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.

Post by:
Filed under: Fast Food • Food • New York
soundoff (1,059 Responses)
  1. victor

    The ban on Jumbo sugary drinks has'nt come a day too soon.I suggest there should be some norm for
    amount sugar content in the drinks marketed to unsuspecting people.Those opposed to this sensible rule
    should pay for the treatment of Obesity and diabetes and the national loss of productive manpower.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Liberty4All

    I think personal responsibility should outweigh government intervention. If someone wants to pound down 2 liters then they have a problem. People often buy larger sizes for economic, and environmental reasons. What the Mayor of NY did was impose too much big brother!

    May 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. devans

    I hate to admit this more than anything else but sugar is adddictive.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liberty4All

      Sugar is only addictive when you have an addictive personality, and if that is the case run for office, because the biggest gluttons are those at the top. Taking away economy sizes only affects the wallet, and environment when we need to buy six packs instead of a 64oz. Here's a question...will Gatorade be banned? Electrolytes can be a good thing...drinking too much water is proven to flush the body too fast and can lead to malnutrition.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Liberty4All

    For the record before I am attacked like the original postman. I am tall, skinny, and support everyone's right to choose as long as it does not affect someone else. Banning large sodas is stupid, and only affects those who cannot afford juice drinks. If the Mayor wants to help the poor... then ban them from using WIC to buy soda... other than that he has no right to tell anyone what they should or should not buy. If someone is 600lbs and buying a cart load of soda then maybe they should be committed, because they have become a threat to themselves. I believe in personal responsibility, and less government. I would be very careful of what we support...the more the government takes away the less rights you have...

    May 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Steve

    What is next how big of a dessert, milkshake, cookie, donut, hamburg, hotdog, slice of pizza where does it end when the goverment dictates what I can and cannot buy in a legal product. How about an x-box system that only can operate 2 hours per day now that would help solve obesity.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lauren

    Someone mentioned can not buy items like that while using that program. Sometimes there are OTHER REASONS that people are overweight, lets not just say its from eating. There are real medical conditions out there and yes, I do think we all should watch what we eat. If they want to bust balls about sweets, sodas, ect...lets do something to the compaines that put all the sugar into things, or things like sugar. Theyk now how to put things out there that know will sell well, they do all sorts of research on their products before they put them out.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Frank

    People of the United States of America and New York State,

    With all the major problems NYS has, this soda ban is moronic,Mayor Bloomburg, why not do something really productive like going full speed after UN diplomatic parking fines tor tax dollars,Have the NYPD do a better job on psychological screening of police candidates.I do not know how many times I have picked up the NY Post an read about cops being everything from HIT MEN for the Mob to Rapists or committing suicide.Go after Teachers that are screwing around with their students as per yesterdays NY Post.How about all the phony pan handlers?How about putting pressure on Obama and Cuomo for the money to rebuild the Tapan Zee Bridge before it collapses into the Hudson River.I could go on and on,Since I know you believe Gay couples have the right to marry, why you do not believe in my right as someone who lives in I believe is the highest taxed state in country to have a BIG GULP at 711!
    Thanks but no thanks, I can manage my health just fine!

    May 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • madmaninthemiddle

      What's a phony panhandles? Someone who's independently wealthy and just bums change to get out of his penthouse?

      June 1, 2012 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. CW

    So when it is time to vote we know who not to vote for; The man who wants to put limits on what to drink and eat. I guess mayor you do not drink a little extra at your favorite place that you eat. What is next the size of food that is served to you. If you have not figured it out New York has the biggest food portion places and yet they are some of the best restaurants in the USA. That is right THE USA. If your not happy about it go somewhere else we will be happy to vote you out of here in THE USA.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Common Sense

    This is ridiculous. Will they also tell you what time to set your alarm to? Or how often you take showers?

    May 31, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim Marvel

    Weight gain is a factor of two key things – the calories to consume and the calories you burn. This proposal is so narrow in addressing the issues of consumption and exercise it is pitiful. It unfairly targets specific beverages that represent a small portion of consumption. Banning large size soft drinks, but excluding milk shakes? Please! Could this possibly more politically motivated? If it is government's role to legislate and regulate personal choice on health, maybe we should just use tax dollars to pay everyone who agrees to excercise at least 45 minutes a day. At least that would be positive reinforcement. Can you imagine the tax dollars that will be spent trying to reinforce this ridiculus proposal? A Big Gulp will become contraband! What a circus!

    May 31, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • hmm

      Umm when is the last time you saw someone with a huge milkshake in his truck's cupholder? Walking down the street with a giant milkshake in hand, sipping on it all day instead of water?

      Politically-motivated? It is only aimed at improving the health of all, you know, the role of public health. It is a small start, and is only perhaps a symbol, a reminder that drinking so much sugar is unhealthy. But I am willing to bet it has the potential to lower the blood sugar of at least a few newly-diagnosed diabetics, preventing them from a few hospitalizations.

      June 1, 2012 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Greek American

    Let me guess, this ban will certainly not include casinos, just as the smoking ban does not apply to them here in my state. What a joke this country has become. The government is sooo concerned with our health and healthcare costs. Oh wait, except when it comes to the amount of tax money they get from places such as casinos, then the law does not apply. Complete joke!

    May 31, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. yomama

    sweet this means i can make a "drug deals" in NY by bringing coke to people oh wait i mean pepsi

    June 1, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. katfen5

    These politicians are brilliant, got their money's worth from that college ejecashun....all people will do is buy 2, 3, or 4 drinks...some entrepreneur will even invent the 16 oz multi-carrier for them, and McDonald's will even do a bogo on drinks!

    June 1, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. krozar

    Jon Stewart ripped Bloomberg a new one tonight. great show.

    June 1, 2012 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. StardustNectar

    How about make these giant company's to put less sugar in these poisonous drinks, 20grams instead of 48? Anyway, I'm healthier than ever, after i banned sodas from my life...

    June 1, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48