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. Crowded

    I'm a liberal to the core of my being. I've even recently switched to a vegan lifestyle. I was an obese child and it was largely due to drinking a lot of sugary drinks and soda. BUT banning things is not the way to improve the problem and I would never support this law or those like them. Balance is not achieved by curtailing freedoms, even if those freedoms cause the person to suffer serious consequences. And who are we to say there would be bad consequences for every person? Give people the choice to consume what they want, marry who they want, live where they want, and if there is fallout, make the individual, not the state, liable for the consequences.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • B M Kavitz

      Well said. The problem is we don't hold the individual accountable in many situations, everyone ends up paying more.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. aaronwj

    every single day the government takes away more and more of our freedoms without anybody knowing it. Our government is a freaking joke. I'll drink whatever I want to drink!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Courtenay

    Ridiculous. Just like anything else, if we want it, we will get it. Now people will just buy TWO sodas, or as everyone else says, FREE REFILLS! Bloomberg needs to worry about his CITY, and not how much soda we drink here. There are countless schizophrenics wandering around port authority, talking to themselves that NEED HELP! I DON'T NEED HELP....THEY DO! DO something productive, Bloomie.....this whole initiative is condescending and idiotic. Stop overreaching the mundane, and reach out to those who need your help. I guess that wouldn't be as easy.....

    May 31, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan B

      He is worrying about his city. Obesity is driving up healthcare costs. If that was lower, then there would be more money for the rest of the city functions.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. RC

    And Bloomberg ran as a repub because he couldn't get on the democratic ticket.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dan B

    My thought is that it is an interesting idea. And to those that say it is terrible, I have to pay for your healthcare cost so it should matter to you. If you get obese because of soft drinks, then I don't want to pay for your healthcare.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • RC

      I have my own healthcare thank you. I'll drink what I want

      May 31, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. MJA

    I stopped drinking soda years ago (and I'm only 19). I think it would benefit everyone to gradually phase soda out of our lives. You can either do it now, or think about it in 10 years while you hold an insulin shot in your hands, wondering "why did it come to this?"

    May 31, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • aaronwj

      i agree, however the government SHOULD NEVER tell me what i can and can't eat or drink.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Debra

    so Napolean has another bright idea...Bloomberg has no right to tell citizens what to do with their lives and what we should or should not eat or drink. He really wants to be king doesn't he and rule his subjects with an iron fist. Putting a ban on large sodas is ridiculous, people will just buy a second. Or maybe this is his plan afterall, more taxes on the extra soda. Mayor Bloomberg, stop your meddling in our lives. You did it with banning smoking, but people were too gullible to believe that that was only the beginning of his plan. Smokers did not join together and protest that at the time (smokers have rights too). He banned cigarettes but not the exhaust on trucks and buses in the city. Everyone has a greater danger of getting lung cancer from inhaling that then they do someones 2nd hand smoke....But this is what happens when you give a little man some power. He took the power and made himself a 3rd term of being mayor. He will stop at nothing. Retire already Bloomberg, go away to some farm in the country and leave us alone. As for the soda, educate the children in school about how to eat/drink healthy...that is how it's done, not ban it. We will have no choices as citizens of NYC if we let this go any further.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Johnny DC

    Welcome to the utopian American liberal dream. Where the government decides what you and your kids can and cannot eat, how your lightbulbs work, which companies can survive and which must be demonized, and how much of your own property and money you are allowed to keep.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. coloradom

    Wow, this is ridiculous. I'm all for educating people regarding health, but this is going too far.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. J__M__M

    I'll have four medium Pepsi's please....

    May 31, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. aaronwj

    does anybody like government anymore??? i mean ANYBODY? our governments, whether local or federal, are complete JOKES!!!! people around the world just laugh at us.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Steven

    I wonder if you can buy a large soda in China, North Korea or Russia?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bob Buck

    I hope the govt outlaws many things so I can make some cash on the black market. How stupid is this? Next they'll tell us when to take a dump.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. RC

    and Bloomberg only ran as a repub because he couldn't get on the democratic ticket

    May 31, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. Butter Burger

    We need a natinal soda use database. We need to ration the amount of full octane soda people drink in a 24 hr period ... show your ID to get your daily soda ration.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
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