As Mayor Bloomberg's controversial proposal to ban large sugary drinks in New York City gains traction with the Board of Health, other highly caloric food items including movie-theater popcorn and Frappucinos may be the city's next target.
During Tuesday's Board of Health meeting in which members unanimously voted to begin a six-week public comment period, board member Bruce Vladeck suggested the ban go further and said, "The popcorn isn't a whole lot better, from the nutritional point of view."
Similarly, another member presumably took aim at beverages like Starbucks' popular Frappucino drink and said, "There are certainly milkshakes and milk-coffee beverages that have monstrous amounts of calories...and I’m not so sure what the rationale is not to include those."
The city may indeed love their cloyingly sweet, syrup-laden Frappucinos, but guzzling just one 24 ounce White Chocolate Creme (as so many do daily) will take in a whopping 760 calories (which is basically the equivalent of a Whopper with cheese). A cup of black coffee, on the other hand, has about 5 calories.
While Bloomberg's current proposal exempts drinks that are composed of more than 50 percent milk by volume, a Starbucks spokesperson remained wary of how the plan could potentially affect the chain's popular caffeine products: "It’s hard for us to give a definitive word on which of our beverages would be impacted by the proposal."
The ban has sparked a firestorm of negative reactions, particularly from business owners who say they are under constant attack from Bloomberg's various health initiatives.
However, many health officials believe the plan is a milestone step towards decreasing obesity rates and health problems that lead to a staggering $4 billion annually in order to be treated.
Mark Bittman of The New York Times recently called excessive sugar usage in drinks "the tobacco of the 21st century” and that although individuals have every right to consume as they please, the government and Nanny State have the same prerogative to "protect the rest of us from their idiotic behavior."
Check out 11 other insanely unhealthy foods the mayor may want to look into banning next: