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. Rocket Scientist

    Is diet soda "sugary"? Can I get a 44Oz diet coke? Bloomberg – you are a fool. What next, people can't eat lunch if they have a blue shirt on? This is the ulitmate show of stupidity on the part of a government official (I'm not sure Obama could even trump this one).

    May 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Gee, I'll just get more refills, or, maybe a donut instead! Or, is the Government going to "Do Away" with refills too?? Put your time into getting Parents to be responsible Bloomberg!

      May 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    So, I can buy a liter of Tequila but not a liter of Pepsi? I have consumed each in a relatively short period of time, and I assure you that the Tequila is a lot more harmful than the Pepsi!

    May 31, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lardgal

    Nobody's talking about downside. I wonder if they have considered will happen to the landfill? No way are people going to stop consuming. Instead of 1 they'll just buy two. Just think about all the extra paper cups in the gutters and empty bottles that wil go right into NYC's landfill. What a waste. New Yorkers shoudl make their own choices not have Bloomberg make it for them.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jay

    Dear Politicians, There are more critical issues America is facing at the present moment than how much sugar one intakes. Although, I agree obesity is an issue of importance, how about solving the debt of your state, the shortage of jobs for Americans, and implementing a plan to educate our young people, so not only will they grow up with new innovative ideas, but become smart enough to make the decision for themselves whether more than 2 sodas a day is too much. STOP trying to kill our FREEDOM!!

    May 31, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. SweetPeasMomma

    I am obese. I haven't drank sodas in over 25 years - even diet sodas. Guess what? It didn't make a hill of beans difference in my weight. I've been on every diet there is, exercised until I ached all over and I'm still obese. Obesity isn't a lack of responsibility. It's a constant fight. GrandmaGwen, I assume that you are a normally skinny person, otherwise you would not say that people who are obese are NOT taking responsibility. Honey, I've spent $6,000 on just medically supervised weight loss, let along Weight Watchers, etc. I can watch YOU eat and GAIN WEIGHT! The bottom line is: I've destroyed my thyroid, destroyed my gall bladder, destroyed my metabolism, and messed up my digestive system. All so I can be thin like you. Honey, I don't mean to be evil, but I wish you a severly damaged thyroid.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ben Lawson

    It's really unfortunate and in my opinion uninformed when government oversteps its boundaries and poses as the decider for people who are perfectly capable of making their own decisions. I don't think we want to become a country where we defer are decisions about our own lives to the government. I don't think this is why we have elected officials.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. EMR

    Give NewYorkers credit! They can make own choices about beverages they buy. And CocaCola clearly labels calories. This policy goes TOO FAR!

    May 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ourRIGHTS

    Where does this stop? This is the question we should all be asking. For those that agree with Bloomberg, lets find something that you enjoy (wearing red shirts, 2 packs of sugar and a cream in your coffee) and have Government tell you when, where and how you can or can't have, do, or say!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David

    This is actually very scary to me. It is scary that "officials" think they can tell us what to do, and it is only getting worse. THIS IS A PRIME EXAMPLE. Soda has been out for over 125 years, Sugar has been around longer. The obesity epidemic is current (last 30 years or so). So lets just think for one minute....what has changed it in the last 30 years...ohhhh, maybe it is the chemicals in the foods we eat. So lets see, steriods in chickens, cows, turkeys....try taking muscle growing steriods and not working out or eating right, see how fat you get......The food that is feed to our cattle chickens are stuffed with chemicals, name it.

    So, is Bloomberg going to make NY "ORGANIC ONLY?" Of course not, he would be ran out of office if every shop in NY was shut down. People, look at what is happening here. Millions of americans died to give you the fredoms you have. They are FIGHTING NOW for those freedoms abroad. Don't let some politician take your freedoms away.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. magnus

    give the major credit for trying to stop fat losers from chugging litters of soda and eating fat like their life depended on it. since people cant control themselves, the major will do it for them. good for him for trying. dont worry losers, you will still be able to feed yourself sugar and fat and we will pay for your diabetic medicine.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bryan B

    I will not be visiting New York City again if this goes into effect. The government has no right telling me what I can eat or drink. I do not drink sugary drinks, haven't in over 10 years, I don't eat white bread, eat lots of fruits and vegitables, I take in less the recomended calories per day and I am still obese. I am fat because I am LAZY not because of my diet. How about mandating PE and sports in K-12 as well as at all colleges and universities. That is a far better solution. Fact is soft drink consumption per person has been declining since the 90's but Americans are getting fatter. It's not because we are drinking soft IS because we are LAZY!

    May 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. stalkerazzi

    Talk about losing freedoms to eat and drink whatever your want. The Food police and Bloomberg are taking away people right to eat whatever they want. Government, local city government should stay out of people's personal choices. We have become a society of critics and people like to assign blame to fast food or soda drinks. People need to fight back and say enough of this crazy communistic crap-o-la....

    May 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Allyson

    The decision to drink soda, water, sports drinks and alcohol is a personal choice. We need to allow our wonderfull citizens to make thier own informed choices. Government has many more important things to accomplish this year other than telling me what to drink and how much. We all live in the US for freedom of choice not mandates. This is a terrible idea. I travel to NY frequently and this makes me rethink whether I want to spend my hard earned dollars in a City that is telling me what to do.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JC

    Goverment needs to address more critical items. Is this really necessary? Out of all the things sitting on Bloomberg's desk this is a where the gov't energy is going?

    May 31, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GettingFaster

    No Coke For You!!! Nanny, nanny, nanny.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
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