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.

Is drinking soda really that bad for you? | What is high fructose corn syrup?

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.

Child obesity ads aim to create movement out of controversy

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.”

How I kicked my Coke habit

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. You're kidding....

    If American's spent half the time tending their own business rather than trying to regulate/control what everyone else does, this country would not be in the shape it's in. What I choose to drink, how much, and how often is my business and only my business. This douschbag deserves to be voted out of office as I'm sure he could use a little more time to reflect on his own lifestyle and own familly.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Tommy

      He is trying to help create a healthier lifestyle. Kids these days suck down 2 gallons of soda and no water. If you are still thirsty, grab an ice cold water. Its way more refreshing and 1000 times better for you. The fact that you or anyone would actually be upset about this only proves you are probably one of the obese ones that sucks down a gallon or 2 a day of soda. Its very gross.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. waterman

    If you think this is a stupid or ridiculous idea, please read the book "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness". Kindle edition is only $6.
    The book explains how to help people make better decisions without taking away their freedom, being overbearing or banning things. "government is telling me what to drink" is hyperbole, and it is not the case there. You can drink as much soda as you want in NYC, of whichever type you want. You can by 2 16 oz drinks or 10 16oz drinks and drink them all freely. But by making healthier choices more easily and readily accessible, you encourage better choices (again, without taking away any freedoms).

    May 31, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • diane

      AT LEAST for now I have the right to purchase the book.

      June 1, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sandy

    Hello – did anyone catch the sentence that this ban does not apply to ALCOHOL? I almost fell out of my chair laughing.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Tommy

      Maybe, just maybe, the aim is to have kids grow up living a healthier lifestyle. Considering children cant order alcoholic beverages, this would only make sense, now wouldnt it????

      May 31, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • diane

      Oh, I am sure it will, don't worry.

      June 1, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. rob2tall

    lets keep tobacco legal but ban that big gulp! Way to go Bloomberg!
    I think all the fast food places ought make everything bigger and come with a free pack of Lucky Strikes with each order
    and a rock of crack,and a nice pipes and matches to fire it all up.Your customers will get really hungry and back in line they will go and always vote Republican.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Tommy

      Tobacco doesnt make you fat, dummy.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Shane

    Soft drinks aren't the cause of obesity or even high fructose corn syrup. Ignorance and a severe lack of personal responsibility and self control are.... Those who look to the Gov't to solve obesity are fools...

    May 31, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • mynamehere

      The government is stepping in for that exact reason, the lack of self control which has led to this epidemic. Society has lost all concept of a portion size for what is okay to be ingested by your body. By attempting to limit the amount that can be consumed in a single serving can be potentially helpful, that's assuming the consumer doesn't go and order 3 16oz to make up for the not being able to purchase a single extra large drink. And to say soda has no effect is false. My brother used to be a consistent soday drinker. 3, maybe more soda cans on somedays, he decided to cut soda out of his diet and went from 240 lbs. and 26.5% body fat; all the way down to 215 lbs. and 16.2% body fat. No other variable was changed, his activity level stayed the same, eating habits remained the same, all that was removed was soda.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. Schizoid

    Banning this or that food won´t fix america´s obessity problem, only when people start to realize the consequences of consuming such products they will be more likely to stop consuming them. The money of enforcing such ban is better spent in creating sensible ducational programs or limiting the time food chains can buy in TV ads. And seriously, people can always refill as much as they want.

    BTW, isn´t it strange to see a liberal politician wanting to restrict what people do to with their bodies????
    Just saying...

    May 31, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Isn't this America?

    Enough with the rediculous bans...this is America and last I checked, one of the many great things about this country is freedom of choice. If I want to wash down my lunch with a 44oz drink it is MY choice. I'm not stupid, I know can make me fat and I will not sue McDonalds for the twenty extra pounds I may put on. I will stop drinking soda and eating junk food and exercise until the pounds come off – it's called accepting the consequences of my actions and dealing with it myself. Nanny governement is truly the answer to a question no one asked and creates a bunch of whining idiots.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ian

    Its amazing how people bash this idea but no one comes up with any solution to the epidemic of overweight people in North America. The cost to the health care system is and will be staggering! Im shocked to at the backlash to this...people didnt get this worked up over the Patriot Act but hell dont take away our SODA!

    May 31, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. Derek

    Lets go after the soda, not the fact that the Big Mac, or Whopper, and large fries has anything to do with people being overweight. That can't be it! it must be what they are drinking! Makes perfect sense to me. Plus the fact that so many people are too lazy to get out of their car and go inside to order their "healthy" meal. Lets just use the drive through, that will make me not break a sweat opening up the car door and walking 25 steps!

    May 31, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rich from Delaware

    This is not much different than what we did to cigarette companies. Once we realize what this stuff is doing to the health of Americans, we have to do something about it. They advertise these products down your throat, and your children's throats, and hope that you'll over-consume them. People will be mad now, but this will be a welcomed change 20 yrs from now.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. xavi

    Do businesses really make that much more money selling the 44-oz drinks, or do they just go along with what the soda suppliers push on them?

    May 31, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. gavilansalvaje

    The only people who should be able to tell us what to eat are the advertising companies!

    May 31, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. Nathan

    Oh yeah great idea! Hey I know, red meat is bad for you right? So is alcohol, coffee (depends on the day), eggs (again depends on the day), candy, ice cream (pretty much any dessert), eating too much of something, energy drinks, low lighting (bad for the eyes), freedom (which leads to everyone making such bad eating/living decisions). Let's simply let the government dictate what we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat so that everyone will be healthy and no one will be overweight! Yay!!!!*

    *(Sarcasm, duh)*

    *(Some people honestly may not get that)

    May 31, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. bj412

    What next, limiting the size of coffees, fruit juices, and water bottles sold at restaurants? Maybe the government has more important priorities to focus on and problems to solve.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Matrix

    I got a better idea. How about we ban nanny statist twist from public office? That would probably eliminate 95% of those currently holding office, but it would be a great start!

    May 31, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
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