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. George

    People dont read labels they just like how this crap tastes.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Max

      the government absolutely has the right and the obligation to ban humongo sugary drinks. would you the taxpayer rather be happy footing the healthcare bill for diabetics and heart disease sufferers?

      May 31, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Steve

    Typical central government claiming they know what is better thus force something symbolic down everyones throats. The problem is that sugar is in everything. Banning large drinks does not fix this. Any grain is basically a sugar bomb. if Bloomberg is going to ban large sodas, he should also ban large subs, hoagies, or anything with a lot of bread. Don't forget those biggie fries. Carbs are just glued together sugars. That is why we crave bread and potatoes almost as much as sugar. Watch a wild bear in a garbage dump. Wonderbread is always prefered over natural food. We instictively know that anything with sugar in it is high density food.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I agree. This is NOT Bloomberg's prerogative, in the slightest. Who is he the Food Police? Get real.

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

    I guess Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has no meaning in this country. Next step, the government will ration the appropriete amount of food to each individual based on height and what their proper weight should be.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Yeah in the meantime Diabetes and Heart Disease is hitting our children so hard it's killing figure it out Brian..get back to us.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. cathstar

    I voted for Bloomberg all three times, but disagree with all of his acts which attempt to control our individual choices. This latest one is beyond ridiculous. Does Bloomie realize that if he bans a 32 ounce soda from being sold, some residents might actually be smart enough to figure out that they can purchase two 16 ounce ones. Then they will be able to drink their quart of soda and just have to pay more.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • taffd

      I'd think he'd then ban bars-lots and lots of calories for absolutely no reason at all other than getting drunk and creating beer guts

      May 31, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      So you are part of the problem. You don't like his policies but there you are voting for him every four years.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. johnny57

    I know this sort of goes against a lot of things, but I would be alright with it if he banned them. Besides, I don't live in NY, but I never buy that sugared stuff.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Parag

    Don't tell us what to eat & drink!

    That's why we are obese........

    May 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      I say, as a population, we've already failed to show self-control, and look! We have ridiculous obesity rates, which are turning out to be the largest factor in rising health-care costs. So unless we like paying more for health-care, and having to use it more frequently, we need someone to knock some sense into us. We failed ourselves and we need help.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. ever4lasting

    What happen that government is to big. It's to big for corporations but not to control the people. What is to say you drink the coke and go back in an drink another one

    May 31, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      That's what makes this so ridiculous. Just buy two drinks if you need that much beverage. Or in restaurants with free refills, this move accomplishes absolutely nothing. And I'm curious, will convenience stores no longer be able to sell 2-liter bottles? How fast are New Yorkers counting down the last days of Bloomberg's term. He's done a lot of good for the city, but he's done way too much to contribute to our nanny state.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. Way Out There

    As someone that struggles with his own weight, it is my lifestyle that contributes the most to my weight, not the existence of super-sized soft drinks.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    It's perfectly okay to condemn and ban gay marriage, restrict a women's right to chose and inhibit birth control, but when the government says we shouldn't be drinking sodas that have negative effects on our health and can lead to serious health problems, that's a step too far?
    Not to mention, large portions and large drink sizes (like these sodas) are the leading causes of obesity in America. And obesiety is the largest factor contributing to rising health-care costs. So unless you like rising health-care costs, higher death rates, fatter people and shorter life-expectancies, we need to start thinking rationally and force ourselves to avoid these unhealthy foods. Because clearly we've already failed to show any bit of self-control and stop ourselves from indulging.
    And for you Christian, indulgence is a sin, you so quick to ban gay marriage because its a sin, but why not gluttony? Large portions and large drinks should, in theory be banned as well because they are analogous to sins in the bible.
    You can't have it both ways people.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • VoiceofReason

      Jeff, you know as much about rights and liberty as you know about religion and culture.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      I think Jeff is dead on. People are absolutely selective about what they will allow the government to control, based on any number of personal factors including religion.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. w5cdt

    Every time I see a fat person with a drink it's always the jumbo size.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. Vladimir

    Why ban? Tax 'em!

    May 31, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • VoiceofReason

      Why tax? Stop giving everybody's money to political cronies!

      May 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. LOL

    Oh yay I've been waiting on big gov't to step in and help me with my self-control some more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =D

    May 31, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. MS

    No problem. I wouldn't drink even a 6oz. Sugar sweetened drink. No one needs or should have that much sugar and if they aren't smart enough to know that, someone needs to modify their behavior.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      I would say the same about the bible but I bet it would offend your sensibilities.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Marc L from NY

      So it is up to the government to force you to modify your behavior? How will you feel when they start knocking on your door and tell you something that you enjoy is no longer allowed? That is the point, not that it's about soda.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. TJ

    If people want to over-eat, smoke, or drink they should be free to do so.....BUT.... They should have to buy individual health insurance plans so that their habits do not increase MY insurance premiums OR the cost of Medicare. I see older people smoking and think that I am paying for their "right" to get cancer.

    If you want to drink 10 sodas, eat chocolate cake for breakfast or drink 2 6 packs a day, then you should ave your own insurance and Hospital ERs should refuse service for conditions caused by these choices.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      You say that as if we have universal heath-care in this failing country. Also, you come across as one of those greedy repub types when you whine about your health care costs.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Norman

    People of NYC beware! Bloomberg has just found out that backaches caused from love-making are costing the city too much money in the form of work absences. His new law will be: missionary position only! You laugh??

    May 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • TJ

      LOL – not greedy, just a fact that we pay for the choices other people make. The cost of our group insurance increases due to illness because health insurance companies like to insure healthy people (thus the old restriction on pre-exisiting conditions). When an ER sees someone who does not have insurance they receive compensation from the government since it is illegal to turn people away. Medicare costs ais impacted in the same way.

      The best thing that Pres. Obama's health car plan did was make it illegal to restrict coverage due to a pre-exisiting condition....becaause if you have cancer then that is what you need insurance to pay for, not the flu.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
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