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FILE - This Thursday, May 31, 2012 file photo shows a display of various size soft drink cups next to stacks of sugar cubes at a news conference at New York FILE - This Thursday, May 31, 2012 file photo shows a display of various size soft drink cups next to stacks of sugar cubes at a news conference at New York's City Hall. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)  

D.C. Council members float large sugary drink ban

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

Could large sugary drinks in the District of Columbia one day go the way of well, large sugary drinks in New York City? Some members of the D.C. Council hope so.

No action has been taken restrict the size of beverages, however, D.C. Council members have voiced their support of a ban similar to New York City’s large sweetened beverage restriction, and others are mulling the idea.

During a recent debate between the candidates for the District’s at-large council seats, Councilmembers Michael Brown and Vincent Orange, said they would vote in favor of such a ban, according to WTOP.

Councilmember Mary Cheh, who lost an attempt to pass a tax on soda and sugary drinks by a single vote was “very excited by that” telling WTOP that “if I could get the votes to do it I would certainly try to put that in place.”

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Councilmember Tommy Wells both noted they would be open to the idea, and Mayor Vince Gray added that he had not “taken a position on that one way or another,” WTOP reported, pointing out that some councilmembers like, Jack Evans and Muriel Bowser, are still skeptical of such a restriction.

New York City’s Board of Health approved Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s measure to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in early September in an attempt to help alleviate the obesity crisis.

To be sure, should the D.C. Council take action, they are sure to get push back.

“It is just as ridiculous as New York’s ban for all the same reasons,” Keep Food Legal executive director Baylen Linnekin told The Daily Caller. ”Soda and sugary beverage consumption has been falling for over a decade and yet the obesity rate has been going up, so obviously soda is not the culprit there. That doesn’t mean people should drink 90 ounces of soda a day, but to pin everything on soda is a fiction that really will not make everyone healthier.”

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