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News Tip: Experts Differ on Merits of New York City's Proposed Ban on Large Sodas
Editor's Note: Adds Gary Bennett quote, changes headline.
On Wednesday, New York City officials announced plans to ban the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, as part of an effort to combat rising obesity.
Associate professor of the practice of public policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University.
Krupp's primary fields are international trade and finance, and econometrics and statistics. Her research interests are in the general area of industrial organization and international trade.
"The idea of banning the sale of large sodas in an attempt to reduce obesity is silly. Making large sizes unavailable will not stop people from buying multiple sodas; it will just inconvenience them. The root causes of obesity are far deeper and more complex than just soda consumption, and targeting a particular industry is unfair. What's next? Limiting the size of potato chip bags to five chips?
"Requiring that candy bars only come in bite sizes? I don't believe this will be an effective tool in combating obesity."
Associate professor of psychology and global health, Duke University
Bennett, a clinical psychologist and social epidemiologist, is an expert on obesity, weight loss and physical activity.
"During the past half decade, there has been mounting interest in identifying policy strategies to contend with the obesity epidemic. To that end, New York is taking an important symbolic step in reducing the availability of large portions of sugar-sweetened beverages. There is absolutely no nutritional benefit to these beverages and their overconsumption is a major driver of our nation's weight problem.
"That said, the measure is unlikely to be effective. A host of other policy strategies -- particularly a sugar sweetened beverage tax -- have greater potential to reduce the overconsumption of sugar sweetened beverages. There is little evidence to suggest that a partial ban will have much more than a symbolic effect, particularly since the policy doesn't address purchases made in supermarkets and other food stores. Moreover, this measure is likely to heighten concerns about government intrusion and may jeopardize the ability to introduce more comprehensive -- and potentially more effective -- obesity prevention policies."