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. philphil

    so if this goes into effect, I could get a jumbo Diet Coke, but I can't get a jumbo Mountain Dew?

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

    Won't Mexican drug lords just start selling 20oz sodas in back allies? Bloomberg's "War on Cola" just may inadvertently cause people in Mexico to begin the mass killing of each other in horrific ways. Mexicans tell us that appalling violence must occur in Mexico anytime we ban something for the good of our own nation. It is some sort of Mexican law of nature or something.

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

    So why ban soft drinks, but not cigarettes? Isn't dying from cancer a bit more unhealthy than being overweight?

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

      Makes about as much sense as banning all non-commercial vehicles and mass transportation to force people to walk more.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. David

    Dont this moron have better things to do? Too bad we cant ban dumb

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

      You can ban dumb, vote the idiot out!

      May 31, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sandra Harvel

    People that usually drink a 44 oz size Coke drink that much or more at home in a day. Will he pass a law limiting the number of cases of Coke that can be purchased at a store in NYC? I still think the government is slowly taking more and more rights away from the American public and what's scary is a lot of people don't realize it!

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

    Bloomberg seldom wastes an opportunity to prove once again that he's a would-be petty tyrant who acknowledges no limits at all to the power of government over individuals.

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

    The Nanny state in full swing, let the Government think for you, let the Government take care of you. This nation is going down the tubes quick. It is no ones business what I drink or eat.

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

    What on earth gives this man the right to tell all those other folks what they can or cannot do? More control from the Republican party that says it believes in less government interference.

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

    If the government is expected to help with rising costs of healthcare (which are greater because of the health issues due to obesity problems), then it seems like they have the obligation to try to curb health problems before people get to the point of serious health issues. Sugary beverages are one of the top culprits of obesity. However, not sure if the city banning these drinks is the right approach in curbing obesity.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    Of COURSE it's bad for you, but so are many things. Bloomberg would create a nanny state, based on his vision, and he has no right to do so. He's a mayor, not a mother. That's who should be keeping their kids away from the sugary crap, mothers and fathers.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. JC White

    This should be implemented all across the nation. It's so sad that the US ranks among the fattiest people in the world.

    So yeah people could buy 2 medium drinks but that's only 32oz instead of the 44oz giantestic drink sold at some establishments.

    We need a healthy and good looking population!!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

    Non diet soda apparently doesn't bring in the tax dollars like cigaretts do!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mimi

    Ha Ha Ha ...this is very funny stuff!! I mean seriously, is this the CRAZIEST idea you have EVER heard? Some other options: Buy 2, 16 ounce drinks (you can learn some balancing techniques while carrying your burger in one hand and two stacked cokes in the other); buy a 2 liter coke and carry it under your arm (you can also use that same 2 liter to beat off New York city thugs) or buy a big bottle of vodka or limoncello and go for it. THIS IS HYSTERICAL!! Bloomberg, seriously, get to the work of the state.

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

      Or at least the work of the city. He's a mayor.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Two 16oz drinks cost more and bring in more tax $ than the larger less cost per oz soda does.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. Brian

    Is this going to apply to bottles too or just fountain drinks? I don't see how they could ban 20-oz. bottles of soda as that is a standard bottle size...

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

      Not to mention the giant 1ltr what are they to do about that?

      May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Blog

    If he wants to do something about the health of New Yorkers, all he has to do is build them a whole new city, provide free health care to all, including mental health care, and give NYC the stimulus it needs to rise above the water table that frequently sloshes raw sewage all over the place.
    In short, he needs to rebuild NYC from (below) the ground up.
    Why ban soft drinks if there's raw sewage everywhere? What sort of ninny seeks to ban food or drink anyway?

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