On the weekend, Joanna and I (yes, we spend time together outside of work too…it’s adorable) were shopping for boots.
After each trying on 30 different pairs of boots, we were thirsty, so we made a quick stop for lunch to refuel. The drink options came in two sizes: regular and large (small wasn’t an option.)
As thirsty as we were, we didn’t even finish the regular size.
In New York City, washing down a burger and fries with a super-sized pop will no longer be an option starting March 2013. Restaurants and other food service establishments, such as movie theatres and sports arenas, will not be able to sell sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces (about 480 mL). Milk and milk alternative beverages, 100% fruit and vegetable juices and “diet” drinks (beverages with 25 calories or less per 8 ounces/ 240 mL) aren’t affected by the legislation.
This ban comes in response to growing rates of obesity and diet-related chronic disease. One factor believed to contribute to this is the expansion of portion sizes. Research indicates that people tend to drink more when they are offered larger portion sizes but the amount they eat doesn’t seem to decrease accordingly. In the case of sugary drinks, this means more sugar and calories are consumed.
History shows that the portion sizes of sugary drinks have swollen since the 1950’s. Original sizes of soft drinks started around 6.5 ounces (195 mL), but now range up to 32 ounces (960 mL) and even 64 ounces (1920 mL) in some places. Automobile companies are installing larger cup holders to accommodate the expansion.
We currently don’t have any portion size restrictions in place in Canada but the public is speaking out about the US legislation. Some say consumers should be able to decide how big they want their pop at restaurants to be. Some say that this step is a positive one for public health, and some say that efforts and resources should be focused on different public health issues.
Where do you weigh in on the issue? Do you think limiting portion sizes at food service establishments will help improve people’s health?
Sugary Drinks – How much sugar are you drinking?