Big gulp no more in the Big Apple

The “sugar ban” in New York has stimulated a cacophony of misinformation, but as an individual living in America, all of these mixed signals on how people should feel should make Americans see only one thing dripping down that red, white and blue – sugar penetrating those freedom stripes.

Kevin Hawkiness, a two and a half year trainer director and fitness manager at X-Sport Fitness Center said, “The 16-ounce ban is not solving a problem. Why don’t we teach people why it’s bad and why it’s a health problem? What people want to drink is their choice.”

Unless further action is taken against “the ban,” that choice will be taken away in six months at fast-food restaurants, movie theaters, Broadway theaters, workplace cafeterias and places selling prepared foods, except for supermarkets and most convenient stores – unless you are willing to pay the fine.

The proposal is meant to give people a reason to stop at 16 ounces and change attitudes around our ravenous overindulgence in sugar and fat.

After Thursday’s 8-0 vote, with one board member abstaining from voting, Mayor Bloomberg tweeted: “NYC’s new sugary drink policy is the single biggest step any gov’t has taken to curb #obesity. It will help save lives.”

Some cannot seem to agree completely. “I think it’s great to stand up to these corporations who knowingly sell very unhealthy products, with the excuse that people should drink in moderation, but it doesn’t work like that. My foodie side tells me the ban is great, my political side says the government shouldn’t step into those boundaries … the government should create programs to inform us and educate society, so that civilians can make choices on their own,” said Edgar Coronado, 21, a New York chef.

“If most of the population knew what exactly they are consuming, corporations would immediately make their products healthier, because they are only worried about the bottom line. The ban is a good step, but it’s not the ultimate solution.”

This is not the only source of action the city of New York has taken to curb our sugar high. Not so ironically enough, “The Big Apple” has also barred artificial trans fats from restaurants, taken aggressive measures against smoking and will also begin to give talks at hospitals to newborn mothers, encouraging them to choose breast-milk over formula.

The rule will omit drinks such as water, diet sodas, alcohol and unsweetened juices and will be enforced by the city’s existing city restaurant inspectors who are free to impose $200 fines if the rule is violated.

With opposition in every direction, the vote taken on Thursday will not likely be the final word.

Obviously soda makers are infuriated and so are citizens. Whichever way the rule is looked at, it is going to be in the headlines for a while, and why not?

Americans are infamous for their love affair with freedom and food. I guess we just have to realize that if we want it big, it will not come cheap.