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. James Andrews

    Oh my God! Just exactly how much of my life does the Democratic Party want to control!?!? Have you people heard of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!??!!?!?! OH MY FREAKIN' GOODNESS! AUUUUGGGGHHHH! I've got blood coming out of my ears and eyes from having read this!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • pat

      No – Bloomberg is an independent – and was a repub before that.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. Onlyonetime

    This is over top government control. All of these bans need to stop. Government officials need to go back down and show some reasoning and common sense. Common sense is out the window with these people.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tc

    Drinking too many sodas a day leads to the obesity of America. It's time for people to quit whining and face the truth. We are a nation that consume too much food, it's that simple. If you look at the dates rising obesity rates in America they coincide with the same time you could "extra" size your fast food meals. Dr. Pepper alone has 40 grams of sugar per 12oz serving. When your body does not burn that sugar off it is formed into to fat. Sugar is addicting and needs to be consumed in small proportions.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Onlyonetime

      I agree 100% with what you are saying about obesity. However, I don't quite understand how you would prefer the government to step in and tell anyone what is acceptable levels of soda? I really don't want ONE man to make that decision for everyone.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • ann

      Actually that is just a simplistic view. It isn't just sugary drinks and portion sizes. Any carbohydrate can be easily converted by the body to a sugar (ask any diabetic). So even if the portion sizes aren't huge and you quit drinking or eating anything sugary, you can still plump up easily by eating a meal that leans toward too many carbs. It's all about moderation across the board. You don't have to live off of lettuce, just eat balanced and decent size portions that include veggies along with a nice balance of carbs and proteins with occasional sugary or fat filled treats on occasion. No one food or food type is the root of all problems.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. mario

    Yes, it may be true that European eat smaller portions than Americans but to pass a law banning the sale of anything more than a 16 ounce soda is complete idiocy and a waste of time. If someone wants to drink 44 ounces of soda, all they'll have to do is buy 3 – 16 ounce drinks. Hey, I got a better idea. Why not just pass a law against being obese and be done with it. Kill all the fatties or put them into mandatory weight management camps!!!! I thought Bloomberg was smarter than this. What next? Is the government going to come into our houses and count how many ounces of soda we have in our fridge? Are they going to start banning the sale of large cakes, cookies, and pastries? Give me a break!!!

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

    The nanny city/state/nation is at it again. When will they learn they can't legislate stupidity.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tom

    I don't care about the health implications the fact of the matter is the government has no right and doesn't need to tell you what you can or how much you can eat or drink. If Bloomberg would worry about other stuff like why the hell did they rip the the road on 23rd street and haven't re-paved in 6 months! Or the homeless, or figuring out why MTA keeps raising prices but the service doesn't get any better! An all the the stupid hipsters and yuppies are going to just nod their head and let Bloomberg do this. Has he done anything other than take away the rights of citizens? He is the 1% he is corporate garbage and for you sheep to agree with him questions the intelligence of NYC as a whole.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • B M Kavitz

      Government is not obligated to provide health care for citizens either but they do, if you are obese because you eat at BK or McDonalds every day don't come to the emergency room when you have a heart attack and don't expect insurance to cover your diabetes supplies. Cover it out of your own pocket because you exercised your rights as an American to live the way you want to.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lola

    Just like "Big Brother," the government needs first to police itself. Reform and take of Social Security, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, over zealous police forces, Congress, the Senate, local city councils, etc., etc., etc. Big Gulp Cokes should be on the bottom of the long list.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. Robert

    It's perfect! NY'ers you are not smart enough to think for yourself. Congrats!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. Big Brother is alive and well

    Sugar doesn't make people fat. People make people fat.

    Bloomberg has to have some sort of ulterior motive.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. fp737

    Bloomberg's a Republican! I thought the GOP was supposed to be for limited government and free enterprise! Shocking, just shocking, I tell you!!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. Person of Interest

    First off, thanks big bother. I'm a moderate (yea I know there's actually one of us left) and this is beyond big brother. I drink maybe a small can of soda a normal day but if I want to get a big soda or a big ice cream malt it isn't the governments business. In fact, it isn't my doctor's, mother's, father's, sister's, fish, or even my dog's business as I'm a grown man and can decide how health or lack thereof I wish to be.

    And why are there exceptions to this rule? McDonald's can't but Wal-Mart can? If people want to be fat let them be, when they overturn Obama care I won't be paying for it. You want to tell me what to eat and drink, you better not be with the party that claps for letting a person without health insurance die. Most of the time obseity or just being overweight is a mental decision not a medical problem. And when it is a medical problem not allowing it a fast food place isn't going to stop that type of person, there's a reason it's medical and they will find a way.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  12. Butter Burger

    Does this mean no free refills!?!?!
    If no limits on the number, then what's the point?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. RC

    Whew, thank goodness. I'm sure glad that Mr. Bloomberg is taking charge. He is much more qualified to make a decision for me rather than me! What would I possibly do without him telling me what to do with my own body. Thank goodness!!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. Nobody N. Particular

    The problem with Bloomberg's plan is that its just for show, otherwise he would go after other he would include juice and alcohol since both of those a rich sources of sugar. The only difference between a coke and a glass of OJ, is that at least the OJ provides vitamin C, they both have the same amount of sugar (per fl oz). Also, alcohol is worse than sugar, since sugar only provides 4 calories per gram, alcohol provides 7 calories per gram. The fact that Bloomberg make all of these exceptions show that this law is nothing but cosmetic dressing, that's it.

    May 31, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. JK

    So the person orders two drinks instead. Another example of democrat NY being SO DUMB!

    May 31, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
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