Is Seattle coming for your Big Gulps next?

at 12:19 PM ET, 06/07/2012

The Atlantic’s Eric Jaffe uses our history of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s many public health crusades - and their take-up across the country - to game out which city might be the next one to ban large sodas. Congrats, Seattle, you’re the winner!

From an outdoor smoking ban to required postings of calorie counts, Seattle has implemented just about every public-health policy that Bloomberg has dreamed up. Albany is a close runner up: the capital of New York State also has pursued all four of Bloomberg’s successful public health crusades, but has done so at a slightly slower pace than Seattle.

Is a soda ban in Seattle imminent? While the city has proved amenable to some public health ordinances, it has proved resistant to others.

In 2011, Washington State voted down a soda tax that had been approved by the legislature. Back in 2008, when bans on plastic bags were just coming into vogue, the Seattle City Council approved a 20-cent tax on the disposable bags. Seattleites were none too pleased: One survey found 63 percent of the city’s residents opposed the tax, which was later overturned by a voter referendum.

 
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