Americans Would Vote Against NYC Soda Ban, Poll Says

A glass of soda with ice in it.
(Image credit: Soda photo via Shutterstock)

The majority of Americans reject the idea of putting a limit on the size of soda drinks served in restaurants, according to a new Gallup poll.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they would vote against a limit on large sizes of sugary drinks in restaurants, while 30 percent were in favor of the proposal, the nationally representative poll found.

Democrats were more likely than Republicans to support the law. People who earn less than $24,000 yearly were more likely than higher-earners to back the limit, and whites were less likely than other racial groups to support the proposal.

Liberals were more likely than moderates and conservatives to support the measure.

The poll asked: "Suppose that on Election Day you could vote on key issues as well as candidates. Would you vote for or against a law that would limit the size of soft drinks and other sugary beverages served in restaurants to no more than 16 ounces?"

The soda ban proposed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help reduce diabetes and obesity rates was struck down by a court in March before taking effect. The court said the law had too many loopholes, was arbitrary, and was unfair to some manufacturers and businesses. Bloomberg's office has appealed the decision.

Critics of the law say putting a limit on what people choose to consume is beyond the scope of the government should do, while proponents warn against alarming obesity rates and other health concerns associated with increasingly large food and sugary drinks portions. In the United States, about 25.6 million people older than 20 (11.3 percent of adults population) have diabetes and more than one-third (35.7 percent) are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the Gallup poll, even in those groups that were more likely than others to support the ban, the majority of people still said they would vote against the law. For example among Democrats, 62 percent voted against, compared with 37 percent in favor.  

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Bahar Gholipour
Staff Writer
Bahar Gholipour is a staff reporter for Live Science covering neuroscience, odd medical cases and all things health. She holds a Master of Science degree in neuroscience from the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris, and has done graduate-level work in science journalism at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She has worked as a research assistant at the Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives at ENS.