It’s a word we’ve been hearing a lot of lately as NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg has called for a ban on selling sugar-sweetened drinks over 16oz (soda, sweetened teas, coffee, energy and fruit drinks) in restaurants, delis, food trucks, movie theaters and sporting arenas. It’s looking very likely that the ban will pass as early as March of next year.
While the ban may sound too strict to some, Marion Nestle professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at NYU, believes that “Something needs to be done, and you can’t just tell people to eat better and move more. If I’m given huge amounts of food, I am going to eat it.”
There are many active advertising campaigns that educate the public on how much sugar is present in soda and other sweetened beverages which is getting a message out there, but could they be more effective? Perhaps providing a more positive, and encouraging campaign focused on education and better alternatives could help change public consumption of these beverages.
What if you placed a ban on a specific food in your home? Would your children stop eating it, or would they try and find that food somewhere else, or even sneak it? What if the better option simply sounded more enticing and cool than other unhealthy alternatives – does that work in your home? Learning the whys and the hows of anything, always takes more time than simply learning to follow a rule while it is imposed. We like to think the effort to share understanding allows lessons to actually happen, and leads to children that grow up to be citizens that are better equipped and motivated to think about their options and make authentic, sound decisions when faced with challenges. What to eat and drink, has become complex and challenging in the midst of super-sized marketing efforts.
There are marketing efforts, worth our attention though.
Dr. Susan Rubin, founder of Better School Food and one of the Two Angry Moms has inspired another solution which is to focus on New York City’s tap water, and the development of the 100 Fountains Project which would help our community gain better access to water on the go. It’s great for all involved and best of all, it’s free!
Erik Kain from Mother Jones brought up the idea of imposing a soda tax, where the revenue from the taxes “could be pumped into public health and education efforts” while the tax would address the issue of over consumption, without using enforcement.
What are some other ideas that could help dissuade the public from consuming empty calories? What solutions speak to you?
Photo courtesy of superstriketwo