Heading to the Big Apple this weekend and love a large sweetened coffee? You have until next Monday to indulge, the day before the city's rules on sugary drinks kick in.
The city's law states that baristas serving coffees larger than 16-oz. cannot add more than five packets of sugar, but customers can grab additional packets from in-store condiment islands. It does not desugar coffees containing more than 50 percent milk -- like lattes -- because the city considers milk to be a nutrient-dense drink. Also avoiding exemption from the number of packets baristas can add are Splenda, Equal, and Sweet 'n Low.
The New York City Board of Public Health ratified Bloomberg's prohibition of jumbo drinks last September -- a plan aimed at reducing obesity that gained grand applause from health professionals.
Karen Congro, a nutritionist and director of the Wellness for Life program at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, believed the policy would educate "pockets of the population" on proper serving sizes.
Other residents, like Eliot Hoff, think the ban represents a "gross government intrusion." He and other members of the group New Yorkers for Beverage Choices are considering legal action against the city.
The $200 fine to ban violators is forcing national-chain restaurants to think outside the packet: serve the coffees plain. Some businesses, like McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts, will ask patrons to sweeten their own beverages. Dunkin' is already trying to beat the ban bewilderment by handing out fliers describing what the regulations mean for customers.
The rule also limits the sale of sodas to 16-oz. It goes into effect next Tuesday.
UPDATE: NYC Supreme Court judge struck down the plan March 11, declaring Bloomberg superceded City Council duties and instead presented plan to the Board of Public Health. Currently, the ban is in the appeals process.