Boston considering soda ban in city buildings
BOSTON -- Boston, the city that has already banned smoking in bars and trans-fats in restaurants, now wants to keep sugary drinks out of city-owned buildings.
Boston received a federal grant for $12 million to take concrete steps to fight obesity and to cut down on the consumption of the sugary drinks.
“It’s just getting to be too much. It’s a legal substance. I have a tough time with that,” said Mike Norman, who opposes the soda sale ban.
The city has convened health, education, and housing leaders to develop a policy that aims to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas and other beverages.
"We don't want government to dictate our lives and decide whether or not we should be purchasing various things. If soda is legal to purchase, then we should be able to purchase it," said Gene Babon.
But in an effort to fight obesity, the city is looking at cutting choices.
“I think there will be an effort made to really reduce the sale of sugar sweetened beverages. In city buildings I think it will happen, in educational institutions,” said Barbara Ferrer, the Boston Public Health Commissioner.
Firefighters on Cambridge Street have soda machines outside their station, and the coolers in the City Hall deli have been stocked. Now the Boston public health officials see the drinks as a danger, and the machines may be removed, or stocked with only water and diet drinks.
"I think everybody likes a soda now and then. I mean you can't have Red Bull, you can't have Gatorade, you can't have this. It's kinda like they're controlling a little too much on that end of it," said Matthew Bucala.
Others don’t mind the idea.
“No, I don’t mind because I’m not really a soda drinker so it doesn’t matter,” said Nancy Patterson, a secretary.
Mayor Tom Menino is backing the soda ban after quitting drinking soda last year. Once a decision is made a public education campaign will be held.
(Copyright (c) 2010 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)