For all his efforts over the past few years, Michael Nutter has so far been unsuccessful in rehabbing Philadelphia’s soda addiction. But if his speech this week at the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Inaugural National Soda Summit is any indicator, the mayor hasn’t abandoned the fight just yet.
His proposal last summer to impose a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on soda was met with all kinds of backlash and eventually dismissed. As Philadelphia Weekly reports, he’s gone it alone, anyway, using federal stimulus money to launch an an anti-soda poster campaign, “asking consumers to think twice before purchasing their beverage of choice.”
It seems that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent proposal to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces may have rekindled our own mayor’s drive to get us to lay off soda. Nutter delivered the keynote address at the Soda Summit this week, saying the Bloomberg measure is a “bold strategy” and “worth evaluating and considering.”
“Studies have shown that people eat what is served to them. Perhaps, if offered smaller portions people would consume less,” he said. “The problem, which Mayor Bloomberg has clearly noted, is that ridiculously large portions have become the norm—20 or 24 oz. sugary drinks are common.”
Nutter went on to say that “taxes can play a role in adjusting consumer choices. Mayor Bloomberg’s idea of a serving-size ban could help reduce consumption.” So the question is: Will he try to reintroduce a soda tax here in Philly? If not a tax, maybe a cap on serving size, a la Bloomberg’s proposal?
Be Wellers, do you think this is something the government should regulate to begin with? If so, do you have any brilliant ideas for how Nutter and his administration should address it? I’m betting he’s open to any and all suggestions right about now.
Check out Nutter’s full speech at the Soda Summit over on Philebrity, then leave your thoughts and comments below.
P.S. CNN’s crying foul on the whole thing. The network aired a story this morning, talking about how Nutter delivered the anti-soda speech a day after cutting the ribbon at Center City’s new Shake Shack, where a milkshake contains 69 grams of sugar, the equivalent of about 17 teaspoons of the sweet stuff. Not surprisingly, the word “hypocrisy” gets thrown around. A lot.