Soft Drink Ban: Why New Yorkers Disapprove Of The Ban

By Kahlil Thomas on March 1, 2013 3:23 PM EST

Soda
This is the size of the soda that most New Yorkers will be allowed to drink after Mayor Bloomberg's new ban on soft drinks larger than 16 ounces goes into effect on March 12. (Photo: Creative Commons)

The ban on super-sized soft drinks in New York City is getting no love from the citizens of the city.

The ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces that Mayor Michael Bloomberg instituted goes into effect on March 12, but according to a new Quinnipiac poll, 51 percent of the New York's residents disapprove of the band while 46 percent approves of it. The law is least favored on Staten Island (67 percent) and the Bronx (60 percent).

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Republicans and African-Americans are opposed to the plan more than any other group in the city. About 65 percent of Republicans disapprove while 60 percent of African Americans are against it. Democrats are the only group to give Mayor Bloomberg's plan any support with 52 percent of Dems approving.

The ban is an attempt to curb obesity in New York City. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a study showed that sugary drinks, such as soda, interacts with genes that affect weight amplifying a person's risk of obesity beyond what it would be based on your  family's history alone. The ban would exist in restaurants, move theaters, food cars and vendors that are regulated by the health department. There is also a proposed ban on plastic-foam containers that is garnering massive support around the city 69 percent to 26 percent.

Earlier in the week, Mayor Bloomberg said that his city should not be the only one to ban super-sized soft drinks.

"The state should do exactly the same thing in stores," said Bloomberg

New York is not the only place a soda ban is in play. A Washington, D.C. suburb is trying to put in place a ban on soda-dispensing vending machines in public middle and high schools. According to school officials in Fairfax County, Va., their soda vending machines are turned off during the day so the students can't buy their daily Pepsi during school hours. But the officials told The Washington Post that it sent a bad message to the students because they see it every day.

"Even if it is not available during the school day, it's still there," said Jo Anne Hammermaster, head of Real Food for Kids.

Her organization pointed out that 70 percent of items offered in vending machines in schools are soft drinks and that 30 percent are either water or no-calorie drinks.

Even with the controversial soft ban, Bloomberg still has good numbers during his third-term as mayor. Bloomberg's approval rating with New York voters are holding at 53 percent while only 40 disapproves.

"Mayor Bloomberg maintains his pretty-good-for-a-third term job approval," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

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