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. Ash

    Bloomberg has the right idea. Half of you have never been to a European country. Go to Italy, France or any other country in Europe, and their portions of food are smaller, no matter what restaurant you go into. They also dont use high fructose corn syrup in most of the soda. Even the Coca Cola that is bottled in France does not contain high fructose corn syrup, mainly because corn doesnt grow there as abundantly as it does in the heartland of the USA. Therefore they live healthier lives than fat Americans eating giant portions of processed foods. There is no such thing as a Big Gulp in more countries around the world. Its just the USA has a mindset of "bigger is better".

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

      I guess soda companies r not lining enough pockets of the politicians

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

      Ash: Portions for everything are smaller over there, but it's because the market has pushed it in that direction, not government.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • JH

      Yeah, sounds great! Let's follow Europe's lead, as it would be very foolish not to follow a system that is leading to the collapse of its countries.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • jrl1234

      Better yet, you go to Europe and don't come back. This is America, we have the right to make poor decisions or good ones without the government telling us how to live. If you want to live in a nanny state move to Europe or California.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • wallacebillingham

      funny thing is all the things you cite were created by the market not by the Government. If Americans wanted only smaller drinks or portions there would be no need for merchants to offer them. Freedom is only free when it is supersized

      May 31, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Eddie

      So freakin' what about Europe. The government shouldn't be legislating good decisions for people on their behalf. This busybody nanny state is a reprehensible affront to a republic founded on liberty. Just because it makes sense for everyone to drink smaller sodas doesn't mean it makes sense for the government to make it a law.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Average Joe

      Which is less healthy? A fat guy, or a government that runs that fat guy's life from cradle to grave?

      May 31, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      Very well said "Ash" I agree with you 100%. This isn't just about soft drinks, when such a high percentage of America's youth is either overweight or obese its no longer about the injustice to the average person. I am in my mid twenties and for the first time in history my generation isn't supposed to live as long (on average) as their parents. I ordered a kid's meal at McDonald's the other day and received a 32oz sweet tea! The kids meal is the ADULTS portion. Wake up people. Perhaps the government should make it ill-legal to slowly kill or abuse your kids with food instead.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Sarcasmo

      Food portions in Europe are smaller because people eat less, not because there are laws restricting their size or because the governments tell people they can't eat certain foods. (Not including genetically modified or irradiated ones.)

      May 31, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Annoyed!

    This is insane! Why does the government feel they have to step in and regulate every little thing? Even the size of soft drinks?? How about educating citizens about the dangers of drinking soft drinks and let the market decide whether they should purchase them or not?
    Put a label on every soda like cigarretes if you want to, just don't tell me what amounts to drink!

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

      Someone has to tell these fat azzes to stop drinking so much soda. Obesity is costing tax payers millions in healthcare costs. We have too much of everything in this country. It is time to tone/TRIM it down.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • tapescotch

      There are so arguments that can go either way with something like this. Personally i think it's a great idea but I'd rather see the companies themselves take some responsibility and pull the items. In a time where a large majority of America feel that Health Care should be provided to everyone at no cost, things like soda's the size of your head have to reconfigured. If we want free health care, society as a whole has to evolve. We can't be eating the Quadruple Bypass Rodeo Burgers with a side order of fried globs of s**t, only to wash it down w/ a cup of carbonated sugar water.

      I just cut soda's from my life about 1 month and a half ago and I feel great. Soda's account for 11 to 19 % of all calories consumed the world over, and are directly linked to obesity and multiple diseases. But ultimately it's the choice of the individual to make what decision they feel is best for their body.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. JH

    The same city that banned the use of salt in restaurants. Once again, big government knows best!

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

    I don't think a ban is right. but i do believe that soda should carry a warning label, much like cigarettes.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. jrl1234

    This is whats wrong with democrates. Bloomberg has had a full on attack on personal freedoms for years. This guy needs to go, he and any one that thinks they can regulate the worlds problems away needs to be ran out of office.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. jeremiah

    just get rid of sodas, cigerattes, and other substances that are not good for humanity I don't care about the companies that are involved with these substances (I don't even care if the companies perish, it is not a healthy choice of living)

    May 31, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • scat398

      well it can't be a choice if it doesn't exist Jeremiah, you are headed down a dangerous path of thinking.

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

      jeremiah wrote: "just get rid of sodas, cigerattes, and other substances that are not good for humanity I don't care..."

      jeremiah, there will ALWAYS be something at the bottom of the health totem pole. Don't you get it? You know what would be BEST for our health? Everyone staying in padded rooms, eating specially formulated nutrient paste. Your ignorance is astounding.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. scat398

    so 32% of CNN viewers actually think state controlled food rations is a normal thing? very sad, very sad.

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

      I know where you are coming from scat398. I know this is a free country but I really do care about everyones health in this country. I know everything is about money but what about the peoples health. People get sick or die from these products that companies make. And I know that I have no authority over this, but i would like to try to get people thinking in the right direction thats all. I know you are thinking I am very lost but I want to reach out to the good side of this.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. mike

    Blame the anti-tobacco crowd. This IS the slippery slope.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Chris

    To get my free refills, I'll have to get up and walk? Oh the humanity. The restaurants should install actual fountains which deliver soda.

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

      LMAO @ Chris!

      May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. Eric

    Pointless law. Free-refills defeat the whole purpose. This is gov't overreach at it's finest. At least it's not federal. New Yorkers have the choice to move to another city if they like.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. Adam C

    the land of the free?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. Will T. Fokke

    These should be banned not because of obesity but because you look stupid drinking from a bucket with a straw.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. james

    This is bullcrap. I don't care if it saves 10 Million lives. It's not his place to tell people how to live. What next? Any time you see the police He wants you to go to jail if you don't drop and give him 20? Delusions of dictatorship.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Eric

    I think the bigger crisis is that no one knows how to properly use an apostrophe anymore.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. Scott

    ... Land of the free... lol

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