Over the course of the semester, we have discussed the consumption of sugary drinks, especially in large quantities, and how it is bad for an individual’s health. Previously, in New York City, there was a proposed bill to ban the sales of sugary beverages in cups larger than 16 ounces. So, shouldn’t we, barring any philosophical qualms about freedom of choice, ban large amounts of soda from being sold and consumed?
Not so fast, says one PLOS study; as a matter of fact, the soda ban would lead to a larger consumption of sugary drinks than not having any ban at all, according to Ryan Jaslow in an article he wrote for CBS News. The PLOS study had a randomized trial consisting of 100 participants testing-the null hypothesis that sugary beverage consumption is not going to change with or without the ban, and the alternative hypothesis that the soda ban is going to cause people to consume a different volume of sugary beverages. The PLOV study stated that there would be a greater chance of businesses just offering bundled drinks if they are unable to sell the larger ones. In the experiment conducted, the participants were offered three kinds of soda menus; menu one had three different sized soft drinks: a 16oz for $1.59, a 24oz for $1.79, and a 32oz for $1.99. Menu two had one drink on it – the 16oz soft drink for $1.59. Finally, the third menu had three drinks options on it as well, but none of them exceeded the 16oz limit. The first drink was 16oz for $1.59, the second drink was a set of two 12oz drinks for $1.79, and the third option was a set of two 16oz drinks for $1.99. The researchers at PLOS observed that people had bought more soda from the bundles on the third menu than the individual drinks of equivalent volume and price on the first menu. Ironically enough, David Just, a behavioral economics professor at Cornell, stated that the majority of people usually buy a regular sized soda, but in this experiment, people are buying larger volumes of soda although they are in smaller cups.
After examination, it is at that point to decide to accept or reject the null/alternative hypothesis. At first glance, we should reject the null hypothesis because people drank more sugary beverages from the newest menu option restaurants would have available; however, the sample size was somewhat small, consisting of 100 people. In the end, however, sugary beverages are not good for you, and the chance that the soda ban may in fact have an inverse effect and increase the rate at which people drink sugary drinks is an unnecessary risk to take.