Some vendors are complaining that Mayor Gavin Newsom’s executive order forbidding Coke, Pepsi, Fanta Orange, and other calorically sweetened drinks from being sold in vending machines on city property is going to have a negative impact on their bottom line. According to the Mayor’s office, however, a cafe’s bottom line’s less of a concern than the size of your, well, you know…
The directive, issued by Newsom in April of this year, bans non-diet sodas, sports drinks, and artificially sweetened water. The directive also asserts that fruit juices must be 100 percent pure fruit or vegetable juice, banning drinks with added sweeteners. Furthermore, the directive puts restrictions on the ratio of diet sodas to other drinks: diet sodas can account for no more than 25 percent of the drinks and snacks in a vending machine.
The order represents Newsom’s effort to tackle San Francisco’s obesity pandemic. Michelle Obama is leading a similar campaign to tackle the national obesity crisis. The severity of obesity can be seen in the 100,000 preventable deaths each year in America, caused by obesity. A study at UCLA shows a direct correlation between soft drinks consumed and risk of obesity: adults who consume at least one soda or soft drink a day are 27 percent more likely to suffer from obesity.
While some people find the new order to be proscriptive, such as the executive director of the California / Nevada Soft Drink Association, San Francisco is not the first to try and implement new health standards by vending machine regulation. San Francisco follows a slightly less strict policy enforced in Santa Clara County.
Those being immediately impacted by the directive are owners or managers of caf?s or vending machines. These managers are concerned that the new standards will cause significant losses in profit, as soft drinks are typically the most popular and best selling.
“There’s a direct link between what people eat and drink and the obesity and health care crises in this country,” Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker told the Chronicle. “It’s entirely appropriate and not at all intrusive for city government to take steps to discourage the sale of sugary sodas on city property.”