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. POWMIA

    This is idiotic. It's actually insulting for a city government (or any other) to tell me what I can and cannot eat/drink, OR to prevent some establishments from selling perfectly legal items to me if I want to buy them. This is the opposite of a free market policy.

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

    Toga party, tonight. Toga! Toga! Toga. Aaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    It's too bad people are so fat and lazy they can't figure out for themselves how to eat and drink well. If you are annoyed by this, you might actually 'need' someone to tell you what to do. Obese and unhealthy people cost us all. Health costs and general speaking a lack of productivity. There's little doubt this is a contributor to America having to rally to maintain it's position in the world.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous Coward

      My BMI is in the normal range. I don't LIKE anything carbonated. And I no longer live near NYC. So I'm not one of the people you're referring to. But I STILL think this is a bad idea. It's not the government's business if I want to hurt myself, whether it's by drinking soda or climbing Half-Dome. It should be up to an individual, not a government, what risk that individual chooses to accept into their lives.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • A person

      People have the ability to be smart enough to make there own choices about what they eat and drink. People that make bad choices are aware of it. They make this choice and bring the consequences upon themselves. They will be the ones that have dumpy and disgusting lives. Don't force everybody to follow a ban that would impact tons of people when only certain ones need it.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Right on Bill! I don't like government stepping in, but when people are too lazy, dumb, or unwilling to do what's right, then government has no choice.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. WLM

    I think it is a good idea. I dont think iti s over the top goverment control. The problem is all these obese people that end up with diabetes and medical problems that us taxpayers have to food the bill for! Ban them. Drink a big glass of water if you are thirsty!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Cath

      Yet you probably are in favor of Obamacare, which is nothing but a control mechanism.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. George

    I have seen a lot of fat people drinking 12 oz. Diet Cokes.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. AceRyder

    So, cigarettes OK, but big drinks banned?

    Alcohol OK, big drinks banned?

    Fatty food OK, but drinks banned?

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

      NYC has banned public smoking.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Donnie the Lion

    Since I pay 100% of my own health insurance, I'm paying a portion (albeit small) of other people's diabetes treatments. I want everybody within my "pool" to be as healthy as possible, so I'm totally in favor of this. I gave up soda at the behest of my doctor...it was not easy, but I have noticed the health benefits.

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

      Are you lobbying to have everyone else in your "pool" required to wear a helmet in the bathroom? After all, falls in the shower are a major cause of injury and death.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • PDX James

      That's part of a pseudo socialist system, which every successful country has some degree of. You still pay taxes to fund schools even if you don't have any children too. Socialist. Now what if the government starts regulating something you care about? I bet your opinion will do a quick 180.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • leftinbrooklyn

      I pay 100% of my Health insurance as well, & I'm diabetic. I rarely drink soda, & when I do, it's sugar-free. Never smoked, & try to maintain healthy eating habits. I do all of this through– my personal choice. And I couldn't be more against this law. Few things are more immoral than this.

      You're in favor of this law, only because it doesn't effect your freedom of choice. The next law might. Every right we have basically comes down to freedom of choice. Governments that try to regulate that choice soon find themselves no longer the government. Brute force keeps them in power for awhile sometimes, but eventually they are destroyed. History is littered with them.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    People, the problem here is not that there are compulsory people who must have their 64oz. drinks. Those who do will find their way around this law regardless. It's the fact that most of us subconsciously over-drink and take in too much sugar. The law simply helps us get rid of this habit. What's the harm in that? Also, if McDonald's offers me the opportunity to put on my own salt like they do in Europe, I'd be more than glad to take it.

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

      I'm fine with salting my own fries to taste, but either I'm an adult in a free country who can make his own choice or I'm not. The government says I am, but their actions betray their lie.

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

    What is Emperor Bloomberg's next step? Telling people they can't smoke or drink in their own homes? And they must eat their broccoli.
    Vote the self appointed Czar out of office.

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

    If you think this is a stupid or ridiculous idea, please read the book "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness". Kindle edition is only $6.

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

      So you're suggesting I should read a book about why the government should regulate my personal choices rather than just doing it myself? No, it IS a stupid idea. If people want to be fat, they'll find a way unless the government becomes the biggest brother ever.

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

      Making better decisions is not the same thing as an authority taking away the freedom to make those decisions from you.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • waterman

      @PDX – the book explains how to help people make better decisions without taking away their freedom, being overbearing or banning things. "government is telling me what to drink" is hyperbole, and it is not the case there. You can drink as much soda as you want in NYC, of whichever type you want. You can by 2 16 oz drinks or 10 16oz drinks and drink them all freely. But by making healthier choices more easily and readily accessible, you encourage better choices (again, without taking away any freedoms).

      May 31, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. DRJ

    Unbelievable. What's next? Prohibition?

    May 31, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. PDX James

    I have never before seen a less free "free" country. We are going in the complete wrong direction, and Bloomberg feeding the GOP tigers' efforts to regulate our entire lives is a disgrace.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ken

    II'll just pick up a two liter bottle and drink the whole thing in the same time frame. If they make a ban this stupid, I'll double my consumption to anger them more. They'll be better off just staying out of it. I could just also order 4 drinks, what's the point? The ban just wastes tax payer money. No law will stop me.

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

      Now that's stupid Ken. You won't anger anyone by consuming more, you'll just have a massive coronary like the rest of fatties. It's restricting eateries and fast food places who prey on people who think a good deal is buying food they shouldn't be eating to begin with.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. Southerner

    LEAVE MY RIGHTS ALONE!!!!! – BLOOMBERG HAS NO RIGHT TO TELL ME THAT I CAN'T BUY A LARGE DRINK IF I EVER VISIT HIS NASTY CITY....MAYBE HE SHOULD SPEND MORE TIME CLEANING UP THE STREETS AND NOT DICTATING WHAT PEOPLE CAN DRINK.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. leftinbrooklyn

    How do these officials get elected having such absurdly high levels of immorality?

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