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. RandomOne

    Half of New Yorkers are overweight? Did they count the whole state in that fact, or just people from NYC? I rarely see overweight people in NYC because of all the walking that needs to be done to get anywhere. Even if half are overweight, this ban is ridiculous and I'm not even a big soda drinker. Now people will just buy two 16 oz drinks instead of one. And I love that this rule doesn't apply to diet sodas – they have just as many chemicals as a regular soda does!

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

    What restricts you from buying two medium drinks?

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


      They'll have to come up with yet another law to deal with that.... lol...
      isn't liberalism fun?

      May 31, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. IceT

    Sugary beverages don't cause obesity .. people cause obesity!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Colin Morgan

    I despise soft drinks and can't recall the last time I had one. That said, people need to take responsibility for themselves. The government needs to quit meddling in the affairs of mortals. Do you really want a nanny state?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • dsaiofsda

      What's your solution for getting people to take responsibility for themselves and stop being obese?

      May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dennis

    Fine with me, as long as they don't ban the 32 oz beers I can buy in Penn Station!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. 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 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Buy just ONE 16oz, and get a free refill.

      Or is this going to ban free unlimited refills too?

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

    We don't have an obesity problem in this country. We have a lack of self control problem in this country. Do we really need the government telling us what we can eat and drink now.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. Really?

    Good thing those Republicants don't want government interfering in our lives!

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

      It is kind of lunacy isn't it?

      May 31, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. bfpiercelk

    Oh NYC DOH, you stupid....

    May 31, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. waterman

    The concept is right, but should be implemented in a different way. Don't ban anything. Have a progressive tax such that big sugary drinks are very expensive, small and low sugar drinks are cheap. People get upset when they hear 'ban'.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. ReverendDean


    May 31, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. s~

    Bloomberg, the liberal republican....

    May 31, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. IceT

    I wonder when the twinkie ban will go into place? What about a cigarette ban? Either ban all unhealthy things or let the free market system work as intended.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. Pete

    Unbelievable that this clown can get away with dictating what New Yorkers can and can't put into their bodies.Obviously smoking cigarettes must be good for New Yorkers..... Oh that's right, the state makes billions off the taxation money from cigarettes.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dan

    Stop subsidizing sugar producers, keeping the price of sugar artificially low. That would be a start to curbing obesity.

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