in the comments below. In the meantime, enjoy this short video explaining the ban (and poking a little bit of fun):


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