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. IndianaGreg

    They won't be happy until we're all eating Soylent Green.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • mike k.

      it's peeeeeeeople!

      May 31, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. William Myers

    It's not about health or giant sodas. It's about control and M. Bloomberg wants as much government control over you as possible.
    Sure. Why not? If laws become too onerous he can fly his jet to his Bermuda estate and escape.
    This man is a pig.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • mike k.

      The fact is, too many people don't have sense enough to stop eating/drinking when they're full, and we all pay the price when they develop serious health problems because of it.

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

      Your stupidity is simply astounding.

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

    If this proposal isn't reason enough to officially declare Bloomberg an idiot I don't know what is.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bill Jarrell

    First no smoking even in privately owned businesses. Then they determine I should have a one gallon toliet I must flush 2-3 times. Now your drink size is too big. Comrade, you will all be of the same size in the uniform we design of the color we choose. You want to determine what you do, where you go, what you eat. Wher did you ever get the silly idea that you could choose.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. NealR2000

    Fat people are playing a big part in bankrupting this nation. It's getting worse. Does anyone here have any better suggestions?

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

      Ok then. Lets just make it a rule that people can't be lazy, we all must be 6 feet tall and weigh 175 pounds. We can never ever do anything that a politician declares that it would be bad for us. we will all live in thisperfectly safe little bubble. Get real.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      Yea, government needs to stop over regulating and worry about their "real" issues, like budgets.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank


      Fat people obviously make horrible decisions and should not be allowed to make them anymore.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. Obvious Guy

    Funny thing, from someone who has worked in health food for a few years, diet drinks are actually worse for your body than drinks with natural sugar. Because diet drinks contain artificial sweeteners which is much more dangerous than sugar. And what's stopping McFondals from charging a tad more for the employee to accidentally giving someone a regular coke in the diet cup?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. willard43

    Cause that's the biggest problem facing NYC now...sugary drinks. If I were a resident, I'd sue the state and local governments for malfeasance.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. Yard Dawg

    How far will the Nanny State go??? Enough!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Andre

    Once again Bloomberg puts his nose where it doesnt belong. I thought this was a free country, allowing someone to tell people what we can and cant eat or drink is crazy. I think Bloomberg is out of touch with 75% of NYC population. Bloomberg has made NYC a playground for the rich and has neglected the middle class. Its getting impossible to live in NYC, between the high taxes, predatory meter maids and outrageous rents NYC has become a place for the upper class. I think the mayor needs to focus on creating affordable housing, education, and if he is so worried about the eating habits of NYC residents he should make quality food available and affordable to all, not just people with disposable income.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. pasha

    ' Brave New World" " 1984 " around the corner

    May 31, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. BuckB

    Why don't they just go ahead and ban sugar altogether and get it over with. Doesn't the mayor have anything more pressing on his plate that this issue. While they're at it ban oil. Really tired of Gov't trying to control everything.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. New Gawker

    Bloomberg has officially lost his mind. He did great for NYC but it's a good thing he won't try to sue for another term. He's quadrupled his fortune and has gone power mad. So much for GOP less government line.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. Just when you think news can't get any worse...

    Not only is this bad and over-reaching policy into the personal choices of private citizens, it will only cause more pain at the pump.. How....because the gas stations that sell those 44 oz cups will have to make up for the loss of revenue somehow.... This guy is going to "health you up" right into the poor house New York.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. oro

    There's probably more emerging evidence that the artificial sweetners used in diet drinks are even more hazardous to health than consumption of sugar yet the new law puts no limit on those diet drinks. Real science in this country has been hijacked by special interest groups and politicians.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. David Ellis

    As always there are 2 sides to this.
    It would be a clear over-reach of the government's authority if the consequences were limited to the people consuming the soda, but they are not. These same people then clog our medical care infrastructure and jack our insurance rates.

    Lets say we do get national healthcare in the US. If you worked out, ate right, and worked hard and avoided soda, but had to pay 100 bucks extra each month because of obesity related healthcare costs, I am sure you would be less than happy about it.

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