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. Joe

    I understand tha lack of freedom argument. However, I really like the NYC is taking the lead. This is really an argument on the large number of overweight and obese people. This should help lean away from a real obesity epidemic that's leading to high health care costs. I'm a fan.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. mike58

    If New Yorkers don't vote this ban away they are idiots

    May 31, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Dandy

      Then they are doomed. 😉

      May 31, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      How many of the people saying this is a case of the government telling you what to do actually buys a non-diet soda that large? When the majority opinion is false outrage why do we listen?

      May 31, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitch

      Hey, if they don't vote for it they're risking obesity. I wouldn't mind it in my town (Mostly because I go to a fast food restaurant under once a month). And for the people who are like, OH, I GUESS THAT THEY BAN BIG DRINKS BUT NOT SMOKES HUEHUEHUE, it's probably easier to ban big drinks for obesity than something with nicotine. You step into the Mayor's shoes. God.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dave

    Another classic example of the Republican nanny state

    May 31, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • GetOuttaMyBusiness

      You do realize that Bloomberg is a wolf, I mean Democrat, in Republican clothing, don't you?

      You have got to be kidding about your comment. The libs. want the nanny state, not the conservatives. I want the stinking government out of my life, leaving my personal freedoms alone.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • VoiceofReason

      Dave, Bloomberg is not a Republican. First he was a Democrat, then he was a Republican and now he's an independent. In other words he's just plain slick and slippery.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • AP

      Ha Ha – He is really a Democrat from the past that put on a Republican label to get elected. The Dems' still control NYC and always will. He is another Ried, Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Obabarama, that wants to control everything in a person's life through gov't mandates. They are trying to create their own Banana Republic Dictatorship. Bloombnerg the best mayor money could buy. Typical liberal extremeist – Nanny state

      May 31, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Nate Paris

      Dave. Bloomberg was a Dem then a Rep now he's an Independant. get your facts together before you play in the big boy world Beef-Stick!!

      May 31, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • theBigE

      Check your facts, Dave, Bloomberg isn't a Republican.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • flashtrum

      Bloomberg is actually an "Independant" in name only – was with the GOP for a time, but this policy screams lib/socialism, the government knows better than I do and only the government can take care of me because I can't do it without them.

      Liberal policies are a vicious cycle. Give someone who needs help an inch, they take a mile, and now they are totally dependent on you, which allows you to make laws like this.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      New York is by a large majority Democrat. The City leans even more blue. Bloomberg is Independent. I don't see Republican anywhere...

      May 31, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dandy

    This is simply stupid. If I want 32 oz of Coke I will just buy two 16 oz cups of it. Duh....
    If he doesn't want people to drink sugared drinks then ban them. What if I want a 32 cup of water, is that illegal also?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • latuya83

      Are you drinking sugar water, because last time I checked water isn't a sugary drink.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. stateschool

    If only Americans were this concerned about their individual liberties when the "Patriot Act" was passed. Your government is now allowed to drag you out of bed in the middle of the night without a warrant, torture you, and imprison you indefinitely, and you're up in arms over soft drinks. You are (fat) sheep.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • latuya83

      If you are not a terrorist or spending time with terrorist, then you don't have to worry about being woken up in the middle of the night and dragged out of bed.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerome_Morrow

      I'm American and you're 100% correct.

      The "freest" nation on Earth has suspended habeas corpus, tortures prisoners, eavesdrops on its citizens, imprisons people for choosing to put drugs into their own bodies, and now is telling us what to eat.

      Freedom is being allowed to live with the consequences of your decisions. An act without a victim can not be a crime in a free nation.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerome_Morrow

      @ latuya83

      People like you who have no knowledge of history and complete trust in your government scare me more than any terrorist.

      If someone does consort with a terrorist, than it should be quite easy to prove their crime in a court of law. Why all the secrecy?

      May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. CanadianJ

    Americans are fat.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • VoiceofReason

      The reason Europe doesn't have as many obese people is partly cultural, partly because their foods aren't as processed, and in large part because they walk to get around. Most Europeans I know drink alcohol and eat fatty foods every day. In Germany you can buy beer at the movie theater.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    The choices in the poll are very... strangely worded. I agree with the idea of encouraging people to drink less, just not with the proposed implementation. Banning it won't make people stop. They'll just get a refill or buy two!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. judi

    do we really live in a democracy

    May 31, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • AP

      we are slipping away faster and faster

      May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. JanetMermaid

    Portion sizes have gotten ridiculous. When I was a kid a "child's size drink" was 8 (sometimes even 6) oz. I recently ordered a kid's burger meal and was handed a 24 oz. cup. I said that no, I'd ordered the kid's meal and was told that WAS the kid's size drink. No wonder our kids are getting fat. Restaurants encourage it and parents don't do anything to discourage it.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • charmed4sr

      Then be a parent only fill it part way. Just because they gave you a large size cup doesn't mean you have to fill it to the brim.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. Will Smith

    Like in I-robot, it's inevitable that humans can't regulate themselves and need the cold calculating intellect of a computer to do it for our own safety!! Someone please stop me from eating this sweet potatoe pie, it's not MY fault .. maybe I can sue someone for my own actions!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. ann

    A lot of our ancestors came to the U.S. to have freedom and the right to choose how you live your life without the government dictating every little thing. These kind of laws just feel like the opposite of what this country is about.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. Wolf Daddy Deluxe 5000

    everything is banned in NYC. NYC sucks!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lori

    How can you ban sugary drinks and still sell cigarettes? Because there are no taxes on sugary drinks.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bobby

    The reason people are obese is they are probably depressed about how much government is destroying this country! People can't find jobs, can't afford mortgages , lost their life savings because of bank scams and he wants to limit the amount of soda a "free" citizen can consume at once???? This just goes to show you where the governments prioritys are!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Paul Fal

    I'm not a conservative and not against all government regulations by any means, but this goes too far. And it won't work; if folks want to drink a lot of soda, they will find a way. What the government should do is try to educate people, especially children, about the dangers of drinking too much of this crap. But in the end, people have to make their own decisions.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
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