Ariel: Young people are supposed to live longer than their parents. But for the first time ever, teens in the U.S. may be facing a shorter life span.
As portion sizes are getting larger, so are young people. And with the extra pounds come more health-related risks.
“This is becoming a devastating public health issue. It’s an epidemic.”
That’s why the New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to take on obesity, which he says will lead to the death of 5,800 New York City residents this year.
And that’s what’s behind the mayor’s controversial new ban on big sodas.
In places like movie theaters, athletic stadiums, even restaurants, he’s hoping limiting soda size will reduce the obesity rate.
Right now, I can order a 32-ounce drink from fast food restaurants here in New York, but if the big soda ban is passed, the largest drink I can order will be in this 16-ounce cup.
Some health professionals think it’s a good idea, and testified at a hearing in front of the New York City Board of Health.
“Nearly 800 calories and 50 teaspoons of sugar…”
But, not all reaction was favorable.
The day before, the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices Coalition protested the soda ban at city hall.
“Everyone here should have the chance, the freedom to pick what they want to drink and how big they want to drink!”
But, the ban will not impact the sale of these drinks in grocery stores, vending machines and convenience stores, and the coalition was quick to point that out.
“Either it applies to everyone or it doesn’t. This mayor can’t control those other stores, so therefore he’s only going to apply it to the ones he can control.”
So what do new Yorkers think?
“It’s our choice what we want to drink. They shouldn’t, like, babysit us. It’s, like, a free country.”
“Yeah, it is, it is pretty much limiting us, limiting where we can find these servings that people are used to nowadays.”
“I think it’s probably a good idea because, you know, America’s like the fattest country in the world, so, you know, banning really big drinks is probably a good thing.”
Ariel Glickman for Channel One News.