10/23/2012 09:20 am ET Updated Oct 23, 2012

D.C. Sugary Drinks Ban A Possibility, Councilmembers Say

WASHINGTON -- Could the District of the Columbia follow the lead of New York City to restrict the sale of large-size sugary drinks? Some members of the D.C. Council are certainly open to the idea.

In fact, D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), who spearheaded the D.C. Healthy Schools Act for public school students in the nation's capital, seems ready to pounce, according to WTOP:

"I'm very excited by that," said Cheh, who fell one vote short of passing a tax on sodas and other sugary drinks.

Cheh authored the Healthy Schools Act and says she thinks the New York City ban is a good idea she'd like to bring to the nation's capital.

"If I could get the votes, to do it I would certainly try to put that in place," Cheh tells WTOP.

"I would consider legislation to do that, I would like to see that done," she added.

While Cheh, [Vincent] Orange [D-At-Large] and Brown [I-At-Large] are the only three elected officials to come out in support of the ban, several others say they are open to a ban including Mayor Vincent Gray.

"I think there probably are some good health reasons to support something like that," Gray said. "We'll be happy to look at it, we haven't taken a position on that one way or another."

The idea about a D.C. iteration of New York's sugary drinks rules came up during a D.C. Council candidate debate this weekend, as detailed by The Washington Post.

In September, New York City's Board of Health OK'd a ban proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that restricts the sale of large-size sugary drinks like soda.

According to The Wall Street Journal, one board member, Joel Forman, said he hopes New York's ban will "spread nationally."

The sugary drinks restrictions are currently being challenged in court.



Soda Ban Public Hearing July 24, 2012