Teeth around New York City are celebrating a new soda policy advocated by mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The policy, approved by the New York City Board of Health, will ban sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces in any business receiving a grade from the health department. It is scheduled to go into effect in March of next year.
Although the new ban is politically unpopular and divides New Yorkers, the ban achieves the important goal of creating a much-needed discussion about the health risks posed by the increasing amount of sugar intake in Americans’ diets.
William Calnon, the president of the American Dental Association, said of the policy: “The attention alone that the mayor’s ban has generated on this issue is certainly a huge step in the right direction.” The specifics of the policy themselves may be questionable, but the dire situation of the nation’s increasing health problems needs to be addressed and the New York City ban is an important part of that discussion.
Apart from the contribution that large sugary drinks make to the national obesity problem, they also harm teeth. Calnon added, “From a dental perspective, a steady diet of sugary foods and drinks, including juice and sports drinks, can damage teeth. Cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acids that attack tooth enamel for up to 20 minutes after you eat or drink.
While people were complaining about the limitation on their rights to buy what they wish, their teeth were almost certainly celebrating.
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