Americans Are No Fans Of Any Proposed Soda Ban

LOS ANGELES , July 3, 2013 () – Here’s some news that shouldn’t surprise you: Americans in general don’t want restrictions on the size of soda and other sugary beverages, whether the restriction is in restaurants, hot dog stands or convenience stores. Not only do they not want to be told they can’t have a large Pepsi, but they also question the impact such a ban would have on the nation’s obesity issue.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 70% of U.S. adults would vote against a law limiting the size of soft drinks and sugary drinks served in restaurants to 16 ounces. The poll was conducted June 15 and 16, as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration was appealing a lower-court ruling that struck down his proposed 16-ounce limit on sugary beverages in the city's restaurants.

In addition, a majority of people surveyed said it was important to have government programs address the health risks associated with obesity. However, while the question on sugary drinks did not state the measure’s purpose was to reduce obesity rates, the public might be skeptical that a ban would have an impact.

As a consumer who loves soda and opposes such bans, I understand where legislation like New York City’s is coming from. One can make the argument that drink sizes have gotten out of hand, especially when so many food establishments offer free soda refills. And while I also don’t think such a ban would greatly impact the obesity crisis, I concede the point that such a ban couldn’t hurt in that regard.

Having said that, while it’s one thing for the government to limit such beverages at schools, it’s another thing to limit them for adults. Yes, the nation as a whole is getting fatter. But adults have to ultimately take responsibility for their own health and that of their children.

It shouldn’t be the government’s job to say when we’ve had enough.

Nevin Barich is the Food & Beverage Analyst for IndustryIntel. Like most U.S. adults, he’s against any ban or restriction on soda sizes and is skeptical of the impact it would really have on the nation’s obesity epidemic. He can be reached at

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