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ADA president: NYC sugary beverage ban raises national nutrition awareness

ADA President William Calnon praised the action of the New York City Board of Health Sept. 13 to ban the sale of large-sized sugared drinks.

“The American Dental Association applauds Mayor Michael Bloomberg for shining a spotlight on the issue of frequent and excessive consumption of soda and other sugary beverages which raises the risk of adverse health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and tooth decay,” said Dr. Calnon. “When it comes to a ban related to a particular food or beverage, is a stick rather than a carrot approach the best way to get people to adopt healthier diets? Perhaps not, but the attention alone that the mayor’s ban has generated on this issue is certainly a huge step in the right direction.”

The measure, proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in May, bans the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, street carts and movie theaters. It’s set to take effect in six months.

Targeted beverages include sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces—including energy drinks, presweetened iced teas and nondiet soda.

Fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, alcoholic beverages and no-calorie diet sodas would not be affected, but establishments with self-service drink fountains, like many fast-food restaurants, would not be allowed to stock cups larger than 16 ounces, according to a report in the New York Times.

Dr. Calnon emphasized that sugary beverages can damage consumers’ oral health and that the ADA has long been opposed to contractual arrangements between schools and soda manufacturers (known as “pouring rights contracts”) that influence consumption patterns and promote increased access to soft drinks for children.

Log on to www.ada.org/7124.aspx for the complete statement.