Mayor Bloomberg’s ban of sodas larger than 16 ounces to suppress obesity rates has caused an uprising, with some of its prominent opponents including The American Beverage Association and Jon Stewart. As I sit here drinking my Sprite Zero, I cannot help but feel grateful that this ban will not directly affect me. This ban only applies to non-diet sodas, completely forgoing other high caloric drinks such as fruit juices, milkshakes, and alcoholic beverages, leaving a multitude of alternatives available. Now, instead of purchasing a 240 calorie 20 ounce Coca-Cola at McDonald’s, I can buy a Dairy Queen 570 calorie small chocolate milkshake. As Jon Stewart mentions on The Daily Show, before banning large sodas, New York needs to address its infestation of Bubba Gumps and Olive Gardens.
Because Bloomberg’s ban does not prohibit refills and multiple servings, it may be slightly effective, by forcing individuals to burn calories from multiple trips to the soda fountain.
In response to Bloomberg’s soda ban, The American Beverage Association (ABA) has launched a campaign using statistical evidence to prove that soda consumption does not cause obesity. ABA states that sugar-sweetened beverages make up only 7% of the average diet, suggesting that the other 93% may play a more significant role in rising obesity rates. To quote a woman drinking a 32 ounce Sprite, “I’m sorry, but if you want to be obese you want to be obese.”
We believe that the three most important aspects of crisis communication are validating concerns, showing action, and controlling the narrative. By presenting a unified, multimedia counter campaign, ABA has prevented the eruption of further crises.
Post below to let us know what you think of Bloomberg’s soda ban. Will it be effective? How well is the ABA fighting Bloomberg’s soda ban?