In New York City, we are patiently awaiting the court decision on whether or not a 16-ounce soda will become the default "large" at eating establishments including fast food restaurants delis, and movie theaters.
Now, it looks like Hawaii may cap the sizes of sugary drinks. The Hawaii State Senate recently introduced a bill that would prohibit the sale of sugar-sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces anywhere in the state.
As written in the bill:
The purpose of this Act is to promote the consumption of healthy beverages by ensuring that healthy options are available and accessible, and to reduce incentives to purchase and consume excessively large sugar-sweetened beverages.
Kudos to Hawaii!
Perhaps Bloomberg's proposal initiated back in May 2012 was on to something. I recently wrote about the United Arab Emigrates' proposed cap on super size beverages.
After all, does anybody really need to drink more than a pint of soda at one time? With obesity a major public health crisis in the U.S. and abroad, sodas that come in half-gallon containers may certainly be adding to the problem. Indeed, these jumbo sodas contain nearly 800 calories and 50 teaspoons of sugar, are pure liquid calories and contain more than a third of the calories many people should consume in an entire day.
And, as I've written before, obesity rates have increased in parallel with growing soda sizes and calorie labeling alone will not solve the problem. Consumers need an environment that encourages healthier choices. And the healthy choice must be the easy choice.
In the meantime, the NYC Department of Health continues to highlight the risks of drinking too many sugary beverages for children and adults. As part of its Pouring on the Pounds advertising campaign, the department recently introduced a new catchy ad, "A sip in the right direction."
In a continued effort to promote healthier New Yorkers, the health department is urging consumers to replace sugary drinks with water, seltzer, unsweetened teas, fat-free milk and fresh fruit.
Certainly a good idea!