NAACP Against the Soda Ban

Friday, January 25, 2013

soda ban The city shows just how much sugar is in different sizes of drinks. (Fred Mogul/WNYC)

The NAACP came out against Mayor Bloomberg's ban on large, sugary drinks. WNYC's Fred Mogul and Keli Goff, The Root's political correspondent and writer for their Blogging The Beltway blog, discuss why the NAACP has taken this position.


Keli Goff and Fred Mogul

Comments [30]

The NAACP sided with soda industry on the large soda ban issue. They have gone from civil rights to soft drinks. Share your thoughts on this and other news and opinion at the Voices in the Dark comic strip

Mar. 26 2013 11:23 AM
ali from Chicago

It appears Keli Goff was brought on for this topic because she is black. It was even more clear however that she does not know anything about public health, small business, industry, or anything relevant to the topic. Her commentary was utterly vapid. This discussion deserved someone who could offer substantive input rather than a professional mouthpiece who simply ran her mouth.

Feb. 08 2013 07:12 PM
carolita from nyc

It's a step in the right direction, but it would be even better if everyone worked to ban corn syrup sugar from ALL soft drinks, as it's a health hazard. I'm surprised WNYC hasn't been more on top of that, because someone actually brought that up once on a show. I can't remember which one, but it's a proven fact that corn syrup fructose affects the human body in ways that ordinary sugar does not, and results in higher rates of obesity. Look it up. Look up corn syrup and the scarring of the liver, or corn syrup and metabolism, appetite regulation. It's out there for everyone to know.

Jan. 28 2013 06:09 PM

I came upon the 1:00 A.M. re-broadcast - so refreshing to hear the privileged voice of the educated class raised in the determination of what's good for the less well off, people of color in this city. Hopefully the energy of that young women will be translated into the better life she imagines for the downtrodden. Thank you Ms."Kapo".

Jan. 26 2013 02:06 AM


I actually should have put this in my last post. A measure that would have been more effective is to make restaurants post beverage sizes (by ounce) and calorie counts for each size. The real reason why the Food & Beverage industry are against such a measure is that they are actually charging you more for less beverage. What the industry never told you is that they've been decreasing the size of beverages for years but not decreasing the price. A bottle of soda used to be 20oz... now its 16.9oz. The size of a half gallon of Tropicana used to be 64oz... now its 59oz. The large cup at McDonalds used to be 32oz... now its 28oz. The industry wants us to think that we're getting "value" for these drinks but we're really not.

Also, its time to stop this notion that the industry is "forcing" you to buy their products. NO THEY ARE NOT!!! Once I realized that a "small" at the movie theater was a quart of soda and a week's worth of popcorn, I stopped buying at the concession stand. I used to buy a bottle of soda but realized that I never finished it - so I stopped buying bottles of soda. Key phrase here - "I STOPPED BUYING." One glorious day, Americans will realize that you don't need to consume everything corporations give you.
Stop being distracted by the nonsense and start paying attention to what's going on, including what you are putting in your mouth.

Jan. 25 2013 12:37 PM

As an African American who drinks soda, my only problem with the large soda ban is that it really doesn't do what the law intends: encourage people to drink less sugary drinks. The fact that you will still be able to get a Big Gulp or buy a beverage at a food establishment that has ten times the sugar content as soda BUT is made up of 51% milk really diminished the viability and effectiveness of the law.

First, I agree with the first caller. Obesity rates in the US began to increase with the production of corn syrup. The food industry used cane sugar for decades - then HCFS was invented, which costs 1/10 of the price of sugar. The corporations never looked back.

Second, the smoking ban did not get people to quit. This is one of the biggest myths going. The smoking ban just moved smokers from inside bars and restaurants to the sidewalks. That's it!

Jan. 25 2013 12:17 PM

Sigh -- no one gets it. The soda industry is forcing us to buy supersized products, this just makes them offer reasonable sized options. The reason why we didn't get fat on soda when we were kids was because we drank out of 6 and 8 oz glasses. I had the misfortune of seeing how Coca Cola operated up close and personal. They had zero interest in helping nutrition. Instead of putting money into programs that would increase access to FOODS rich in vitamin A for programs in developing areas, they wanted to make sugary soft drinks fortified with vitamin A. Hoffmann La Roche paid for a bunch of nutrition experts to advise policy for Brazil on vitamin A and they basically threw out all the recommendations of the experts and put their names on what they wanted the policy to be. No nutrition program should be linked with the food industry, even if it is purely for education. The conflicts of interest are too great.

Jan. 25 2013 12:02 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

How about discussing the fact that this can be publicly regulated because this begets a public health burden (including all associated funding)?

Jan. 25 2013 12:00 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

John, we agree to agree.

Jan. 25 2013 11:59 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

To the caller from the Bronx: So her soda break is demeaned by not being able to drink 32 oz. at a time? That's rather hollow logic.

If you really wanted to demonstrate your compassion for this neighbor, help her with the myriad other responsibilities someone obese and diabetic (and caring for a special needs child) cannot do for herself.

Jan. 25 2013 11:59 AM
Emmanuel from Bronx

Sorry I left a salient detail out in my previous comment

An editorial recently published in the NYTimes not only called the basis of public health scare "thoroughly unscientific" but discovered a decrease in morbidity for obese people by 6% as compared to people of "normal" weight.

