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. kls817

    I strongly agree. As much as I think obesity is a big problem, the government has no business regulating soft drinks. We don't need a bunch of self-serving and incompetant politicians telling us what to buy. People who are obese need to take responsibility for their condition, not the nanny state.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • GrandmaGwen

      1. "Incompetant" is spelled incompetent. If you are going to make a remark about competence, spell it correctly!
      2. People who are obese are NOT taking responsibility for their condition. This impacts the healthy people who must pay ever increasing medical insurance costs due to the lack of health of others.
      3. Obesity rates among New York public elementary and middle school students decreased over the past 5 years. This goes against the nationwide pattern.
      Obviously Bloomberg's policies are having a positive impact.

      May 31, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Now I am curious, how many tickets have you had in your life or how many car accidents have you been in? Your sloppy driving has impacted my car insurance. I am 38 years old and I have never had a ticket in my life or been in a car accident. Why should I have to pay a higher insurnace premium since you can not take the responsibility to learn how to drive more safe? I therefore ask that you suspend your driving rights to help save me more money!! Obesity is an issue we need to handle, but not at the expense of taking away our Freedom!!

      May 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • king samir shabazz

      Are you the grammar police or just a self righteous former fat person who is bitter because you had to get your stomach stapled?

      May 31, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      excellent post.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kurt Atkinson

      Are you serious? Do you really think the falling rate is due to Bloomberg alone?

      June 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      Freedom is the ability to make choices, even if it's bad as long as it does not hurt other people. Let the government dictate what size soft drinks you can buy will lead to how much butter or eggs you can have... and endless other "rules". There are so many other stuff that is far worse than a large size soft drink... like alcohol, like fast food. Would you like to be told what kind of fast food you can eat?
      You sound so ridiculous, it's not even funny. If you want the government to dictate everything you can do, eat, have... move to a communist country. If this is a "free" country, the choices must be there for people to make.
      Obviously, you're either really stupid or ignorant. Or you're on the government payroll that would benefit from this. No one in the right mind that supports freedom would agree to this.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      I firmly agree with Bruce. Even though GrandmaGwen, obese people are not taking responsibility for their condition, its still there right to be that way. We live in a country that is proud of letting its citizens make their own decisions. If the government starts telling us what we can & cannot eat and drink, what can we expect next? I don't know what you kinds of things you like, but if the government decided that it was bad for you and wanted to take it away from you, what side would you be on then.

      June 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • RobertPeck

      Grandma, you say that it is "OBVIOUS" that Bloomberg's proposal is lowering obesity in NY. Obviously, your "obvious" conclusion is actually, obviously incorrect. If you read the article you are commenting on, you will see it is merely a "proposal" at this time—it has not gone into effect yet.

      So obviously your logic is lacking in concluding that any reduction in obesity comes from the mere proposal.

      Just admit that you like the idea but don't try to clam it is "obviously" beneficial when that is contrary to the clear facts!

      All it will do is make those who want more that the mayors proposed size limit buy more at a time or drink more, smaller sized sugary drinks. That means more cups to toss out which means more adverse impact on the environment. It means the cost per oz will likely go up and that means people on limited budgets with kids to feed and care for will have less money for that purpose when the cost of the big drinks go up, when sold for more per ounce in smaller sizes. OBVIOUSLY, you really did not consider ALL aspects of the impact of requiring the sale of MORE cups, due to smaller size limits!

      June 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Underground Conservative

      It's none of your business what I eat or drink or how I live my life. Get it? Damn Lifestyle Nazis.

      June 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liberty4All

      Well said. The biggest part of our health problems can be centered on economic turmoil. We look for affordability, and the Mayor is taking one of these choices away. We need to attack the real problem, and that is our failed economy! Put more money in our pockets, and we might be able to afford something with real flavoring!

      May 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • diane

      Exactly!!!!

      June 1, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Pamela Haley Design

      Drink water. Buy 2 sodas if you insist on having it all. The politician has spoken.

