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. RDS35

    Can't wait for the lawsuits against the junk food industry and the "sin" tax that will triple the price of candy and chips. After that we can go after the auto industry for all the damage they have caused.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bobington

    Welcome to the USSA, where the government tells you what you can and can't drink.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. charliebear240

    This is much worse then you might think. Our elected officials are now trying to take on the expanded responsibility of protecting us from ourselves. We are simply droids; weak minded voters who need protection. If this were to pass, Americans are in big trouble and one day in the not to distant future, there will be an "American Spring". Think seriously about who you vote for or you could wake up with an email telling you what you can eat for breakfast!!!.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Clem Vinson

      Spot on. If you don't start taking the power back pertaining to your "self evident rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", they will continue to do so for you. Best thing you can do is stop participating.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. brendatobias

    So did the beverage industry get someone in a headlock? Why develop a complicated and confusing system when we could just tax the sugared beverages? How is forcing people to buy more of something a solution?

    May 31, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. mike

    Since Fat People have a very difficult time with self-control, and we are all paying for it with our outrageous health care costs, this is a good idea. It doesn't say you cannot buy multiple smaller drinks.........just not the gross fatty classless huge one. Look at people on the streets!!!! Most are spilling out of their clothes!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. Anthony Quatroni

    No, I have a better idea, people. Why don't we kick this rich clown out on his butt before he imposes his will on the public again and again? So now we're going to "ban sugary drinks?" Where does the common sense stop and the idiocy take over? Where does the "big brother" part of government start? This is just another example of how this "free" country isn't free at all. It's bad enough that there are thousands of idiotic laws on the books, so let's add another frivolous one. . . .banning large soft drinks. What a joke and how sad it is that one person can impose his will upon everyone else. This country is a mess right now, and stupid laws like this aren't going to make it any better.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Concerned

    Look, if someone was breaking into houses near you, using a hammer, you don't stop selling hammers at the local hardware store to curb B&Es because someone would find another way into the home. What you would do is step up security around your home or have a better police force. Same applies here, you keep someone from drinking a large soda, they will find other ways to become fat. Banning soda is not the answer, education and activity is the answer.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Simpson

    The government is going to far. Before you know it everything but drugs and alcohol will be banned. I bet that is what they are trying to do. They want us so high and drunk that we can't speak for ourselves. Leave us alone and let us do what we want with our bodies. You do not own them. As for the unfit people then put gym back in school. My kids go to gym once a week and all they do is run around.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. Matt

    40 oz beers = ok. 40 oz Soda = jail time. Welcome to the United States Socialist Rerpublic or USSR II.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. gary

    Creating a soda with ingrediants such as sugar should be protected as freedom of speech. The creation is an expression of the creator by which the tongue instead of the eyes enjoy. It's like banning a certian color so that Van Gogh can only paint in government approved colors.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Chris

    Land of the free right?

    May 31, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. GeorgeBos95

    Bloomberg is no svelte athlete, nor is he in a position to ban soft drinks. If I want to drink Coke out of a 50 gallon drum, I'll do it, in NYC or elsewhere.

    Yet another example of how some people think government should be saving us from ourselves.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. jeanne

    This is ridiculous. This is America, land of the free.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. tet1953

    Absolutely nuts. I know lots of stuff is bad for us, but it isn't up to the mayor of NYC to decide. Going too far.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ed

    this all started with the banning of cigarettes. How far are we going to let the government take it. Whats next commrade Bloomberg

    May 31, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Debra

      Exactly Ed....cigarette banning was the beginning and none of us smokers (I have quit 4 years ago) at the time protested against this ban. After all, we had rights too. There was no talk of banning the exhaust of trucks & buses in NYC was there? More danger of getting sick from inhaling that then a passing smoker. I wanted to slap people who walked by me while I was smoking and wave their hands and make faces. I used to tell them to stand behind a truck and inhale...that's better for you.

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