Addressing supersized sugary drink portion sizes: New York city's (NYC) portion cap rule
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
INTRODUCTION Sugary drinks have consistently been linked to weight gain, obesity and type 2 diabetes. In NYC, 30% of adults and 44% of children consume one or more sugary drinks daily. Portion sizes have steadily increased the original Coca-Cola bottle was 6.5 ounces, which is significantly smaller than the vast majority of sizes available for sale today. Numerous studies demonstrate larger portions lead to increased caloric intake. APPROACH To address excessive sugary drink consumption, the NYC Department of Health introduced an amendment to the City's Health Code requiring food service establishments to limit portion sizes of these beverages to 16 ounces or less. This rule defined sugary drinks as non-alcoholic beverages with > 25 calories/8 ounces, sweetened by the manufacturer/establishment, that contain no more than 50% milk. Following the amendment's introduction, there was a 6 week public comment period. RESULTS Over 38,000 comments were received 32,000 in support and 55 individuals testified at the public hearing. Supportive comments focused on obesity's health consequences and the positive health impact of the rule. Opposition to the rule questioned its health impact, feasibility and effect on consumer choice. The Board of Health approved the amendment in September 2012 by a vote of 8-0-1; it is scheduled to go into effect March 12, 2013, with a 3 month grace period from fines. DISCUSSION NYC's experience highlights the challenges local governments face when taking action to reduce sugary drink consumption. These include mobilizing stakeholders, addressing opposing arguments, and battling a well-funded, litigious industry.
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Explain the details of the NYC Portion Cap Rule.
Describe the process by which the Portion Cap Rule was passsed.
Discuss lessons learned from using a regulatory approach to reduce sugary drink consumption.
Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Obesity
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversaw all aspect of the development and implementation of the Portion Cap Rule in my capacity as the Director of Policy Development and Implementation for the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.