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. Lisa M

    What happened to accountability? I am in the process of losing a large amount of weight and I have learned that to lose weight, you need to make smart choices. If someone wants to drink a big sugary drink, that's their choice. The only way to cure this obesity epidemic is for people to stop making excuses and just do it!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil in Oregon

      Good word! And power to ya! Sweat more, eat/drink less. I work cutting, splitting, loading, and unloading firewood in the Oregon mountains. People think I'm way younger than I am, because of all the sweat and fresh air. I don't get to make excuses – the only wood I get paid for is the part that I deliver.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Rynomite

      Banning something is never the correct answer to any problem, and even if banning was an answer, a far more effective way to battle obesity would be to enforce a limit of no more than 1 hour of television per day per household. Get people off their butts and moving!

      That said, if someone wants to be obese, that is their right. The Government does not have a right to take away the items that contribute to the obesity. The Government DOES however have the right to recognize that obesity is the largest driving factor for health care costs today. Therefore, fat people should be required pay more (much more) for their insurance. Being fat is a choice, but that choice should not be allowed to impact the heath care costs of healthy people.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. Beth

    So its ok to drink a huge diet soda though? Apparently NY has never heard of the dangers of aspartame in diet drinks.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Dillon

      Amen – that was my first thought as well

      May 31, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. IndyNC

    I forsee someone losing his Mayoral status soon... last I checked, New Yorkers (at least the ones in the UPSTATE) don't like govt over-reach and don't like being micro-managed.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • NYMetro

      NYC is a gigantic resource-consuming magnet for the whole of the rest of the state. Look at the neighboring states of NJ and CT, and you can see a more balanced distribution of population and resources. Outside of NYC metro, I've observed that the rest of the state has a character closer to Vermont or Pennsylvania. It would not be sensible to compare the sensibilities of a freedom-loving rural upstater with those that willingly live within the confines of NYC's collectivist utopia where the government is your nanny and keeper.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. GetOuttaMyBusiness

    I can't believe 1/3 of those responding think this is a good idea! It has to be the liberals, because conservatives don't need or want anybody to tell us how to live our lives!

    Think about it, people. Little by little, the government is going to tell us exactly how to live our lives, and they will regulate it. That is called a loss of individual freedoms, and if you're not concerned about it, you should be!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. kroberts4u

    Reblogged this on thehealthcrusader and commented:
    Someday drinking 64oz soda will be looked at as a serious health risk just as the view of smoking as health risk has increased over the decades.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. CLS

    You guys just don't get the point. The most disturbing thing in this article is the fact that 50% of the population in New York is obese or over weight! Holy crap you guys are going down the crapper in a hurry. The Chinese and the Russians only need to wait a couple more years until the US eats its' way into oblivion and then walk in and take over while you all sit on your fat butts at your local Rotten Ronnies drinking 64oz Colas with your biggie fries.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. TonyInNYC

    I don't think this will affect us much, and I don't think my fellow New Yorkers will complain much.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kevin

    And what about the bugers and fries that have more salt in one "serving" than you should have in a whole day....

    May 31, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Nabob

    In favor of tax payer supported healthcare? Expect the tax payer to have a say in how you live your life. Can't have it both ways.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. wufpakjack

    Although I don't think the govt should have this kinda of power, I think it's a good idea in theory. HFCS is not only helping make the entire population a fat as cows, but according to a recent study, it's making us as smart as them too.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. working schmo

    Real stupidity and an example of how incompetent government is at creating policy and how we are fast approaching the demise of freedom. The fast food joints will simply react by charging a bit more for a 16 oz Coke and enabling free or discounted refills. Also if Bloomberg is so concerned about the health of its citizens – why doesn't it ban tobacco (I'm not in favor of that BTW)? Because the tax revenue is too large. So once again true government hypocrisy in action here.
    P.S. New York City is not a deep-south-type bastion of obesity anyway. I think the collective weight of Manhattan residents is probably 1000lbs....

    May 31, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dan G.

    Normally before Progressives tax something they demean it first. Much like the Obama Blame, Demean, and Divert campaign they don't want to discuss the real problems but rather distract you from their real agenda.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mike D

    Republicans, you need to rally around Bloomberg. He's really rich, and in Republican parlance that means he's better than you and knows more than you. Time to put down the sugary drinks, right wingers! Get in lockstep!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |

    why doesn't he ban McDonalds too

    May 31, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. s~

    Just buy two 16
    Oh, they'll ban that too.....

    Eventually they'll ban..... ummmm....... well, you all get the idea......

    May 31, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
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