Steps to Soda Ban

Image Source: The Huffington Post

United States is ranked 11 in the prevalence rate of obesity compared to other countries, at 33.6%. Obesity is a pressing issue in the United States, thus driving many efforts to prevent and lower the risks of it. In 2012, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York proposed a sugary drink ban. However, it has been repealed in 2013. Despite its good intentions, this ban was flawed. It attempted to ban sugary drinks over 16oz, but it did not take into consideration the high concentration of sugar per drink or limit the amount of drinks you can buy. Nonetheless, this proposal initiated conversations on the topic of obesity and got people to think about their choices in foods and drinks. In the beginning of 2017, Philadelphia implemented a tax on sugary drinks. Since its passing, there have been many mixed reviews. Now the question is, will this last?

The United States is not the only one making efforts in lowering obesity rates in their country. France has been working on lowering their obesity rates since 2004. “In 2004, France banned vending machines from schools. In 2011, it limited servings of french fries to once a week in school cafeterias. A year later, it imposed a ‘soda tax.’” Instead of cutting large sugary drinks cold turkey, which we have learned to be ineffective in the 2012 New York proposal, United States can learn from France and take smaller steps into lowering the risks of obesity.

2013_06_sodasize_2

Image Source: The Huffington Post 

Similar to France, the first steps in attacking the obesity rates in the United Steps can be banning refills in fast food restaurants. In the United States, 65% of large sugary drinks are consumed at fast food restaurants. If the United States ban refills in fast food restaurants, it will be taking a more plausible step towards the soda ban. It will ease into the habits and daily lives of the people, thus lowering obesity in the United States.

Check out this interactive map on prevalence rates of obesity across the world: http://gamapserver.who.int/gho/interactive_charts/ncd/risk_factors/obesity/atlas.html

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