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. Mac

    It would also help if NYC gyms weren't allowed to be $100 a month. I don't drink much soda and love going to the gym, however, since I've moved here, I haven't been able to go because I see gyms as an unnecessary expenditure considering the rediculous rent prices.

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

    YOU CAN STILL BUY THEM AND DRINK THEM, YOU M000-RONS! Just not at RESTAURANTS in the City. Jeezzzzz.
    Some of us are tired of paying high insurance premiums because of all the health issues you sugar-scarfing blimps have created for yourselves!

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

      Oh Mr. Selective (dogs rule) You give gov. an inch and they will take a mile. Restaurants are just the start!

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

      I like being a small business owner, a restaurant franchisee who is told what size soda cup I can hand an adult paying customer. Mikey B. knows best. I hope others don't try to stop him from saving our health. We need him. We shouldn't be a free society we cannot handle it. This way, eventually Mikey can ban other stuff he thinks we are not smart enough to handle. This is great! It may never end!

      May 31, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • ironman59

      Well some of us are tired of your "smaller government" gop trying to manage our personal lives. Bloomberg needs to run the city, not the businesses or what people choose to eat.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Anna

      The food was changed in the USA, UK and Australia 30 years ago when dangerous food chemicals from the USA was allowed into European. The food today causes stubborn insulin If you have stubborn insulin you hold fat and have a hard time losing weight. You can eat very little and the weight still does not come off. Stubborn insulin will hold fat and diets won’t work. When researchers used a specialized diabetes diet on overweight people all lost weight even those who did not have diabetes. Just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

      May 31, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Cows Need Fat To Eat

      Mooooo me need big slurpee and obese amounts of cow to keep weight on belly and have high medical bills too.
      Hey does these size 54 pants make my bum look big?

      May 31, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • pp1

      Exactly right.
      Come to my neighborhood and see morbidly obese parents with overweight children and grocery carts filled with sugar cokes and juice boxes. I point out the 'sugar free' and they say "I don't like the taste."

      May 31, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. Saboth

    "not apply to diet drinks, juices, milkshakes or alcohol". this specifically attacks soda, with no basis. 16 oz of orange juice = 200 calories. 16 oz beer = 200 calories. 16 oz soda = 200 calories. Milkshake? Probably more like 300. Why is the government stepping in to attack private businesses? How about tax breaks for people that maintain healthy weight? Or create city-provided nutritionists and gyms for the public? Oh...this is America. We always use the stick instead of the carrot, and it never, ever works.

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

    This is wonderful. I'm unable to make decisions on my own, I can't possibly be smart enough. I can't fathom how 64 ounces of sugary soda can be bad for me. But to be fair, all the other soda drinkers who are smart (there must be smart soda drinkers, right?)... All the other intelligent Coke lovers will have to abide by the rules that were designed for people like me who can't understand how I can get fat. Eventually Mikey B. can ban the size of fatty cheeseburgers so they are mini burgers with an appropriate calorie count. But since they're still fatty, we will then need to insist on turkey burgers. I just can't make these decisions by myself. Who needs a free country when Mikey knows best? I'm glad I'm not smart or awake enough to realize the progression these rules will take. It will only lead to healthier people! Healthy choices! Ah, I guess who needs freedom when Mikey and company can instruct me on how to treat my own body. I'm glad many others are like me. I hope there aren't smart people out there who will try to stop this from happening. I like feeling like a sheep.

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


      May 31, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Cows Need Fat To Eat

      Evidentially people do need this.... they also need to get off the couch and walk around too. Why does the US raise big obese kids and expect them to be accepted as they are when they are fat?

      May 31, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. john

    This is a very slippery slope if the government starts banning certain foods and portions of foods & drinks. We are all educated now that processed sugar is bad for us and adults should be able to make their own decisions without big brother watching our every decision. Restricting harmful things for kids makes more sense...but we must respect the freedom of adults. There are are things everyone does that is harmful in some way, the key is to moderate and be responsible. Don't punish responsible adults to parent those that aren't. This argument goes much farther than large sodas.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  6. Steve H.

    America is FAT FAT FAT! Try drinking water. Obesity is an epidemic in this country and people don't have the knowledge, self control or self care to take charge of their own health and eat healthy. As a result of obesity being an epidemic, just like any epidemic, it affects everyone and drives up health care costs. We are falling behind in every aspect of a competive world. I am not for government making laws like this, but something has to be done to get the point across to the public that obesity is costing us lives and money. Sugary drinks, fast food, preservatives and artificial additives in our food is making everyone unhealthy. It's easy to eat real food but it seems we are too lazy to try. We are all paying the price for this and it is going to get much more expensive in the coming years, in lives, money and health care costs of related obesity complications.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mom of 4

    Just what we need – more government intrusion in our daily lives. Michelle Obama started this wave of government nanny-state ideas regarding fast food and fattening foods. I agree that obesity is a major problem in this country. It is not the size of the food – it is a lack of self control. Schools have been teaching self-esteem for years now, and now we have selfish, greedy people who want what they want whenever they can get it. We must teach self discipline and self control. We have credit card debt out of control, we have a bunch of fat people, we have people who veg in front of video games for hours because no one exercises self control anymore. That is the root of the problem – not some 64 oz. Big Gulp from 7-11. Geez people – it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out!

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

      You are completely right, its the lack of self discipline that our society has. We are a society of massive consumerism, massive portion sizes, extreme lifestyles, When we teach our kids to become whatever they want to be, reach the sky and that there is no limit, the interpretation is that you can eat as many french fries and candy bars as you like, sky is the limit. We show on TV 16 yrs olds having 5 million dollar birthday bash, and advertise giant super sized meals, there is never a message in schools or on media about self control, self discipline.It is the "I can do whatever I feel like regardless of the consequences" mentality that is plaguing our society. Its an extreme contrast from Asian countries where kids are taught to respect the boundaries, limits, learn self discipline and work hard to attain their goals.

      May 31, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. bigbone

    If Mayor Bloomberg bans larger sugary drinks in all restaurants citywide, then he'll close down 20-30 McDonald's restaurants and prohibit all fast food restaurants from being open between 12am-5:30am. He'll do that just to curb the obesity in NYC.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. Frank Jimmies

    Next week, Mayor Bloomberg decides that excessive cell-phone usage is dangerous to your health due to the "radiation", and all cell phone usage in New York City is limited to 2 hours a day.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mrs. Katz

    I hate abortion, too, but the government has no right to prohibit it.

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

    How stupid is this – most of the cups are filled with ice, leaving only 8 ounces of drink instead of 16. Plus what, no refills?

    May 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Katz

      Now, that is an excellent point.

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

    He is too funny. He picks on soda to change the world.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jim

    I thought the libs were for "choice". I guess that's only the choice to kill unborn humans, but not choice when it comes to your soft drinks. Go figure.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. pammy

    Shouldn't be banned but should come with a warning. you know..."may cause obesity and lead to impotence" and then a picture of a fat person in a speedo on each cup

    May 31, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. James

    Let me think... I want a large bucket of pop corn with extra butter, two candy bars, a box of Goobers, large Nachos with extra cheese, two hot dogs, and make it two 16oz sugary beverages. Yes, that should be all please. What time does the movie start? FOURTEEN MILLION PEOPLE WITHOUT JOBS AND WE GET THIS NONSENSE.

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