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. MFC

    FACT: Calories from all sugar-sweetened beverages are, on average, a small fraction of the American diet, approximately 7 percent. And people might be surprised to know that between 1999-2008, Americans’ consumption of added sugars from soda decreased by 39 percent. Yet, during nearly the same time period, adult and childhood obesity rates increased by 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
    Mr. Mayor: Obesity is a very complex issue that includes what consumers eat and drink as well as how much physical activity they do, but we do not need policies to tell us what we can and cannot consume.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SAM

    If the Big Brother's desire is to impact the health of the general public why not stop the sale of alcohol? Like Grandma said people who are obese are NOT taking responsibility so take away the computer games, tv's (except for certain hours), cars (let people walk) and this should get people off the couch.

    Yes, we should turn control over to Big Brother since politicians have such a good track record of taking great care of the citizens of United States of America.

    At least I think it is still politically correct to call our country the United States of America. I maybe wrong since the voters can now make a decision at the poles and have it over turned by our more intelligent judicial system. The Big brothers may just put it on the ballet to make us feel like we still have a say in government to keep from hurting our feeling.

    Yes, government now regulating what we drink because they know better seems like a Democracy to me. How about you?

    May 31, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debi

      No, it seems like a dictatorship!!!

      May 31, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      I actually like this law. I think it will impact many people's lives for the positive. No, it won't turn everyone into super models, but the moderation will help lower blood sugar and prevent more cases of heart disease and severe obesity. If people don't help themselves, then someone else will. If you don't agree with that, then we should get rid of Medicare and Social Security; government aid to help you live a better,longer life.

      May 31, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • coolit

      In case you didn't know it, alcohol is already pretty regulated. You have to be 21 to buy it for example. And the comparison actually. Diabetes can easily shave 30 years off your life. It takes some serious alcoholism to do that.

      June 2, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cindy Spears

    I think you can get a Coke in prison!!!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. HubSch

    So people will magically loose weight, becasue they do not have access in NYC to bigger sizes of soda packages?
    If the intention is to have people more doing workouts, because they go now more often to the vending machien or shop – well maybe that could have an impact ...
    Thinking about that – why not put all food & beverage vendors, restaurants alike etc on the higher floors of NYC buildings and shut off the elevators? Here you have it – a true caloric loss per person ...
    Second step – only allow bicycles in NY City instead of cars! In one year NYC will be the world fittest city with a drastic reduction of air polution ...

    May 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Carol

    It's coming, just watch; next our govt will be telling us what bar soap to use and what type and how many sheets of toilet paper we can use.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Felicia King

      Your sarcasm is just plain dumb.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • aguti124

      That kind of sounds like jail. Hmm..... Who's awake? You are! Great point by the way.

      May 31, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. FreeAmerican

    What has changed in the last 30 years? When I was a kid, I could not stand to stay inside – wanted to get out and run around, chase a ball, whatever. How many calories are burned moving a mouse or moving fingers on a keyboard? Ban electronics, Mr. Mayor!! Move the calorie-intake/ energy-ouput needle back toward the middle. Get your exercise, eat what you want, and enjoy your life!

    May 31, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      very accurate. For the same reason, I am looking to get out of my IT job and get a more active career. Its great money, but its unhealthy sitting in an office all day.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DB

    I am an excellent parent, responsible adult and have a happy and healthy family. I do not need Dept of Health or Bloomberg in my fridge, in my restaurants, or in my life telling me what to eat. I pay a lot of taxes and would hope that they are being used to address real concerns like childhood hunger, poverty, access to good, safe education . . . .not used to monitor how much iced tea I have at lunch.

    May 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BB

    why do you new yorkers keep voting for this guy?

    May 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Karole

    New York Health Department wanting to restrict the consumption of soft drinks larger than 16 oz. in local restaurants and food establishments.
    Note to Mayor Bloomberg, if you allow this to be enacted, you are doing nothing more than behaving like a totalitarian state, nothing more than pure communism, think about it. You cannot legislate away people’s rights in the United States of America. If you want this sort of behavior, move to China.

    May 31, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. RetiredVet

    Why is this guy still the mayor of NYC?

    May 31, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BRANDON M-- I LOVE COCA-COLA

    It's called Moderation people! Stop drinking a 6 pack of soda every day and you won't need to worry about calories and sugar.

    The government should not be interfering and in telling me what I can and can't eat or drink. If I want to sit around drinking64oz bladder busters of a soft drink while eating double quarter pounders and fries from McDonalds than that is my damn decision.

    People need to take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS.... These companies don't make you eat/drink their products- have some damn self control and start owning up to your actions.

    Quit blaming your problems on other people because you are too lazy to get out and make a change!

    #Laisse-Faire #Government (yes I know it's probably spelled incorrectly)

    Government get out my decision making process.

    May 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BRANDON M-- I LOVE COCA-COLA

    Also- Mayor Bloomberg:

    Why don't you get RECESS BACK INTO SCHOOL?? That's probably not an issue at all is it? Elementary school kids who sit in school from 8-3 all day? I'm sure recess won't teach kids healthy habits of daily excersize.

    And isn't New York insanely famous for 1LB SANDWICHES, GIANT PIZZAS, and GREAT BAGELS? LIke any of those three items are healthy for you either.

    Childhood and American obesity is caused by people being lazy, not taking personal responsibility, and a lack of parents teaching their kids moderation.

    What's next? You're going to put a limit on the amount of hours I can watch TV or play video games?

    Such ridiculousness.

    May 31, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kyle

    This drives me insane. Coming from Canada where they are about a thousand times worse in telling society what to do. The fact is there are so many people who would rather let someone tell them what to do rather than earn it themselves. The government needs to look back into the past and realize what our founding fathers thought of when they heard of limiting our rights. To them, our government would be the same as a tyrant, not doing a thing we elect them to do. This is just my opinion, and if the majority would rather themselves being completely controlled by the government then I would be hypocritical to deny this. Cheers.

    May 31, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. aguti124

    So big sugary drinks are the problem? How about all the Drunk Drivers killing innocent bystanders every year? Month? Day? Take the 32 oz. soda off the shelfs, but keep re-stocking the freezers with alcohol?
    Let me decide what's good and bad for myself. I'm not weak!

    May 31, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gary B

    Does everyone really think anybody is telling anybody what to drink? This is simply bringing portion sizes back to what they were before everything got supersized in the 80's. You can drink as much as u want, just buy more. Look at old tv, their bowls are now are cups. I say roll back sizes to human proportions.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
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