NRA Speaks Out About Beverage Ban In NYC

The National Restaurant Association takes a stance on the proposed large beverage ban in New York City.

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) spoke out at a public hearing on the proposed large beverage ban in New York.

The NRA told the New York Department of Health that it thinks the proposed ban is a misguided and ineffective tactic against obesity, and unfairly targets the restaurant industry. Joy Dubost, Ph.D., RD and NRA director of nutrition and healthy living, said there is no scientific evidence that restricting the size of beverage containers in restaurants will reverse the obesity epidemic.

“CDC data indicates the majority of people purchase their sugary drinks from convenience and grocery stores, which are excluded from the mayor’s proposal,” Dubost said. “Instead of demonizing sugar-sweetened beverages in restaurants and foodservice establishments in an attempt to reverse the obesity epidemic, we collectively must focus on policies and practices where there is evidence to indicate there will be a consumer behavioral change which leads to positive health outcomes.”

The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported more than 50% consumers purchased sugar-sweetened beverages were purchased in stores, not restaurants.

Scott DeFife, executive vice president of policy and government affairs for the NRA, said the restaurant industry is currently trying to combat the obesity epidemic, and that the large beverage ban is not the answer to the problem. 

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s proposed amendment of Article 81 of the New York City Health Code would prohibit the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in larger than 16-ounce containers at restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums, food carts and other venues. This includes sodas, coffees, teas, smoothies and lemonades.

The NRA is working with the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices coalition to educate policymakers and consumers on the proposed ban. The vote on the proposal is set for Sept. 13, 2012. 

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