May 31st, 2012
07:35 AM ET

New York mayor wants big sugary drinks banned

If New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has his way, you won't be gulping down any 44-ounce Cokes at any of the Big Apple's eateries after March 2013.

Citing what he says is the contribution sugary beverages make to obesity in the U.S., Bloomberg says the buck, and the big Dr. Pepper, stops with him.

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible.’ New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something. I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do,” Bloomberg told The New York Times.

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His proposal would ban any the sale of any sugary beverage over 16 ounces in any of the city's restaurants, delis, movie theaters or even street carts, according to reports from New York.

Sales of sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces would still be permitted in supermarkets and convenience stores, according to the reports, including one from CNN affiliate NY1.

Bloomberg's ban would not apply to diet drinks, juices, milkshakes or alcohol, according to the NY1 report.

The New York City Beverage Association responded quickly Wednesday.

“There they go again. The New York City Health Department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top. The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates. It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity,” the group said in a statement, according to NY1.

According to the Times report, more than half of New York's adults are obese or overweight, and the city says more than 30% of its citizens drink at least one sweetened beverage daily.

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James Estrada, a 41-year-old truck driver from Queens, New York told the New York Post that it doesn't make sense to just ban large sizes for everyone.

“I’m 6-2, 230 pounds so . . . serving sizes don’t really apply to me,” Estrada told the Post. “I just know that’s not enough for me. I usually get a large because it’s a good deal and I take long trips. I don’t want to stop every hour for another drink.”

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If Bloomberg's plan goes through, there's still a way to drown yourself in Pepsi. The Times says while fast-food restaurants could only give out cups holding 16 ounces or less, free refills are allowed. So just plan for more trips to the soda bar.

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Filed under: Fast Food • Food • New York
soundoff (1,059 Responses)
  1. Herewegoagain

    Once again, those in government show they have nothing in common with us regular people. This ban will ban the sale of large sodas at the movies. My whole family shares one large because it's cheaper than buying multiple smalls. Now the government is going to make us spend more money and blame it on obesity? I buy large bottles and will poor a drink out of them for days. Why? Because it's cheaper than buying 4 cans! This is going too far and it will not have any effect on obesity.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Actually Herewegoagain, research has shown that sugars (in any amount) are actually bad for the human body. My family and I cut out all sugars, yes ALL sugars, from our diets about 3 months ago and we feel amazing....That one large soda that you and your family are sharing is probaly about 7-10 servings worth of soda and sugars...The fact remains that the average American doesn't understand the damage that sugar is doing to their body and it is going to take something drastic like banning all sugars before people begin to see the positive affects it will have.....

      May 31, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. scranton

    Starts at home with kids playing video games and watching television all the time. Contributing to this are parents that are incapable or too lazy to monitor their kids eating and exercising habits. Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper have always been around.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • 32rfqw36

      Its all that rock and roll music and dang nab it, those city kids and their flying machines.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. JDMAZZ

    Next up, laws for which god they think I should pray to, what color clothes I should be wearing. How many shoes I should own etc etc etc. How smart can NYers be? they live in NY!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  4. Shocked

    Really??? This is how you want to resolve obesity by controlling what people drink. What is next, anything over 400 calories can't be served. This land of free is becoming more and more controlled by the government, how about letting the people decide what to eat and drink. Instead of banning sodas, think of something positive you can do for obesity, provide free nutrition pamphlet, information on what kind of physical activities you can do if you are unable to go to gym.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. CNNuthin

    So now people will buy two drinks instead of one. At a movie theater, they will either buy two right away or miss part of the movie. At a restaurant, they will get the free refill and annoy the waiter with interruptions. At places like McDonalds, people will just go to the ones with free refills or have to order a second one. If this is health based, it assumes everyone is lazy or poor. If it is economics, it forces places to offer refills or risk losing customers. If it is to shut up a bunch of protesting parents who don't want their children getting diabetes, tell them to learn to parent or stop breeding. Don't put the decisions in the governments hands because you can't control yourself. And if you can control yourself, stop trying to control others.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

    I can't put my finger on it but for some reason I want Burger King all of a sudden.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. dazzle ©

    Bloomberg has run off the rail with this nonsense and one wonders where he is getting his marching orders from. The Government has no right telling the American populace what and how much they can consume. If a person makes a personal choice to consume these types of beverages, that is their right. I predict a retraction of this foolish law once the Chief Executives of these businesses have their say as well as Wall Street.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. lividgoosedots

    It's good to see New York taking the progressive lead in banning sugared beverages. Fewer and fewer people can think for themselves and need to be directed in healthy life choices.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      So the government should instruct people how to think? Did you ever read 1984?

      May 31, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    Very typical of liberals in general. They will complain about conservatives trying to tell people what to believe or how to live, but since they are always right, it's OK for them to do the same thing. Both the left and the right need to learn that we should be responsible for ourselves and the government should stay out of it.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Whome

    this is a joke right?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. freedom2012

    What kind of freedom are we talking about? To me all of you who want no regulation, it sounds like the freedom of a 4 year old to do what he/she wants and when he/she wants to do it. We all know now that nicotine creates dependency – it took ONLY 50 years or so this knowledge made it into public consciousness, thanks to the lobbying and the strategies for the
    tobacco industry. Will it have to take another 50 years that the public gets what the health department of many major cities now realizing, that the sugar in soft drinks, also creates addiction, leading to obesity, diabetic on an epidemic level.
    Is the major of New York a socialist and super liberal, trying to control his citizens or just a man who is not bound by
    political dogma and a pragmatic ?????
    Sometimes regulations truly impact our freedom and sometimes they are needed to protect the public. It is not a question of political dogma, but of wisdom. What is the wise thing to do!
    Lastly, this is not just a problem in this country, Coke and Co export this epidemics around the world, particular in the 3rd world. Just like most of us, they like 'sugary' water more then just plain water and soon are in some form addicted to it.Obesity and diabetes has become one of our export success stories. The people in the corporate board rooms and the shareholders seem to care only for profit. Coke and Co, use the creative potential of your employees and create
    drinks that strengthen our bodies and give us longevity.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      It's sad that you believe that you cannot be responsible for your own actions. It is a sad commentary on today's Americans that many believe as you do, that government should have absolute control over your actions to prevent you from getting into trouble.....

      May 31, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. 32rfqw36

    Good, I am glad New York is banning those huge drinks. Its obvious we cant make good decisions on our own so we must be told what to do. No different than being told to wear your seatbelt when driving your car.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Not really, because it isn't stopping people from drinking lots of soda. They can drink lots of soda anyway, they will just go and get free refills 4 times at Burger King instead of 2 times.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. Herbert Hoover

    A 20oz bottle of juice is only marginally better for you than a 20oz bottle of soda.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. Barbara Metzler

    Mayor Bloomberg obvioulsly has no understanding of how dangerous diet soda is! Diet soda caused my daughter to have epileptic-type seizures, and she began to lose her vision in both eyes. She stopped her one can a day of diet soda and recovered. Diet soda causes many serious problems and 2 studies have shown that it causes weight gain and makes diabetes worse. A recent study shows it causes heart attacks and strokes. Another study shows how it causes cancer.
    And those are only a few of the problems from diet soda.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. TriXen

    New Yorkers will totally go for this too. They don't maintain control over their own lives unless the government does it for them. That's why they have a long welfare line and everybody voting in the "D" column! They wants they Obama bucks!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
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