October 31 2012
¦ Big Gulp? That’s a registered trademark for the 7-Eleven corporation, but it’s also a big issue beginning to brew in Washington.
At-large D.C. Council members Vincent Orange and Michael A. Brown said at a recent forum that they’d support a ban on soda drinks larger than 16 ounces, a policy that got lots of attention when New York City adopted it.
The New York measure bans sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in restaurants, other eateries and concession stands that are covered by the city’s Health Department.
In New York and here, you’d still be able to stock up in grocery stores and other retail outlets that simply sell rather than serve such drinks.
The ban is part of the fitful efforts various governments are making to fight alarming obesity rates among young people.
Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh, who spearheaded the Healthy Schools Act a few years ago, said a ban is worthy of consideration. She added, however, that her legislative calendar is full and she is not likely to take up the soda wars until next year.
But critics of any ban here already are fuming.
“How is it that America, the land of the free, is turning into a nation of food nannies dictating what you choose to buy and consume?” said Julie Gunlock of the Women for Food Freedom project, part of the conservative Independent Women’s Forum. “It’s time to stop the insanity.”
Others think it’s insane to let the obesity trend keep growing.
The battle here is just beginning.