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. Joe's brain

    Once again the liberals want to impose their will on the people. Isn't it time we were a free country again?

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

      Hey, I'm a liberal and I think this is a bad idea. If somebody is stupid enough to let themselves get grossly obese and then die because of it, it's natural selection in action. The average IQ of the human race will go up a fraction of a point. Let them drink sugary drinks all they want, the human race will be better off when they die.

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

      Precisely. While it may be that one should refrain from many things that affect their health, we usually allow them to make these decisions for themselves. (Drugs being the main exception). Prohibition has shown how well banning potentially harmful behavior works

      May 31, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tom Legare

    Please enough is enough!! The Government is in way over it's head! On this one I agree with the Repubs, too much Government is not a good thing!!

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

    This is rediculous. So you can't buy a 44oz drink, you buy three 16oz drinks.

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

    Rather than banning the large drinks, it would be more appropriate to heavily tax them and apply the funds collected to a combination of ad campaigns designed to discourage poor eating behavior and also to cover some of the costs that impact society from poor health due to obesity.

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

      hey Brett I'm 49 in great shape and I eat ice cream and sodas so why should I be taxed or deprived of a dessert or treat... you are stupid to make such a statement... do you want me to tell you where to work who to marry if you can have kids..... wake up and think for yourself I have faith in you!

      May 31, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. pat

    But this is the same city that wanted to ban bottled water because they didn't want the plastic and they wanted to promote the city water.

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

    Just another step towards a Socialist society in the good ol USA.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. mirrorview


    May 31, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. Albany

    I would bet 75% of people complaining here are fat or obese. The in shape people dont care because they dont drink large soda anyway. So unhealthy

    May 31, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Lux

      ummmm your a dork I am the perfect weight I dont drink soda at all anymore, it is not about soda its about right to purchase how ever much you want

      May 31, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • miketofal

      another republican showing us how his party likes to look out for the little people. next they'll be taking obese persons out of their houses and shooting them at point-blank range, all in the name of better public health.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Susan

    Drinks just don't need to be that big. It's ridiculous. No one actually needs that much soda in a week let alone in a serving. If we aren't exposed to such large drink sizes, we won't miss it.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • VoiceofReason

      Susan, how can you tell another person what to eat, how much to eat and when? I don't want to live in a country where the government can punish you for serving the wrong portion of the wrong food!

      May 31, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. HM8432

    Welcome to the future of intrusive Nanny state that supposedly knows better than you do. First they went after smokers, then they went after trans-fats, now large, sugary things...what's next, and next, and next? Tomorrow it will be something YOU like! We should encourage physical activity and good health promotion rather than making more laws to dictate to people how they should live their lives.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • pat

      Although smoking and trans-fat laws are probably bad examples here because these are actually very good ideas that work.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. VoiceofReason

    The last time I checked this was the United States of America, not the setting of some sort of distopian horror story. When the government thinks it can criminalize soft drinks, then it has become tyrannical. This is Bloomberg's modern equivalent of Caligula trying to appoint his favorite horse as a senator.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike D

    I love this. Wealthy Republican Bloomberg is now a "liberal" because of this. Baa, sheep, baa!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  13. G H

    This is a joke. all the issues NYC has and the mayor wants to make this a priority. Thank God I do not live in NYC I think I would have to move. Try focusing on the schools and educate our children on the basics of a balanced diet and portion control. Oh wait educate people makes to much sense lets just pass laws and make people obey them, this isn't the land of the free, it is the land of bloomberg

    May 31, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. alex

    What about 40 oz beers?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    Bloomberg wants soft drinks banned because they make people fat.

    Bloomberg banned guns because guns killed people, and not people killed people.

    Bloomberg is next going to ban automobiles because they are smogging up the air and because cars hit people (see that? I added in health AND killing in the same sarcastic punch).

    Next year airplanes won't be allowed over new York airspace because they kill buildings (therefore leaving JFK airport Useless, and forcing its employees into unemployment)

    I hope you guys are seeing where I am going with this. He should stop thinking that every idea he thinks up is a good one. If I had it that way, a lot of people would be shipped over to Syria right now. Haha

    May 31, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
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