New Yorkers – not known for their reticence making their opinions known – gathered at the NYC Board of Health yesterday for a public hearing on the Mayor's controversial proposal to ban large-sized sodas and sugared drinks from restaurants, sports arenas, movie theatres, delis, and outdoor food vendors.

Nutrition experts and beverage industry reps showed up to face off about the proposed ban scheduled to take effect in September. OK, yes, it's only happening in New York City. Now. There are likely to be national repercussions. Look what happened with calorie counts on menus and smoking bans.

But back to soft drinks. Looking at our Customer Loyalty Engagement Index for Regular, i.e., sugared, sodas, here's how they rank when it comes to being "good for you," the category attribute, benefit, or value we have that comes closest to the health objections Mr. Bloomberg has raised with his proposal:

  1. Coke
  2. Sprite
  3. Pepsi
  4. 7-Up, Mountain Dew
  5. Dr. Pepper, Fanta

Nutritional experts and doctors, of course, favor the ban prohibiting the sale of any sugar-sweetened beverage over 16 ounces, arguing that large portions make it easy for people to over-consume and that over-drinking is easier than overeating. Critics cite this as another example of government over-reaching into people's lives. And when it comes to putting on weight, there are lots of products you could point to.

The spiritual teacher, Buddha, noted, "every human being is the author of his own health," a thought that might well be toasted by everyone. But given the circumstances, perhaps it would be best done with a glass of New York City's world-renowned drinking water!