By Zipporah Cruz, age 10

Various beverage sizes at a 7-11 convenience store. This article’s headline comes
from a statement made by its author at an IndyKids editorial meeting.

The New York City Board of Health has recently approved a ban on oversized drinks. This ban will make restaurants stop serving drinks that are more than 16 ounces. Some businesses, like 7-11 and convenience stores, will not be affected. However, some restaurants, like Burger King, will have to make some serious changes, as their smallest drink is 20 ounces. Also affected by the ban are movie theatre concession stands, delis and food carts. So, although these drinks will be banned in many places, they will still be served somewhere. The ban has many everyday New Yorkers giving different opinions. Alex Donato, a manager at the Times Square McDonald’s, said that “[the ban] is a good thing for people and it will help people…”

According to CBS News, this ban is a result of long-standing warnings from health advocates and doctors of a link between obesity and sugar-sweetened drinks.

There have been few well-controlled studies to examine this issue, or confirm Mayor Bloomberg’s theory. One study that supports Mayor Bloomberg’s theory was done by Dr. David Ludwig, the director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at the Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Ludwig did a study that involved 224 overweight ninth and tenth graders who were sugary beverage drinkers. The students were divided into two groups; the first group had their sugary drinks swapped for non-caloric drinks like water, flavored water and diet drinks for one year. The other group did not receive non-caloric drinks but received a $50 gift card to use at a supermarket for four to eight months. This study affirms Mayor Bloomberg’s reasoning that simply swapping drinks promotes good health: the group who had their drinks swapped gained four less pounds over the course of the yearlong study than the group who received the gift cards.

The ban will take effect as of March 2013, and by June, those who do not comply will be fined.