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. David M

    Okay, so I can't buy a 44 oz drink, but are you going to stop me from buying two 20 oz drinks? Sugary drinks are not the only contributor to obesity. Nor are they the only contributor to poor health. Will you ban cigarettes, alcohol, devil dogs, candy, coffee, and a million other things that can contributy to obesity and poor health? It's not the government's role to dictate what I cannot eat. Their role is to ensure the information is available and it's up to the consumer to make the right choice. The information is out there, so find something of more importance to focus attention on.

    Do you really think limiting the size of soft drink a person can purchase will make a dent in obesity? If you do, you should seek professional help.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. anti-brainwashing

    Drink this, drive that , watch the drones above your head, stay off the Pres. "Kill List" etc!!...Welcome to 1984!!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. Just when you think news can't get any worse...

    Here we have a life long democrat who became a republican throughout the G.W. Bush years, and is now claiming to be and Independant. First he started with the smokers.... then the french fries, now the sodas..... This dude is going to make New Yorkes healthy whether they like it or not.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. PTC Bernie

    Another feel good move that wastes taxpayer time. The politicians need to focus on real issue. Jobs, taxes and public safety. Stop trying to legislate free choice issues.

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

      HI Bernie when you mention politicians mention the party as it does matter. In this case Democrats. Once again lets take away your rights. Well good luck New York because good ol San Francisco tried to ban Happy Meals. Epic fail the courts said no. Yeaaaaa courts ! Boooo Democrats !

      May 31, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. John Christopher

    Its a dangerous slippery slope when Big Brother regulates what you can eat or drink. They want to regulate your thoughts
    and every other whims in your life. What about promoting "self responsibility!" What a concept!?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. Doc

    If they exempt juice and milkshakes, then this is just a joke! Those have just as many, if not more calories, than soda!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      You are spot on; fruit drinks have as much sugar as most sodas. This is ridiculous. It's like prohibition all over again and we know how that worked out. What's to stop a person from ordering two, or more, of the smaller sizes....WAIT!..more of the smaller sizes means more revenue for the vendor and more tax dollars to the we are getting to the REAL driving force behind this.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. tmc

    The idea has merit, but only for children under 18. Adults will make their own decisions, but children should not supersize and load up on high fructose corn syrup to the extent that they do. Our country has overloaded food product with high fructose corn syup and corn based sugar products much more than in the past 15, 20, 30 & 50 years. Processed foods are routinely making people unhealthy and shortening their lifespans. Instead, put reasonable alternatives.. such as a 64oz filtered/bottled water as an option in fast food restaurants.. The problem is if you actually had to taste the water used to mix the drink, you would spit it out. They need to fix the water to make it more palatable and can charge for that.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Excellent concept...but most "adults" I know are too childish to make the right decisions. Face it, folks. Our country mostly consists of idiots who cannot think for themselves. Either limit their ability to self-destruct or stop paying to keep them alive.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. rd

    South beach,Atkins,p90x etc etc. So many failed diets and genius Bloomberg finally discovers a diet that works. Give him a Nobel prize.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. brendabankert

    It is not the government's job to tell us what we can or cannot eat – it is our job to make smart decisions and if we don't we have to live with the consequences. How can you ban soda but not cigarettes or alcohol – both of which are directly linked to disease and death? The government needs to get out of the babysitting job and let the citizens of this country have free will.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. juniorbarnes

    WHAT A JOKE!!!! Bloomberg wants this because “Obesity is a nationwide problem..."? He really thinks people are dumb. Hey Bloomberg, cancer is a nationwide problem and cigarettes are more of a threat to people than a large Coke. What are your plans to ban cigarettes?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Philo99

    What kind of ego-maniac thinks he can tell Americans what they can and can't do?

    How is this man even allowed to walk the streets yet be a Mayor in this country. This is the most dangerous type of leader, one who thinks his opinions should be law of the land.

    It time to seriously think about impeachment.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • mamaboats

      Personally, I don't give a damn what you all drink...drink up....if you cannot see the writing on the wall....if you cannot see that these companies don't care anything at all about you and that all this sugar and corn syrup is contributing to your being obese then drink up...oh yes and drink up that diet drink so that you can get alll the aspartame that you can swallow. Eat up those two pounders, the three pounders...the oversized fries, the five pound up...yummmmm.....

      May 31, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. JoeyE

    I'm glad I don't drink soda pop since more than 5 years.. so I FEEL good! I concur that more than 16 oz is bad.. Soda DOES cause anyone obesity because it HAS CARBS! anything with carbs will lead you to have obesity /diabietic so why allow soda pop exist in this world.. I see many people drink soda pop everyday and they don't realize how bad it is.. it is really addiction to them.. I quit cold turkey after drinking more than 5 soda can a day.. I adore WATER than anything else!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. Chris

    This is actually a very modest ban, all things considered. If our people took some responsibility of their own health, we may not be seen around the world as a bunch of ignorant fat *sses.... and yeah, I get the whole "This is 'Merica, land of the free. I should have a big gulp if I want" but the fact is, Obesity if an epidemic and food corporations are hand feeding us to our graves. Eat some damn broccoli and ice tea.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Philo99

      A modest ban?

      Maybe we should ban a few words, that would just be a modest ban on freedom of speech.
      Maybe ban a few books that the Mayor doesn't care about. It would just be a modest ban.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. Pam

    If the government wants to tell people what they can and can't consume, then start with the people living off the government. Tell them that they can't have soda and Twinkies.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • LL


      He tried that first. He proposed a ban on buying soda and other sugary drinks using food stamps. That was rejected by the courts and he's trying this instead.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. Josh

    " Bloomberg's ban would not apply to ... alcohol(ic drinks)."

    So, a 44-ounce Coke is bad, but a 44-ounce martini, margarita or beer would still be OK?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
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