Boston city officials are reportedly considering a move to prohibit or restrict sugar-sweetened beverages sold on city-owned property as a way of combatting obesity. The city, which has already prohibited smoking in restaurants and bars and trans fat in fast food restaurants and bakeries, recently convened health, education and housing leaders to develop a policy to reduce sugary beverage consumption. While such a policy has yet to be officially drafted, Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, told a news source that such a move seemed inevitable based on the city’s earlier promise to fight obesity by decreasing sweetened soda consumption through “counter-advertising and policy change.”
Ferrer was quoted as saying that she expects public resistance to the potential ban because people view soft drinks differently from tobacco. “I think we’re going to run into a big issue of people saying, ‘Why would you take away our sodas, why are you interfering with what we’re eating and drinking?’ Unlike tobacco that is always harmful and if a person is smoking in the workplace it harms other people, I think people will look at sugar-sweetened beverages differently,” she said. See The Boston Globe, September 20, 2010.