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.”

How I kicked my Coke habit

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. mc

    I have lived in NYC for 15 years. I am just beginning to turn on the city. Last year, I was ticketed for sitting on the steps of Union Square park with my rollerblades on. I was not in the park, I was on the steps leading to the park. Last weekend I was ticketed for riding my bike on the sidewalk. I was told that I can't pay a fine. I have to go to court and do community service. I am a good citizen of the city. I rode on the sidewalk because I was in a dangerous spot under the Brooklyn Bridge where angry car people fight to get on the bridge. I don't ride on the sidewalks. What about the delivery guys on electric bikes that run people off the sidewalk? Common sense says I am not the problem. Also last weekend, a cab driver got irate that my wife and I suggested he was taking the long way to a restaurant. He swore at us and then kicked us out of his cab. I took a cell phone shot of his license in the window so he grabbed my cell phone and began to drive away with my pregnant wife half out, half in. I screamed "POLICE, HELP" 4 times at a cop 20 feet away. Everyone on the sidewalk stopped to look, except the cop, who appeared to be ignoring us. I gotta tell you that there are a LOT of things Mayor Billionaire should be doing, but banning things that humans like is not his job, nor is it the job of the government. His reign on NYC should be over, but he actually changed the laws so that he could stay in office longer. Get off yourself. This is not your city. Leave me alone and go after the quality of life issues that make living here difficult... and soda is not it, nor is smoking. Clean this place up. Get rid of the rotten garbage smells. Where is the war on noise pollution... a real problem for New Yorkers. Every morning, jack hammers. Jackhammers at night. Try sleeping with the park in front of your apartment being renovated for 3 years! My last apartment on Flatbush had trucks with spinning lights, back up beepers and jack hammers 10 feet outside my bedroom working only at night! Make the streets safer for bikes. Get rid of the skateboarder packs that break park benches and garbage cans... not the 40 year old guy on rollerblades. I think cops harass me because I actually stop when they ask me to. I smoke 1 cigarette a day. After dinner. I have to go outside and stand in the street because I am not allowed to smoke in the park that has nobody in it, and I don't like to smoke on the sidewalk because that bothers non-smokers. Now I can't go to 7/11 and get a Big Gulp! Really! F U!

    May 31, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • abdulla oblongata

      well, you got the NY whining down to a tee. Congratulations.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Weis1110

      MC-I couldn't agree more with your sentiment. My wife and I are considering leaving NYC after these last few years. It's getting nuts-the nanny state, the noise, garbage issues. It is not the great place to live it used to be. Emperor Bloomberg has got to f-ing go!

      May 31, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Hey for as much as he probably pays to live there, I think he has earned the right to complain. Have you never complained about your city?

      May 31, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • lsafe

      Of course New York Sucks. Its a big city. All big cities will have all the problems your talking about.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Herbert Hoover

      They want you to buy a 44oz Budweiser instead.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. Str8Vision

    May as well outlaw beer, ice cream, pie, cake, chips, nuts, sugar and anything chocolate. Make possession/use a felony and send the criminal violators to prison. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world and this would help extend our commanding lead. Oh, and can we please designate it as a war, "the war against obesity", yes that sounds good and after all, Americans are at "war" against everything anyway. And we could put parking meters on all benches, chairs, stools and couches. Tax laziness! Ahhhh....America land of the free, or at least as free as we deserve to be.....

    May 31, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • ottomedic51

      If you put all the people wh drink ex-large sodas in jail, they'll have to release all of the "real" criminals and then sit back and watch the crime rate go up. I'd rather have someone drink a 40oz soda than a 40oz beer and then get in to their car to drive home.i guess that means no pitcher of beer at bars for football night!!! lol. I think this is probably the stupidest thing any Mayor could do!!

      May 31, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • JohnM

      I just love the "war on" comment...So true. Everything is a war. 'Wars' are last resort measures for bureaucrats who cannot solve problems creatively.

      We have just got to have enemies because the enemies help politicians and companies get money to implement and finance all the 'wars', which are never won. Here's an idea to end all the 'wars'. Perhaps we should start another 'war to end all wars'. How about a 'war' on warmongering bureacrats?

