Medical Weight Loss Clinic of Tri-State Blog

Should You Be Told What to Drink?

February 15th, 2016 by

“All the credible evidence highlights that, as a nation, we are consuming too much sugar in our diet.”

From what you continuously hear, if I asked you what nation this person is referring to your first guess would most likely be the United States. Correct? However this quote shows that obesity is a global problem just as much as it is a domestic one.

The person that said this was Amanda Avery, the vice-chair of Dietitians in Obesity Management for the British Dietetic Association (BDA), think of them as the UK’s Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Amanda was commenting about a statement made by the BDA suggesting new policies be implemented in an effort to stymie the over-consumption of sugary drinks throughout the United Kingdom.

Polices entailed amongst other things:

  • A range of public policies to reduce the frequency and amount of sugary drinks consumed by children and adolescents
  • Tax on sugary drinks
  • School based education programs

If this sounds familiar, it should. New York City issued a policy in 2013 on soft drinks. Even though the court of appeals denied the policy to proceed in 2014, the reasons for its implementation have a striking resemblance to our friends across the pond.  “A historic step to address a major health problem of our time,” was the words of Former New York Health Commissioner, Thomas Farley.

Some may argue that there is overreaching in attempts to regulate what someone actually eats or drinks, but can it be argued that their heart is in the right place? Obesity is a growing epidemic in the United Kingdom, and over half the adults in New York City are overweight, as well as 40 percent of kids in public school. However, the “ask for forgiveness, not permission” approach may not be the best way to go about convincing people to eat healthier.

You have to wonder if efforts maybe better invested if we continue to create ways to teach people how to eat healthier and covering all bases of a healthy diet as oppose to just focusing on one part of it. What do you think