      June 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MKJ

    No soda? Tell Mr. Bergermeister to get Wall Street moving by banning sitting...all day motionless and stairing into Bloomberg monitors? Now that will burn a few calories!

    May 31, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. bigpop drinker

    I think this is just another test of controlling society and sticking government noses where they do not belong. What is going to stop someone from purchasing two sodas instead of one to get their fix? This is pure nonesense, a waste of tax payer money, waste of the paper it is printed on. Get on with saving dying starving citizens rather than telling others what how much to drink.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Diana R

      bigpop: I agree with you. But the greater worry is where does Bloomberg's way of thinking lead? Will government ban red meat? Or maybe only ban hamburger if it contains more than 10% fat? Maybe ban whole milk and allow the sale of only skim? Ban motorcycles, skydiving, and boxing? Ban candy? Where will it end?

      May 31, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. DrunkMike

    Surprised New York didn't learn from my case. They tried me 4 years ago for vehicular manslaughter while under the influence; a 6 year old ran out infront of my car at 2am. My fabulous attoney convinced the jury that no matter how fast I was traveling or sober I was, there was no way to stop the vehicle in the amount of time/space I was given. Charges were dropped and later that afternoon my attorney filed against the state and took the parents to civil court for the mental anguish the trial and the experience put on me. I now have a fat check coming in every month from the family and the state. Lets me drink as much as I like; screw these laws that take away our rights to do whatever we please.

    I now drink soda all day sitting on my leather sofa. I may be 250lbs now but hey...I get federally funded health care and with all us fat americans out there now the price of insurance is probably skyrocketting. I'm sitting back laughing as all those idiots that go to work everyday and greedy corporations get to pay escilating premiums for health insurance.

    Fight government regulations on what makes us healthy or safe...we should get to do whatever the heck we like!

    May 31, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. S

    Alcohol has sugar, milkshakes have sugar and they wont be regulated by size. Sounds screwy to me.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. steve

    I'm curious as to how many posters on here that are raging about personal rights to drink choice, who also agree with banning weed. If you are truly for personal choice as to what you put into your body then you should also be for legalizing weed. Because it is a personal choice to put that into your body as well. Every time the government decides to ban something it is because they are trying to protect you from yourself. That is NOT freedom. We are already on this slippery slope of politicians thinking they "know what's best" for us personally. Sooner or later they will tell you what to eat (oh wait, they are now), or where to live, or what to wear, or who to marry (oh wait, they are now). Next thing you know if will be illegal to drive a red car. Government has got to STOP trying to tell people how to live and actually work on real issues like the economy and our degrading infrastructure and our falling education.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • jules

      Totally agree! Too many people trying to take the rights of others away. Don't like something? Don't engage in it-but you have no right to tell others they can't just because YOU don't like it.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • mac101

      Come on, Steve, be accurate. The government isn't telling people who they CAN marry, its telling people who they CAN'T marry.

      If I want someone to tell me what I CAN'T do, I'll go ask my mother.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. oh geez

    if obese ppl dont go to hospitals then i say let them do whatever. but if youre gonna make me wait cuz your fat @ss gets hypertension/diabetes/heart attack then the govt better stop you

    May 31, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. JesusIsNotReal

    How about start taxing churches

    May 31, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Mance Lotter

      you can start taxing churches when you start taxing the NAACP, Planned Parenthood (and cut their funding), and all the liberal "not-for-profit" organizations that are nothing but churches for fools who believe themselves to be God.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bigpop drinker

    It's just a cash grab by the big corporations. THe price for the pop will be higher as the then new largest size will be higher than the previous price because someone will have to order a second soda to get their fix thus paying more in the end. Soda is dirt cheap to buy in tanks for soda fountains but the markup is extremely high so the restaurants chains will profit more from selling two smaller cup sizes for someone who normally needs a jumbo size. Are they gonna ban Jumbo Freezies too? or ban the Jumbo cans of energy drinks? How is it right to sell those massive cans of Monster energy drink loaded with ten times more sugar and poison than a large soda at a burger joint? Something stinks the denmark.. and it's not the soda

    May 31, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. J.C.

