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Would Banning Large Sugary Drinks Help Reduce Waistlines?

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(7-Eleven Facebook Photo)

(7-Eleven Facebook Photo)

CBS Detroit (con't)

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Health News & Information: CBSDetroit.com/Health

DETROIT (Talk Radio 1270) - As the Mayor of New York tries to ban the city from selling large-sized sugary drinks, many are wondering if it will really make a difference in reducing waistlines or if it’s just another measure of control.

As reported on CBSNewYork.com, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing new rules that would ban the city’s 20,000 restaurants, food carts, movie theaters and sports stadiums from selling sugary drinks in a cup larger than 16 ounces.

The ban even applies to large sugary coffee and tea confections (unless they have 51 percent milk) and would prevent stores that allow customers to draw their own drinks from stocking cups larger than 16 ounces.

Right now, the fine planned for those who still sell big drinks is $200, but stiffer penalties could come down the road.

Jackie Paige, filling in for Charlie Langton on Talk Radio 1270’s morning show, spoke with Barbara Main, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at Beaumont Hospital, who explained the dangers of having too much sugar.

“We know that high intakes of added sugars and solid fats are both associated with higher energy intakes, a lower overall diet quality and can be associated with obesity,” she said.

While Main can understand what Bloomberg was thinking when he proposed the ban, she doesn’t think it’s far-reaching enough to yield any significant results.

“His ban is fairly limited, it’s only in those retail food service establishments, it’s not in the grocery stores, it’s not training people to eat healthier. So, I can’t agree to this or I can’t think that this is going to make a significant impact,” said Main. “I’m not sure that telling people what they can and cannot drink is going to be the right thing to do.”

Main pointed out that the ban does not apply to refills.

“You can sit in the restaurant and have a 16 ounce glass and they refill it four times during the course of your meal,” she said.

The ban also does not apply to fruit juices.

“Which is kind of interesting in that it has more sugar sometimes than soda. It’s naturally occurring sugar versus the added sugar that we’re going to see in our sodas,” she said.

Under Bloomberg’s proposal, there wouldn’t by any restrictions on diet sodas or beverages with less than 25 calories per ounce.

Listen to Main’s full interview:

Would this kind of ban help combat obesity? Do you think something like this could work in the Metro Detroit region? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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