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. LOL

    The only people that don't support universal health-care are the ones that are unable to look at the big picture. All you see is the potential for you premium to increase and your knee-jerk reaction is to oppose something you don't understand.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      Actually what we're worried about is that one we have universal healthcare the government will be doing exactly what they're doing in NY and telling us what we can and can't drink and eat, etc. You think that's far fetched but it's not. Once you let the government tell you what healthcare to have you've given them control of a lot more than you think.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Not Really

      I don't want universal health care to be mandatory. I want the government to help those who cannot afford insurance,but don't want the government to decide who/what you qualify for in healthcare. I have been paying for my health care for 30 years and don't mind it...but I don't think it should be government controlled, but government assisted for those who cannot afford.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bill

    Violation of rights. I live here and what is funny is that a lot of people are saying good. Just saying good idea to something that prohibits what we can do leads to more and more control of our gov.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. quarterpounder

    Bloomberg is an idiot... get rid of him instead of the 44oz... Let's see, I'll have a quarterpounder with cheese, large fries, and a DIET COKE... makes real good since, right? Some ppl should just stay away from fast foods altogether. yeah, you know who you are, fat ass... but, the government still has NO right tell you what you can and can't eat! This is the beginning of dictatorship.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. J

    Get ready for the federal government to make this standard across the board next.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. Andrew

    Common, this is America, in America we like things Big, its started out when we were little, like Big Wheels, than Big Meals, Big Cars, Big Trucks, Big Vans, Big TV's, Big iphones-ipads, and for some they like big butts.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dann

    I can't think of a bigger abuse of power. What's next, a weigh in? "I'm sorry sir according to your BMI you can't have fries with that. How about a nice salad with a squeeze of lemon instead?" How can a ban on 17oz Cokes hold up in court?

    If I were a restaurant I'd just give out 2 or 3 for the price of 1 and jack the price of the 1 to pay for the extra cups.

    My protest to this has noting to do with a desire to eat in an unhealthy manner it has to do with personal freedom. I hate paying for the fat diabetic's medical bills as much as the next guy but the solution is not to tell a restaurant they can't sell a coke. Tell the fat diabetic not to buy one.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I don't eat added sugar, added salt, fried food, fast food, pizza or any other high calorie low nutrition food. I eat lean meat, chicken and fish with piles of vegetables and fruit...and I run, swim and play tennis/basketball six days a week. I also work, pay my taxes, pay my mortgage and make large donations to charity...but that comment belong on CNNMoney.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  7. theTH1NKER

    They should be banning aspartame. Aspartame was approved by the FDA under unethical conditions and is responsible for more soft drink related health issues than sugary soft drinks. Obesity is caused more by grains than sugars. Read the Newsweek article or watch the HBO specials. Ban the pizza crust and the hoagie before the Coke.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. joe

    How about some insentives for being healthy like some kind of support in health insurance (25%) How about having by law enough time to eat a healthy meal at lunch,How about more education and more space for bikes in the streets. How about using more the health providers to get proper advise than attacking just sodas (and the refill?) How about people in the goverment with more common sense and more studies. To be a doctor you go to school and study for being a Dr. same with lawers, and any other proffesion. But for being a Mayor or a Senator you don't really have to study any specific career.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. JamesG

    While I don't live NYC, Bloomberg abusing his power like this is scary. When is he going to form a Gestapo?

    May 31, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. dscon

    really?
    i guess by a progressive's thinking we should never ban cigarettes because people will become even heavier.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. Your Life Coach

    Just another step into socialism - this is not the government's responsiblity at all.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. bobby gold

    one of the many reasons why I moved out of that sh!t hole city over 6 years ago. Limiting how much a person can drink is something nobody should stand for.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Carolyn

    We the people are allowing government to grow so large that it's become a monster. Those who hold office feel as though they are royalty and not peope that we voted into office to represent us. Everyday we are losing more and more of our rights, rights and freedoms our founding fathers fought for. So many men died in order that we could be free and look what we are doing with these freedoms. I think we need big changes. We need to get back to smaller government, not larger. There are many reasons why people are fat, it's not just sugary drinks, it can be a sign of depression, or lack of education on what to eat, or economics. I see more and more people in the grocery store passing by the veggieand fruit stand because it's so expensive to buy these items. I notice the carts however are filled with high carbs and sugary treats, and I attribute this to lack of nutritional education, and giving in to what is easy. We have so many easy and quick foods on our shelves that are full of sugar and sodium, why stop with the soft drinks? If the government is going to police what we drink, then why not what we eat also. Wake up America before its too late. If you think it can't happen, if you think the government can't grow so large that it represses us at every turn, you're wrong, just look at history and other countries. People allow this and what's next down the road. Mr Mayor, do your job and worry about getting jobs back into this country and putting people back to work and stay the hell out of my business.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. clarke

    so instead of getting a 64oz soda, you buy three of lesser size. this is silly.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Blog

    I've been wondering if this isn't some sort of test run with Michelle Obama in the background?
    She's the one fighting American obesity these days. But would she support banning fattening foods and drinks?
    Maybe she would.
    But if she wanted to attack the roots of the problem, she'd be stomping around trying to get a stimulus package raised that provides full employment for all these people sitting on their duffs with no job, instead of worrying about proper exercise.
    If you have a job, you don't get quite as fat as you would otherwise unless you work at it or have some medical condition.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
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