Restaurants Making Changes On The Eve of NYC Sugary Drink Ban

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
NYC Dunkin Donuts makes changes for upcoming sugar drink ban.NYC Dunkin Donuts makes changes for upcoming sugar drink ban.

A New York City ban on the selling of sugary drinks, including some coffee beverages over 16 ounces in size, goes into effect on Tuesday. The restriction championed by Mayor Bloomberg has some restaurants and beverage companies scrambling. The city says it won’t enforce violations for three months while restaurants get acclimated to the change. Violating the code could carry a $200 fine.

Dunkin’ Donuts will instruct customers to flavor and sweeten their own beverages. Other restaurants are ordering small cups or squeezing new sugar-free drinks onto menus.  Coca-Cola posted placards explaining the new rules to consumers.

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ will no longer serve 24-ounce tumblers of soda. "Everything we do is big, so serving it in a quaint little 16-ounce soda cups is going to look kind of odd," owner Josh Lebowitz said. 

Critics say the ban will unfairly hurt local business. Because many supermarkets and convenience stores like 7-Eleven are outside of the city’s control, they can still sell 20-ounce non-diet drinks.

A poll by Quinnipiac University found that 51 percent of New Yorkers opposed the ban, while 46 percent approved.

Officials say the ban is part of a plan to tackle obesity rates in the city that have gone up from 18 to 24 percent in the last decade.

"I don't know if the state should be our surrogate parent," Peter Sarfaty, 71, told Huffington Post as he drank a diet soda. "You get the information out there, but to tell people what they can or can't do? As if it's going to stop them."

Source: Huffington Post