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. Over the cliff

    This is the more than the slippery slope my friends - the nanny state is here and you all voted these rats into office. Goodbye freedom ....

    Should have listened to all those Ron Paul folks – they had it RIGHT!!!!

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

    This is so wrong on so many levels – next you will only be allowed to order small fries – no salt – small salad – no dressing – hamburger – no meat – my issue is this does NOT effect sugar free drinks especially as anybody knows (no offense here) that usually you see very fat obese people with supersized meals sipping on DIET Soda – get real folks – where's Mayor McCheese when you need him?

    May 31, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Melvin

    Are they for real? Who appointed them the weight police. Obesity is not a NATIONAL health problem, it's a personal health problem. Each individual is responsible for themselves and their own well being. If people are overweight, that's their business not the government's. Being thin is only something that has become the 'in' thing in the last 150 or so years. Corpulence was the norm in both the US and Europe as little as 150 years ago. If anything, overweight people stimulate the economy by buying more food and needing larger size clothing.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • ikenelson

      It'll stop being a national problem and start being a personal problem when I don't have to pay extra to for the obesity related expenses of other people, just because I live in the same nation as them.

      And "fat" back then was healthy now. People were either skin and bones starving or they were "fatties" who weighed 150 lbs.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. J Jones

    Typical, dealing with the symptoms but not the cause. Government does this at every level. What a great guy Bloomberg is to protect all of you from yourselves. America, we are incrementally losing our freedom and liberty and no one seems to realize it or care. If you did, you wouldn't vote for people like Bloomberg, or Obama and Romney for that matter.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. John

    "Hello, Sugar Buster's Anonymous." –"Hi, I need help." "Well, that's what we're here for, sir." –"I've got can of soda in my hand right now, and I don't feel like I can put it down." –"Don't do it. Think of the consequences. Think of your kids."

    May 31, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jmitchje

    Mayor Bloomberg needs to pull his head out of his butt. If he wants to help with the obesity problem then maybe he needs to get rid of the IB program in school where kids have to sit during gym class and learn the rules of a game then take a test on those rules instead of exercising like they should be. Just because it comes from another country doesn't mean it is a good process for our country. So if you want to help with the obesity problem start there.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. mxskier

    Everyone poo-pooing this for a rights reason is correct, it is a curbing of your rights. But the problem is that it costs society, and those of us that aren't overweight, a ton of money to support the healthcare costs and loss of productivity from being overweight/obese. This ban isn't saying you can't drink soda. This ban is saying that you can't buy a 50 oz super-gulper with 200 grams of sugar for 99 cents. Because that will lead to obesity. The most amazing part of this article is the gentlemen they choose to quote: I'm 6'2 230 pounds. HE IS OVERWEIGHT! Unless he is a legitimate weightlifter (and I'm talking like 3 hours a day in the gym) he is likely overweight the bad sort of way. People need to realize that the size described above is overweight.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chris HOnry

    C A N Y O U I M A G I N E ??!! IF a republican had proposed this?! He would have been laughed out of the office. BUT the neofacist regime who wants to keep allowing baby murdering as birth control and outright LIES like "Islamic terrorists hate the USA because of our lifestyle" says it and it's news.

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

    Excellent idea. You can’t even get a “normal sized” drink at Taco Bello or McDonalds or the others today. You order a meal and they hand over this BUCKET of soda. Stupid. Maybe they should just fill a TROUGH with soda and hand everyone a straw to line up like a herd.

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

      A bucket? Guess you are the only one that doesn't decide size for themselves...... 12,16, 21 32 are the fast food norms....dont remember bucket on any menu I have seen....

      May 31, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kurt

    No big sodas/pop but milkshakes are still okay.... guess those dont lead to weight gain like other drinks.....

    May 31, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. ikenelson

    I stopped drinking soda 10 years ago when I hit 270 lbs, and that's the only change I made. Within 2 months I lost 20 lbs. I've had maybe 20 sodas in the past 10 years and now I weigh less than 200 lbs. I rank quitting soda among the best decisions of my life, right below marrying the woman I did.

    But you can't legislate it. People are fiends for the stuff. They'll find ways to get large amounts, no matter how bad it is for them. I envision a Mexican Drug Cartel shipping in the 44 oz-ers. Just kidding, kinda.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. LOL

    ...yeah, yeah yeah, let's not forget billionaire Bloomberg run for the republican party.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Robert

    Normally I would disagree with any infringement the government wishes to impose on what I put into my body. Like cigarettes, alcohol or even marijuana, which I haven't done in over 10 years but is just an example on how it's not Big Brother's business what goes in my body but on this issue I stand by Bloomberg 100%.At least regular law abiding citizens don't have to watch junkies shoot themselves up on a daily basis so why should we have to stare at a lot of OBESE and GLUTTONOUS Americans who have no sense of self-control whatsoever? No human needs a 44oz soda with their lunch plain and simple.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • diane

      Needing it isn't the issue. Having the Right to make that choice is the ISSUE.

      June 1, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. James Andrews

    Pat, you're not going to tell me that this movement is not a founded in the democratic party! Good grief!

    May 31, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bye Bye Freedom

    Gov once again sticking its nose where it doesn't belong – all to help you! Seems like banning the sale of tobacco products in NY would save more people than soda???? Apparently the only was to save people is remove their free will.............who knew?

    May 31, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
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