In March 2013, Mayor Bloomberg's newly passed NYC soda ban law will go into effect. The new law prohibits the municipal sale of soda and sugar laden drinks larger than 16 ounces. The general purpose behind the law is to combat obesity. But will the new law truly serve the purpose behind the law?
In the "super size" society of today, excessive food and drink portions have become the new normal. It used to be that a 12 ounce can of soda would be considered a full size drink. But today, it seems that what society considers to be a full size soda, is closer to 24 ounces than it is to 12 ounces. So will the new law actually stop people from drinking more than 16 ounces of soda with their meals?
For those people who will be too embarrassed or cost conscious to buy a second soda, the answer is yes. But for the likely majority of people who won't hesitate to simply buy a second soda upon completing their first, the answer is a resounding no. Perhaps this explains why restaurant owners did not appear to put up a strong fight against the proposed legislation. If for example people buy two 16 ounce sodas instead of one 24 ounce soda, the result is an increased profit margin. The days of "free refills" may soon be over. It would appear that the newly passed legislation is a law with limited teeth.
The new law also begs the perhaps more important question of what's next? Will government regulate the size of our hamburgers or how many bags of potato chips we are allowed to purchase? Although the general purpose behind the law is admirable, it appears to treat adults as if they were little children. Accordingly, the effectiveness of the new law is likely to be limited.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.