Soda ban push: Could it happen in Worcester, Mass?

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March 12, 2013, 5:45 pm
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(NECN: Mike Cronin) - New York City has told a court it plans to appeal a judge's decision blocking a first-of-its kind ban of large soda and other sugary drinks. The push for a size-limit on the drinks has many people talking, including folks in Worcester, Mass.

Elizabeth Sheehan Castro says she understands a move to promote better health by banning large sugary drinks, but she doesn't know if it's the best solution.

“No one really likes a ban on something and I think we see more success when we promote healthier options,” she says.

A judge struck down New York City's move to limit city businesses from selling sodas and other sugar drinks bigger than 16 ounces. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already appealed the decision.

“We believe that the judge's decision was clearly an error and that we will prevail on appeal,” the Mayor said.

Castro is project manager for the Worcester Food Policy Council, a coalition supporting public health. She says large sodas are ok in moderation but regular consumption is unhealthy because of amount of sugar.
“Can really just increase weight to extreme levels and just excess sugar really isn't good for any of the body's organs,” she says.

After the appeal, Castro says there's still a chance the ban could go through. If it does, she says it'd be interesting to see what would happen nationally.

“You might then see soda companies just start to reel back their serving sizes in a bid to not have to go through more bans in more places.”

But Castro doesn't think it could ever happen in Worcester.

“I don't think people would want it here. I don't think the advocates would go that route,” she says.

Customers enjoying sodas at the Vintage Grill agree with her.

“If you want to drink soda, drink it. Just like if you want to eat a big mac,” says Marisa Ayvazian.

“They don't ban cigarettes. They don't ban alcohol. They don't ban anything else on the market, but they're targeting soda,” says Joseph Nader. “Soda's not the problem, it's the people that are unhealthy and just live a poor lifestyle.”

Tags: New York City, health, soda, mayor michael bloomberg, worcester massachuestts, soda ban, mike cronin, size limit, Elizabeth Sheehan castro, Worcester food policy council, vintage grill, Marisa Ayvazian, joseph nader
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