      May 31, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. I want my independence

    I tried to tell my co-workers this would happen when they baned trans fats. They said I was nuts! They said that trans fats were not good for you and they were pleased that the mayor banded them.
    I said they won't stop at trans fats. I said the next thing he will ban is something you enjoy but he will deem it harmful.
    Government is oppressive. They stop at nothing to controll the masses. Next up on the ban list......... Something YOU enjoy. It's time to take back our independence.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff

    I'm 40 years old and while I don't drink soda every day, I do consume more than the equivilent of one can a day. (the add they showed on T.V. said that one can a day can make you ten pounds heavier every year) I am still under 130 pounds at 5 foot five. The key is to stop being lazy, not telling everyone what size soda they can drink.

    People will just buy two or three of the smaller sizes and actually end up comsuming more.
    Maybe this is just a disguised plan to get people to put more money into the economy... sales tax on each sale.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • mc

      Agreed, promote exercise! The problem is, I have been ticketed for rollerblading and biking in the city. The only time I have ever had a run in with police has been while I was exercising. Bloomberg... leave!

      May 31, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. AFVet

    More of the same "Big Brother" from a politician. Whats next? If this is all that the mayor of NYC has to do then he has obviously solved all of the other problems and there is no longer a need for a mayor.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. bill

    New Yorker's like re-electing someone who will tell them what to do. Why not just enlist the entire city in the Army?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nate

    Truly pathetic. I wont even drop a single tourist dollar there anymore. Bum-berg can have his little utopian experiment, as much good as it will do him. Has he not seen the condition of Moonbeam's California? My sympathies Ney York, but you boneheads voted for this idiot!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. AFVet

    I wonder who the mayor will appoint to the official "soda policemen" position and how much will this person be paid in annual salary and benefits. Politicians are good at passing laws and making things illegal. Enforcing them is another matter.

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

    Why doesn't Michael Jewberg mind his own business? Who keeps voting for this as shole?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Lindalou

    So would that prohibit a restaurant from refilling your soft drink in a restaurant? If they only sell you the first 16 oz and give free refills how can that be prohibited?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. Guest1m

    Americans cling to their freedoms like LEECHES, no matter how irrational... How tedious...

    This move may not solve the problem entirely, but it is a good way to contribute. Another way? Sell healthy food. Vending machines in the U.S. are DISGUSTING. It's all chocolate and cookies – no baked Lays, or fruit snacks, or gluten-free chips. This is the case even in the hospitals! Jesus, you'd think the healthcare facilities could at least set a good example. The lack of healthy choices and excess of unhealthy options absolutely contributes to obesity.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      if you hate this country so much get out

      May 31, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Herewegoagain

      Gluten-free chips? How is that healthy? It's not. "Americans cling to their freedoms"? Yes, that's the whole basis of this country, freedom from government oppression. If you want a healthy vending machine, invest in a vending machine company and put healthy stuff in your machines. We all have the right to choose what we eat–at least we should. It's one thing for the government to regulate the speed of vehicles, it's entirely another for the government to regulate what you eat. What's next? Is the government going to regulate your religion?

      May 31, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. GotU

    Don't you realize Bloomberg knows what's best for New Yorkers? Can you imagine the future if every governor tries to impose his or her will on the general population. Freedom is on the slippery slope I fear.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ed

    My wife and I occasionally stop at a fast food place for lunch or dinner. We supersize one meal and buy an extra sandwich. We split the fries and drink. Not just to save money but we realize that neither of us needs all the calories, fat, sugar, and salt. We, like most people, can act responsibly and don't need the government telling us what to do.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • mc

      Run for mayor, we need some common sense.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      The obesity rates and hospitals around the entire USA prove you wrong. Most people are not as reasonable and responsible as you.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. LOL

    Let's not forget that billionaire Bloomberg is a republican.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Herewegoagain

      Not really. He was a Democrat, then Independent, now Republican. He's whatever he decides to be as the mood hits him. Regulating what businesses can sell is definitely a Democrat idea, Republicans value "laissez-faire".

      May 31, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. Q

    Kind of dumb. Most people don't get fat from pounding down the 64 oz. Big Gulp. They do it by drinking the medium soda with their McD's happy meal four times a week.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • mc

      Kids get fat because parents are not doing their jobs, not because we have fatty food options.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
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