Most Americans oppose ban on soft drinks

June 13, 2012

Almost two-thirds of respondents to a national Reuters/Ipsos poll said they would oppose any proposals to ban the public sale of large servings of sodas and sugary drinks.

The poll was sparked by a recent plan from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has proposed a ban on cups and bottles of certain sodas and sugar-sweetened beverages of at least 16 fluid ounces that are sold in the city's restaurants, sports arenas and street carts. The ban would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, alcoholic drinks and dairy-based drinks like milkshakes. It also would not apply to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores. The proposal, which is the first of its kind in the U.S., could take effect as early as next March if it is approved by the city's Board of Health.

According to the poll, more than 70% of respondents said they do not think such bans would affect obesity rates, one of the factors that Bloomberg cited for his proposal. Sixty-four percent of respondents said such ordinances are an example of government having too much control over consumers' personal dietary decisions. The poll was conducted online earlier this month and included responses from 977 adults nationwide (Weinger, Politico, 6/8; Heavey, Reuters, 6/8).

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