But, Elbel said, if the tide of the obesity epidemic is to be turned, government will necessarily be involved.
"A lot of what is influencing obesity is not that suddenly consumers just became weak-willed and started eating a lot," he explained. A lot of it has to do with the availability of large portions of unhealthy foods everywhere people look.
"Given that's what is driving a lot of obesity, it's hard to imagine a scenario where that gets better without some government intervention," Elbel noted.
"There are always going to be tradeoffs between individual choice and liberty and the government's role in protecting the health of its citizens, and the larger social and economic impact obesity can have," he said.
This is a policy that directly attacks portion size, Elbel stated.
"If you are a consumer who wants a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages, you can still do that; this just makes it a little more of a hassle to do so," he added. "For consumers who aren't so driven by that want for 32 ounces, it could have some positive impact on their health."
Commenting on the report, Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, said: "While some of the strong reactions to Mayor Bloomberg's proposed ban on large sodas in New York City may suggest otherwise, neither the Mayor nor anyone else in public health cares about beverage size, per se.
"The real issue here is the calories feeding the obesity epidemic, and what actionable steps will help slow their seemingly inexorable flow," Katz said.
"The analysis by Elbel and colleagues suggests that, under most likely scenarios, calorie consumption would decline if the policy were implemented. Of course, this analysis cannot predict all potential responses, such as an increase in calories from other sources, but it does lend the weight of at least pre
All rights reserved