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. Mance Lotter

    has he done any study to show that limiting containers to 16oz or less decreases obesity?

    why is 16oz ok, but 17oz is not?

    Can i not buy a 32oz and share with a friend?

    do i now have to give him a card for Mother's Day?

    May 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. renegadeiceberg

    i just get ever so sick and tired of "the rightious" telling people how to live. dan, i have to agree that we tend to live lives on our computers and not get out and exersize. i know i'm very guilty of this but these are my choices.

    bloomberg and his band of idiots needs to be laughed out of office.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mance Lotter

    typical liberal.

    you have the right to choose to kill an unborn living being but not the right to buy a soda > 16oz

    May 31, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • ksheets

      The mayor has nothing better to do that dictate what people drink? Aren't there more important issues facing the people of New York? So you can't buy a 44 oz. drink. What's to keep a person from buying 3- 18 oz drinks?

      May 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SparkBunny- the colony, tx

    I gave up caffeine and sodas a year ago. Haven't lost a pound. I did it to stop having kidney stones. It's way harder to give up sodas than cigarettes or other drugs because it's everywhere. It's pervasive in our society. Every restaurant wants you to have one. And look at you funny when you ask for just water. Every other commercial wants you to buy one, and every patron in a restaurant and even at your table is an advertisement for it. Look how happy those actors are after drinking a coke on a hot day, instead of water, and then passing out from dehydration. It's not like you have to go to a drug dealer or a liquor store to buy it. You don't even need to show ID. It's everywhere and is the cheapest drug there is.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mance Lotter

      @SPARKBUNNY – so because it's "hard to give up" the gov't should step in and force your hand?

      May 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Garrett

    The health board is going after the wrong source of the problem. People are the problem, not sugary drinks. Does the health board really think they are going to stop some 400 pound man form getting the amount of soda he wants. He will find other ways to get it. I don't think the government should have any right to tell people how much soda a person can drink. The government is overstepping it's boundaries this time...

    May 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tammy

    Who's the moron who put "soda's" in the poll? This is a national news organization, not a 3rd grade grammar class. Apostrophes are for contractions and to show possession.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Disgruntled_girl

    Ban fructose corn syrup drinks – not sugary drinks.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Donovan Darko

    Listen, this is getting scary-close to prohibition. They had convenient reasons for that ban too. All it did was fund organized crime. The fact is, people's choices determine their health destiny. Banning a size of drink for the whole population is just heavy-handed gestapo tactics. He's out of platforms that he can succeed on so he's hoping to slip this one by. I'm not having it. This is America, I'll drink the size of drink I want even if I have to go to restaurants with a 25oz cup and say fill er up.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. AuntieMame2

    This is a riduculous law and a waste of time. Where does the government of NYC get off controlling what people drink? I myself don't drink those supersize beverages, but I don't need the government regulating that option for me. I just choose not to buy it. It's that simple. This is not rocket science. People will find easy ways around that if they want to drink that much.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Scott

    I am waiting on them to invent a cure for Liberal idiocy.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tired server

    Well this is just great! Now instead of going to a table 2 times to refill drinks (for freee) I will be making 6 trips. Thank you Mr Mayor, it is obvious that a rich idiot like you has never been a server. I am guessing that the line for refilling drinks at fastfood chains will be a little longer to. GREAT THINKING this one all out.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rob in FL

    Mayor Bloomberg and Police Chief Ray Kelly are behaving more like Chancellor Adolf Hitler and Nazi Police Chief Heinrich Himmler these days. These two Nazi's have turned NYC into 1930s Germany, from their Stop & Frisk (where are your papers policy) to their racial profiling of citizens.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Eric

    I drink a sugary beverage a day, and think I should have the right to buy a 32 oz. one if I want. I am 6' tall and weigh 150 lbs.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt from NYC

    As a New Yorker, parent, and public schoolteacher this is not a big deal to me. I see this as an economic disincentive to drink soda, and I'm all for that approach. Things that are unhealthy should be taxed at a much higher rate, but as the soda tax failed, this is the next best thing. No one is saying you can't drink 32oz of soda (which is insane IMO), just that it'll cost you more to do it. The fact is, cheap unhealthy food and drinks are one half of the obesity epidemic that must be felt with. If people won't take responsibility for their own health, why not disincentivize (is that real word? :)) the culprits (sugary food, fatty foods, etc). Our tax dollars go to subsidizing those people's healthcare, and their lifestyles are driving up the cost of my family's health care coverage.

    I don't know why people are so up-in-arms about this move by Bloomberg when he is singlehandedly destroying public schools in NYC and pushed for millionaire tax breaks.Where was the outrage there?

    May 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      You want to know why people are so up in arms over this? It's contrary to everything we've been taught America is about... freedom. Forcing people to make choices that they don't want to make is still force. Why can't you and many like you understand this? If you want people to quit drinking sugary drinks, educate them, don't force them to stop. This is exactly what our forefathers fought against, tyrannical rule. The obesity epidemic can be tied to car culture as much as sugary drinks, so why not ban cars? And for your information, people are still outraged over the millionaire tax breaks, but then again, income tax is also forced upon us (you don't pay, you are FORCED to go to jail by people with guns). The only taxes should be voluntary (sales, gas, liquor, etc.). You don't pay sales tax, you don't get the item you want or need. It's simple and yet intelligent people all over this nation cannot understand this. It's sad.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kevin

    I NEVER say anything like this because it is so malicious, but I've had it with this dictator and his intimidation by force over this city. Mike... Mr. Bloomberg... for the sake of humanity, please die.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • david

      if thats the case then i think they should charge someone driveing a big truck more for a gas tax than someone like me that drives a smaller but less pollutant car like i say live and let live dont tell people what they can and cant do its wrong what part of freedom of choose do they not understand.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
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