Locals React to NYC Large Soda Ban - WSET.com - ABC13

Locals React to NYC Large Soda Ban

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Reporter: Heather Rosenbaum | Videographer: Jonathan Merryman

Danville, VA - New York City officials are considering banning the sale of regular sodas over 16 ounces in restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street cars in order to fight obesity. While the ban would not apply to grocery or convenience stores, it hasn't stopped people from weighing in.

At Heart Line Restaurant in Danville, soda is a hot item on the menu especially with the larger size.

"The average person refills it at least 4 times," said Debra Parker, owner of the restaurant.

So the idea of New York City banning extra large drink sizes within restaurants seems just plain wrong to Parker.

"I think it is up to the individual to order the way they want to order and I don't think the government should be able to tell us that we have to serve this size," she said.

Most of her customers seem to agree.

"It's a personal choice is what people prefer to drink," said Harold Piercy, a customer.

"If the government starts telling you about buying sodas, what's next?" said Ronnie Easley, a customer.

The ban would not include diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks, or alcoholic beverages. The logic being limiting size will decrease obesity. 

"I don't think that switching from soda to juice to an alcoholic beverage swapping those out would probably make that big of a difference. You would be swapping calorie for calorie," said Jennifer Dietz, a registered dietitian.

Dietz says there is no question regular sodas can add on pounds. Still, she thinks the ban has a bigger picture.

"It may not make that big of a difference, it may just be sending a message that we really need to watch our consumption of sodas," said Dietz.

But questions arise about refills and how much can the government really control.

"You can't stop a person from doing what they want to do," said Easley.

As part of the ban, food establishments could be fined $200 if they don't obey by the rule. And it could take effect as soon as March.
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