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. s~

    I think I watched this episode on Seinfeld... SODA NAZI.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. 2el8

    I stopped drinking soda 2 years ago and started smoking dope. I feel much better now.

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

    This is why less government is always better.

    They have NO RIGHT telling you what to eat or drink. If I lived there, I would have a lawsuit in a heartbeat against him.

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

    oh so since i cant get the super size, I guess ill have to order 2 mediums now. lol.. im only 120 pounds and I love my coke so what!! i excersise and maintain a great weight..government leave people and there personal lifes alone!!!

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

    So the average weight of a New Yorker will drop how much from enacting this law? There is research behind this, isn't there, or not?

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

    Should people eat better? Sure. However, isn't this supposed to be the U.S. where you get to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Having the government make up all kinds of little rules to regulate personal choice does not feel like liberty to me much less happiness. Also not to mention that the government shouldn't have that kind of power.

    What if I want to choose to spend my calories on a big sugary drink for just one day. I believe that is my right to do so. And as some have pointed out, I could just buy two mediums.

    This is just out and out ridiculous. Last I checked, this was not a communist country.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. m00nsuit

    Bloomberg and others like him are the reason people are stupid today. How about letting people think for themselves, just like most human beings have done since the beginning of time. It seems to have worked out ok for them 🙂

    May 31, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ordinary Average American

    This is a perfect example of the government's ridiculous solutions (or lack thereof) to the problems that exist in America!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • James Andrews

      That's right. The solution does NOT lie with government but with the PEOPLE! People have to choose to stop making stupid decisions. Government cannot do it for them!

      May 31, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. Drew

    Ban cigarettes, fast food and alcohol if you're going to ban pop. How about a new revenue stream? Taxes of 5¢ for drinks 20 ounces to 32 ounces and taxes of 10¢ for drinks 33 ounces and over. Why not? If government is going to legislate this kind of morality, at least legislate the same way.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • B M Kavitz

      I agree that people should be able to eat, drink, and smoke whatever they want, however when your actions affect other people, i.e. higher health care costs, the need to enlarge seats on airplanes and in sports arenas (therefore increasing costs) that is a problem. If people want to neglect their health we must not accommodate them, they must live with the consequenses of their actions or inactions.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joe_Repub

    Why don't they just ban obese people, leave it up to the individual to keep the weight off. The weight-control Nazis can have a morning weigh-in for all the fat bodies and take appropriate action for non-conformance.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cindy

    You would think he would have more pressing issues to worry about than how much pop people drink. This is going way too far. The government has no business telling us what we can eat or drink. It's ridiculous!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. whitmanguy

    This is an outrage. Our Founding Fathers fought and died for our right to be fat.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. JP

    I noticed the ban didn't apply to alcohol. Let's ban cigarettes and sugary drinks, but don't dare touch our alcohol which is responsible for broken homes, deaths, and abuse. Bunch of hypocrites.

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

    The soda drinks are just a start. A good start in my opinion. Last year I traveled to six different countries, all of which did not have drinks this large. The water bottles were much larger than our average water bottle. I agree that limiting the size of soda drinks is not going to stop obesity in our country or really have much of an impact, but… it’s a start. If you don’t think you already have a politician in your kitchen, you are wrong. Our way of eating and thinking what is actually healthy for our bodies is wrong. Why is it cheaper to buy over processed snacks and animal products than organic fruits and vegetables!? Politics and lobbying.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mary

    Mr Bloomberg, I think you had best work on drugs and alchohol sales first.

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