Will D.C. Follow Big Apple’s Lead on Super-Sized Sodas?

By:  Michael Tennant
Will D.C. Follow Big Apple’s Lead on Super-Sized Sodas?

Several D.C. councilmembers, plus the district's mayor, recently expressed a willingness to consider a New York City-style ban on large-sized sugary drinks in the district.

Next March, barring a successful legal challenge from the soda industry, New York will become the first city in the United States to restrict sales of large-sized sugar-sweetened drinks.

Perhaps feeling as if their municipality is being left behind in the race to control people’s lives, several District of Columbia councilmembers recently expressed their desire, or at least willingness, to consider a similar law for the nation’s capital.

During an October 20 debate among four of the seven candidates for at-large council seats, moderator Mark Segraves of WTOP radio asked the candidates: “Would you support a law restricting large sugary sodas similar to what New York City just passed?”

Incumbents Michael Brown (I) and Vincent Orange (D) “said without hesitation they would vote to ban the sale of large drinks,” Segraves reports. The other two candidates, both challengers, were split on the issue, with independent David Grosso favoring the ban and Republican Mary Brooks Beatty opposing it, according to the Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis.

After the debate, Segraves put the same question to five other councilmembers and found varying degrees of enthusiasm for such a law among them. Only one flatly refused to countenance such interference in individuals’ beverage consumption.

“I’m very excited by that [ban],” Councilmember Mary Cheh (D) told Segraves. “If I could get the votes to do it I would certainly try to put that in place.”

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Photo of soft drinks and sugar cubes illustrating sugar content: AP Images

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