Jan. 25 2013 11:58 AM
JN from Manhattan

I'm offended by the position of the NAACP! First if all, the bodegas and small stores NEED to carry healthier beverages such as teas and waters. This, to me, is similar to Beyonce being appointed the new spokesperson for Pepsi. It's a sell out for big bucks.

Jan. 25 2013 11:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

The doctor who kept saying "calories are calories, sugar is sugar" did say fructose is different (which the Center for Science in the Public Interest disagrees with) from glucose (not sucrose, which includes both).

Soft drink co's. do make sodas that are free of corn syrup--every Passover, when there's a large market for them.

Jan. 25 2013 11:58 AM

If sodas are 15-20% of a bodega's profits, doesn't the limitation technically benefit them? They would make slightly more profit on 2 smaller sodas as opposed to a giant one.

Jan. 25 2013 11:57 AM
Stephanie from New York City

It's tricky in that it may disadvantage small businesses like our bodegas. But in the end, it's hijacking civil rights for corporate products. How can we trust these organizations to look out for our interests, when funding sources clouds the sincerity of the debate? I've seen this over and over again with groups who get funding from the soda industry- they are afraid to speak out because of funding ties. In the end, the human cost of ill health should triumph in how this is handled. Work with the small businesses to help them market replacement products. And fix that exemption loophole!

Jan. 25 2013 11:55 AM
john from office

Sheldon, I agree. I did not omit them on purpose.

Jan. 25 2013 11:55 AM
Maggie from Brooklyn

Don't most bodegas sell normal-sized sodas?

Jan. 25 2013 11:55 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The caller again is wrong. Bloomberg's so-call soda ban DOES NOT affect most bodegas.

Jan. 25 2013 11:55 AM
oscar from ny

Please sweet Jesus make time go fast so this mayor can go back to his little paradise away from the laws of the city of 12 years this man came up with the idea to ban soda,..what an sardonic idea, after all the things you can fix this guy picked something so ridiculous..what is he thinking??... please go away and take your dumb ideas with you, idk i hope you find a great lover so he can fulfill your emptiness, take yourself out of the picture, we don't love you, we don't need you,...take your lovers and go to that island you go to when the weather gets bad in NY...we're simply tired of your ideas that make no sense in a city that's struggling to overcome adversity...

Jan. 25 2013 11:54 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

So I guess that old argument about how bodega ownership is underrepresented by minorities has been cast aside for this "greater good."

Jan. 25 2013 11:54 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

John - obesity is even worst for Hispanics (East Harlem/Bronx has some of the highest diabetes rates in the City) The so-called "Hispanic federation" should be ashamed of themselves too

Jan. 25 2013 11:53 AM

Emmanuel, that was one poorly designed study that didn't look at the MORBIDITY of increasing diabetes and heart disease. It was observational, not experimental.

Jan. 25 2013 11:52 AM
Robert from NYC

So have a bored you to death yet with this, it's not up to government to make drinking something that's unhealty illegal. It's up to government to educate people as to why is it unhealthy to drink or eat something that's unhealthy. Education, Ed-u-ca-tion. Educate folks why they should not drink and eat things with lots of sugar in them.

Jan. 25 2013 11:50 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

It's a false argument, most bodegas aren't supervised by the health dept, so it's just a shill.

Jan. 25 2013 11:50 AM
john from office

I was on the subway today and saw the result of all this suger on African Americans. I see it every day, it is a crisis and the NAACP should be ashamed.

Maybe they can speak out in favor of smoking too.

Jan. 25 2013 11:50 AM
JB from NJ

Did she just say Stevie Wonder could connect those dots? Wow.

Jan. 25 2013 11:50 AM
Emmanuel from Emmanuel

I don't know if the wnyc staff caught this but scientific evidence recently published in the nytimes points finds a decrease in morbidity for obese people by 6% as compared to people of "normal" weight.

Jan. 25 2013 11:50 AM

Thank you for taking on this issue Brian. I personally am delighted that there is now a choice of SMALLER sodas so that my middle schooler can have a SMALL soda every now and again, rather than HUGE sodas. I have to say, my son always shops at the little shops and I would be happier if there were healthier options. The Mayor should have pitched this not as a SODA ban, but as increasing the options for "SMALLER" portions. This is the same situation as the Nestle donations to Mayor Booker. Shame on the NAACP for championing large portion sizes.

Jan. 25 2013 11:50 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

How is Coca-Cola's big donation to the NAACP not unlike the Koch brothers giving the teabaggers funding to fight their interests?

Jan. 25 2013 11:49 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Regardless of what one's opinion is of Bloomberg's so-called soda "ban" - or more accurately - soda restriction; for the NAACP, not just being verbally against the soda restrictions but to join the lawsuit against it, is beyond disappointing.

Considering the devastating impact obesity and diabetes have on Americans, especially in minority communities, the NAACP's stance, is a disgrace. Mr Jealous or someone, is being paid off somewhere by the soda companies.

Will the NAACP defend scratch off tickets and cigarettes too?

Jan. 25 2013 11:46 AM

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