Obesity is a problem in the United States, with 18% of adolescents ages 12-19 classified as obese as of 2008 (according to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention) . Parents, schools, corporations, and politicians have all tried approach this issue in different ways. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a new angle on the problem that puts the government in control of how much we drink.
The mayor’s intentions to restrict soft drinks over 16 ounces a cup will not keep iSchool students from quenching their thirst.
The new approach at improving the health of New Yorker’s was accepted by iSchool students with mixed feelings. The goal is to make people more aware of the amount of sugar they consume each day.
Some iSchool students think this is a great policy because obesity needs to be addressed and New York City’s influence could cause the country to follow suit.
Jonah Estess, a junior at the iSchool, said, “It’s about time someone addressed this issue. There are too many Americans that are overweight and one of the causes is soda.”
Raquel Fitzgerald, a senior, felt the policy was a “small step” although the decision to is “ultimately up to the consumer”.
The decision to eat and drink healthier is up to the consumers and many opposers feel consumers will not comply with this new policy.
Ranyerlis Galvez, a junior, said, “Honestly, you can’t control someone and mandate them to do things they don’t want or need.”
Chanel Mowatt, also a junior, added, “Forcing someone to do something will only make them do the opposite. People are going to find a way around it or leave the city for fast food.”
As outrageous as it may sound, people might actually leave the city to eat what they want. In April 2011, New York City had to reinstate the sales tax exemption on clothing and shoes under $110 partially due to the migration of city shoppers to New Jersey.
Many students argued that fast food chains that have political influence, will not sit idly by while this law gets put into place because they will lose money. However, if people buy two smaller cups instead of a cup that is 32 ounces, these chains may actually make more money.
The policy does limit the size of the cup, but not the number of drinks they can buy or refills they can get. This may make the policy less effective, for stopping people from drinking more sugar than their body needs.
Galvez noted that the policy might be a person’s first step at changing their life; “That’s their first attempt at having a healthier lifestyle. It’s all about changing your lifestyle, not dieting, because diets don’t work.”
Now while nothing is promised, the effect of this policy on New Yorkers is as of yet unknown.
Other students felt that if a person changes only one aspect of their diet, there will be no change.
With summer arriving in a couple of weeks, it is more important that people stay hydrated. Water is the purest form of hydration and is always good for the body, but water intoxication can occur when one consumes too much water.
Limiting drinks over 16 ounces a cup will give New Yorkers a better sense of portion control, but what people drink is ultimately up to them.