Weight loss groups back Bloomberg soda ban

Photo by Spencer T. Tucker

At Flushing Meadows Park Tuesday Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Weight Watchers President Dave Burwick announced the group’s support for his soda ban, which will make it illegal to sell sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at city restaurants, mobile food carts, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas.

“There has been a lot of discussion about obesity, but little action, which is why we at Weight Watchers support what this administration is doing to help New Yorkers live healthier,” said  Burwick.

Bloomberg also said that other weight loss experts are officially behind his ban, including the creators of the Best Life Diet, South Beach Diet, Dukan Diet and Picture Perfect Weight Loss as well as the CEO of Jenny Craig.

At the announcement Bloomberg and Burwick were  joined by Queens resident Rachelle Conley, a Weight Watchers member who lost 91 pounds, and cites cutting sugary drinks as a reason why she was able to drop so much weight.

“Before losing weight, I would drink 48 ounces of fruit flavored juice drink each day and coffee with 25 – yes, 25 – packets of sugar every morning,” said Conley. “Now, I’ve completely cut out sugary beverages, drink mostly water, eat healthy portions and exercise near Flushing Meadows Park. For the first time in my life I’m at a healthy weight range – and I plan on staying here.”

The ban, which will be voted on by the Board of Health on September 13, is one of several city initiatives to help fight the raising obesity rates of New Yorkers.

According to the mayor’s office, almost 60 percent of New York City adults and 40 percent of children are overweight or obese and one in eight adults has diabetes. Queens has an obesity rate of 57.2 percent.

But not everyone supports the soda ban. A New Yorkers for Beverage Choices petition against it has signatures from 183,463 individuals and 2,002 organizations as of the end of August. Also, businesses, such as movie theaters, are afraid it will hurt their bottom line.

What do you think of the soda ban? Take out poll: https://on.fb.me/OXmBaI.


More from Around New York