Consumers Talk: Soda Ban

July 26, 2012

Is Bloomberg's soda ban popular with consumers? Find out what the SupermarketGuru consumer panel had to say here

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken an active role in working to improve the health of his state. His latest polarizing attempt at improving health included limiting serving sizes of soda to 16 ounces max in any of the city's restaurants, delis, movie theaters, or even street carts – and he has further created supporters and naysayers.

We recently surveyed the SupermarketGuru consumer panel to find out if Bloomberg’s plan is popular with the people, here’s what they had to say. When asked if they believe that limiting soda's serving size will decrease consumption, the majority, 68 percent, said “no.”  Twenty-four percent thinks his plan will decrease consumption and 9 percent “doesn’t know.” It seems that even if portion sizes were capped, consumers would still search for their soda fix.

Does the consumer panel support Mayor Bloomberg's idea to cap sugary beverage serving size at 16 oz? Not a chance! Sixty-seven percent don’t support the serving size cap, while a mere 30 percent do.

What about a tax on sugary beverages including soda? The majority of the panel are also opposed. Fifty-six percent want their soda to stay tax-free while 37 percent would be in favor of taxing the sugary drink.

At this point Bloomberg’s plan is just an idea and would have to pass various legislation to actually see the light of day. His intent (as it was with banning smoking and trans fats) is good - but this plan is fragile at best by not treating all retail outlets the same.

As we’ve learned this week, Bloomberg’s ban on NYC trans fats - which requires restaurants to make sure their food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving - is making its residents healthier. A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrates that residents have reduced their intake of trans fats. Meals contain an average of 2.4 grams less trans fats than they did before the ban. More people also bought items that had zero percent trans fats showing an 86 percent increase in choosing foods that were healthier for them.

Whether or not the ban is realized, the link between sugary beverages and our nation's current bill of health is clear. For more on the reasons behind Bloomberg’s plan click here.