The same flaws that caused a New York judge to overturn Mayor Bloomberg's ban on big sugary drinks are inherent in proposals to ban the purchase of sugary drinks using food stamps. Such bans are unlikely to help fight obesity and can do substantial damage to the safety net.
Monday's court ruling blocking Mayor Bloomberg’s 'soda ban' restored New Yorkers’ freedom to supersize their sugary drinks. The judge reasoned that the rule limiting the size of sugary drinks to be sold at NYC eateries was arbitrary and capricious because it applied to some but not all food establishments, it excludes other beverages with higher concentrations of sweeteners, and because the loopholes in the rule – such as no limits on refills – “serve to gut the purpose of the rule.”
Various proposals to limit soda consumption have been popular among the public health community. Advocates ranging from the Center for Science in the Public Interest to New York Times food writer Mark Bittman are calling for a ban on the purchase of sugar-sweetened beverages with food stamps. Media outlets recently reported health officials in South Carolina are considering requesting permission to implement such a ban. A similar proposal in New York City was recently rejected.
Page 1 of 5