Soda law ruling best for consumers and retailers, says economist

David Just, food marketing and economics expert and professor at Cornell University’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, says the decision by New York’s highest court to not reinstate laws limiting the size of sodas sold in New York City is the right choice. 

Just says: 

“It is amusing how much effort the city has put in to a policy that could at most reduce calorie consumption by one half of one percent. This policy only affects soda consumption away from home. It is not the guy who indulges in soda at the ballpark or the movies that is the problem. It’s the habitual soda drinkers.

“From the beginning this policy was based on a flawed understanding of the behavioral science. People consume less when served less. This is true. But the opposite tends to happen when they are served less against their will. Then they seek out the opportunity to buy two sodas instead of one – or they overcompensate by drinking more when they get home or ordering dessert items.

“This policy was designed in a way that would have little impact while making both consumers and retailers angry.”

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