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. please

    Aw come on , I don't drink to much soda but this is obsurd. If they care about health and welfare of its citizens the should ban alcohol. The number of health issues and social concerns alcohol causes would outweigh the ones from soda. The city and state of New York obviously won't do this cause of the tax money raised from alcohol sales. Hippocrites...

    May 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • w5cdt

      I think you missed that tobacco thing....

      May 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • sohesays

      Maybe you should look at a bigger picture and realize obesity in America is spiraling out of control. drinks are bigger than ever. where could you buy a 40oz or ive even seen a 60oz drink 10-15 years ago. its not necessary to consume that much soda in one sitting or over a day. sure you can do it..any one can. thats not the point its about self control which we as consumers lack now.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • gavilansalvaje

      Life is fatal. Ban Life!

      May 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. w5cdt

    This does beg one very interesting question....who's paying off the government regarding tobacco sales??
    Heck if you can't have a fat drink then how it is OK to kill yourself (at my expense) smoking?

    May 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    I have witnesses many people drinking things of a non-nutritious nature, and frankly, I am appalled.

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

    To all those whining about big goverment, here's the deal. We live in a Democracy. And in a Democracy, people can vote for whoever they like and the majority candidate wins (most of the time >_> ). And they voted for Bloomberg. And if the people of NYC have a problem with him, then they can make their displeasure known in the next election. But it's the people of NYC who matter here, so if you don't live there, then shut the hell up and focus on your own city.

    This is no different than the idiots who vote against Marijuana legalization. I may disagree with it, but I don't whine about big government whenever my simple enjoyment of Marijuana is made illegal.

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

      Nope, we don't live in a democracy. This is a republic.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      We live in a representative republic, not a democracy... which means that CNN/Gallup polls would drive what happens instead of elected officials (who often don't fulfill their campaign promises).

      May 31, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mrs. Katz

    Mr. Bloomberg has gone off his rocker. If people want to load their bodies with sugar and get diabetes, it's their business.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. gavilansalvaje

    Liberty has been lost when laws are made to protect people from themselves.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. MobiusEight

    Why don't we ban people from having kids until they prove they can parent effectively? That might solve the obesity problem right there.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. mywatchcollection

    Man, things are getting funky under Obama...The govt just thinks they can make us do whatever they want!

    May 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Katz

      Uh...... it's Bloomberg pushing this lunacy....... not Obama.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • ever4lasting

      what you blaming Obama? has nothing to do with Obama wait until Romney gets in. He has already told you what he wants to do. So look out we will be going to war with Iran.

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

    Banning something is never the correct answer to any problem, and even if banning was an answer, a far more effective way to battle obesity would be to enforce a limit of no more than 1 hour of television per day per household.

    That said, if someone wants to be obese, that is their right. The Government does not have a right to take away the items that contribute to the obesity. The Government DOES however have the right to recognize that obesity is the largest driving factor for health care costs today. Therefore, fat people should be required pay more (much more) for their insurance. Being fat is a choice, but that choice should not be allowed to impact the heath care costs of healthy people

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

    The headline for this article is bullcrap. "Giant sodas may be banned"? Excuse me, but what idiot thinks that 17 ounces of anything is giant?

    May 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. ever4lasting

    I drink a lot of coke and I only weight 120 pounds. Being over weight is due to a lot of factors.

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

    This just in – Having solved all other problems in New York, their government turns their attention to... soda.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. D

    1984, Bave New World... Need I say any more. Eventually we won't be able to buy anything but Soylent Green if Bloomberg has his way. But we still keep voting these fools into office. Because if you can't take care of real problems make a mountain out of a mole hill and find a scapegoat. It's a shame that a politician is trying to tell the people of New York what they can and cannot have.

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

    Not one bit surprised. Bloomberg has already raged his war on cigarettes, from banning smoking not only in all indoor places but also in vast open parks and boardwalks, and by hiking the excise tax to to make NYC cigarettes the most expensive in the entire country. He's a nanny control freak who thinks he "knows what's best" for New Yorkers. Now he's at war with big soft drinks, and I'm sure his next step will be to go after junk food and alcohol. Keep saying goodbye to personal choice and responsibility and hello to big government controlling your life. That's not America to me.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. gavilansalvaje

    Life, in all known cases, is fatal.

    Maybe Bloomberg and his ilk should ban life.

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