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. steve

    Chris Christie is not going to be happy.

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

    Diet Coke has fake sugar that some link to more serious medical conditions!

    May 31, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. comingsoon

    wait till a bloomberg no-sugar drinks hit the NYC market as the only officially sanctioned drinks.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. 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. (or, put another way: only choices that the libs approve.)

    May 31, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. KJ

    This makes absolutely no sense. I am not overweight and a 16oz soda is not going to cut it on a hot day. Not to mention, has anyone noticed that obese people generally buy diet sodas anyway?

    May 31, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. bill

    only people with a BMI <21 should be allowed to buy soda with sugar, and it should be strictly enforced by the new city Department of Soda Police! maybe we should also ban burgers, subs, pizza, milkshakes, pitchers of beer and anything else that fattys might eat. thank you so much Mr. Bloomberg for protecting me from myself! i am not to be trusted.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Soda jerk

    Back in 1973 I worked at McDonald's. We had two drink cup sizes and the larger one is what we call "small" today at some places. They were priced at 20 and 25 cents, by the way. We received a new larger size cup sometime in 1974. It's the size called "medium" today at most places. We opened the carton and a took one cup out and held it up. The first thing someone said was, "No one will drink that much Coke."

    May 31, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. TODAY

    Breathing banned in out!

    May 31, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. freebird1776

    When you take away my right, any right, your rights will be next. This will continue until all rights are taken and we are government drones. Slowly, the US is changing from a country were the government exists for the people to the people existing for the government.

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

      THIS ^

      May 31, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. tv22

    Can you get refills in a restaurant? How do they police this? Can you be arrested for an oversize container of soft drinks?

    Amazing, you can buy cigarettes, you can buy a quart of malt liquor, but if you have too big of a soda, you're busted! I feel safer already!

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


    May 31, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. Common Sense

    Smoking first, now soda. I wonder what is next that I actually care about. You let the government make a decision like this and soon they'll make a decision about something you like. Think it over kids, think it over.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. SPENT

    The Gay, Lesbian community should be up in arms over this. Come on now, lighten up..

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

    This is how Politicians address issue, by no going after the underline problem (educate people on exercise and proper diet). For sure, they are doing something, or was it a dumb thing?!?!
    So…what’s next, shut down BK?!? MCD?!? Burgers are bad, Fries are bad!
    The NY Gov. wants you to eat grass only! ~LOL~

    May 31, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bruce

    The only thing more idiotic than gorging yourself on sugary soft drinks is expecting any government - local or otherwise - to "nanny" your diet habits.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      I will be celebrating this decision by drinking a three liter pepsi to wash down the chicken I have just fried in lard.

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