Posted at: 09/16/2012 7:55 PM
By: Brittany Lewis
Will New Health Measures Work?
(ABC 6 News) -- Obesity rates are an issue across the country leaving many wondering what can be done about it.
In New York City, some measures are being taken that some are calling extreme: it is now illegal to sell sodas and sugary drinks over 16 ounces. And McDonald's announced Wednesday it will start putting calorie counts on their menus. But will these things work?
"There is virtually no health benefit to regular soda," said Dr. Donald Hensrud, an obesity expert and Dietician at Mayo Clinic.
On Thursday, the New York City Board of Health approved a ban on the sale of any soda or sugary drink over the size of 16 ounces in places like restaurants, cafeterias, and concession stands. But will the ban help fight obesity? Dr. Hensrud says yes.
"It seems to be a very reasonable thing to help control the epidemic of obesity that's controlling this country," he said.
Dr. Hensrud says give or take a 32 oz soda has around 400 calories and a 44 oz soda has around 550 calories. So essentially, if you are drinking a 32 oz soda, it is the same as eating a half a stick of butter.
"From a nutritional stand point-the less soda the better," he added.
New York City is the first city in the nation to adopt such a ban. But they aren't the only place putting an emphasis on health. On Wednesday, McDonald's announced they would start posting calorie counts on all menus- making them the largest chain in the country to do so.
"Might be a little shocking to find out how much is in there anyway," said Linda Cooper.
She eats at McDonald's about once or twice a month. But knowing how many calories they are consuming, won't decide what they eat.
"I don't know, I guess we just kind, I don't know we just don't want to take the time to figure all of that out," she added.
Soon, many more restaurants will be posting calorie counts. Under the new health care bill, all restaurants with more than 20 locations, will have to post calorie counts on their menus. A deadline is not yet set for those restaurants.