    You will not question Leader Bloomberg if you know what is good for you.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. MeinNJ

    I understand where Bloomberg is coming from, but you just can't make people stop doing something by passing a law. There was something called the Volstead Act put into law in 1920, which banned the public sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the US. Anyone recall the repercussions of that law? Ok, maybe it's a stretch from the size of a soda to the sale of whiskey, but stuff like this almost always starts out as a grass roots kind of movement and snowballs into something much bigger. Bloomberg taxed the hell out of cigarettes and banned smoking almost everywhere in NYC – but I can tell you as an ex-smoker, the only way a smoker will stop smoking is if he or she wants to, period.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. JL

    So I can have a baconator, just not more that 16 oz of regular soda? This helps how? I love how we always try to solve a piece of a problem to make it look like we did something rather than addressing the actual issue.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Barry G.

    The problem with obesity is it poses a threat to the health of the individual, and it will pose an overwhelming strain on our already overwhelmed health system.

    Perhaps they should impose a tax on junk food, in order to pay for the catastrophic care the obese will need and expect, even if they can't afford it.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. mac101

    So we want to restrict how much soda people can have, but unlimited volume on alcohol is ok? Not only is this overkill of government regulation, its stupid overkill of government regulation. Or is that an oxymoron?

    Why not tax sugary drinks instead? Oh, yeah, because this is the republican party that doesn't believe in taxes. I thought they believed in smaller government with less regulations into people's lives, but obviously, I am mistaken – they only want to control a woman's uterus and large soft drinks, but we can't have ANY restrictions on banks, the stock market, hand guns, or other objects of mass destruction.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dan in Syracuse

    I am a 23 yr old male that drinks a 2 liter of Mountain Dew a day. I am 5' 7" and my weight is 130. You mean to tell me that soft drinks make people fat? No sir you are wrong. It is the choices after the soft drink that makes you fat. People need to exercise.. dont even worry about eating healthy.. Do you think they had organic foods back in the 19th century? I think not. We are in a time where computers run everything in our lives, and instead of exercising our bodies, we are reading about it on stupid blogs and shoving food down our throats. The American "leaders" need to grow up and learn they cannot run everyones lives the way the government seems is "fit". We can think for ourselves... Well most of us can..

    May 31, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Syracuse

      By the way, I am the healthest person my Dr has seen in years. My blood pressue is actually lower than normal, and my blood sugar is spot on.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      Just another liberal that thinks they need to take care of the people they look down to...

      May 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrea

      I do agree with you that exercise plays a big part in a person's weight, along with eating healthy. However, you're drinking something loaded with sugar and caffeine. I'm guessing you have a pretty high metabolism.

      The main thing I wanted to reply to you is that yes, they did have organic food in the 19th century. That was pretty much all they had in the 19th century.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      BTW, how stupid do liberals think people are? People can't buy 1 – 16 oz drink, but they can buy 2 -8 oz drinks?

      May 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      So right, most people can't spell gym much less know where one is at or they'll drive the two block to the local seven eleven better to burn gas instead of shoe soles

      May 31, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Syracuse

      @Andrea, Yeah I suppose I have a high metabolism. And I think my ADHD kicked in and I started to just spew stuff off even if it was not fact.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • NIK IN CANADA FROM MICHIGAN

      I AGREE DAN! On the other hand.....I am overweight and I have drank DIET soda my whole life! I drink a 2 litter of Diet soda a day so just restricting regular soda is ridicules! What kind of power trip are these people on?
      Cigarettes harm everyone around the smoker, soda pop harms no-one but you! Do they need to be reminded that this is THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA??? WHITH ALL THE ISSUES IN N.Y.(or any place) they focus time/energy and tax payer dollars to this ban on pop!!!! It is so ridicules it is like a joke, I just can't believe it, get this guy out of office before he bans FRITO'S and SNICKERS! What the heck... no more CAKE AND ICE CREAM FOR DESSERT IN N.Y. EITHER!!!

      May 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
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