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. tutuvabene

    Bloomberg. Why stop there. Go ahead and ban Whoppers, Big Macs, Quarter pounders with cheese, etc. In fact, the only fast food meal that should be alowed is the McDonald's Kid's Meal, since that was the size of the standard adult meal 50 years ago before the supersize craze hit.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. geminimoon66

    "Bloomberg's ban would not apply to diet drinks, juices, milkshakes or alcohol"

    So it's totally fine to have that 40oz. mixed drink, drive drunk and possibly kill yourself or another.
    So okay to suck down a 44oz. DIET soda that's chocked full of killer cancer causing sweeteners.
    Not a issue to nurse a monster milkshake that probably has more fat and calories than any soda.
    And it's cool to chug a huge juice drink that is so chocked full of preservatives and artificial sweeteners.

    It's still a free country folks! If you are stupid enough to eat and drink like a freeking pig, then so be it. No need for the Government to continue regulating what someone in a free Country eats or drinks.

    As long as you're willing to pay for your own medical treatment for being stupid, who cares what or how much you eat or drink...

    May 31, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • RMohrUAB

      I wonder how many people with your opinion lick sucking on those cancer sticks?

      May 31, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. hekillshe

    Artificial sweeteners are actuallly more to blame for american obesity than sugary drinks. Not only is it Absolutley poisonous, ( ask the pre "Stacked" FDA that initially rejected Aspartame based on multiple Scientific reports staiting it was an unsafe food additive, Before the "Rumster" Stacked the deck and pushed it through to the tune of billions. look it up if you dont believe me...But its been obvious based on the science that not only do "Diet" drinks keep your fat cells open longer and absorb more in addition to "gp directly to Cancer". but Everyone i know who Drinks Diet soda, has a very strange addiction like relationship with them. drinking massive excesses on a non stop basis... also id like to point out that In the beggining of the 80s, when this whole diet drink craze began. is aexactly whne we really started to see obesity in this country start to balloon. no pun intended.. you do the math... Cutting sugar and soda wont help us.. Start with the corruption at the top. meaning Bloomberg, the FDA, the escaped war criminals and those who lined their pockets in order to pass an unsafe product onto the american people... now if youll excuse me, my tin foil hat needs some layering.....

    May 31, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. larrydavid

    It won't end here, folks. Just wait for the next ban and the next and the next.....Liberals can have to city for your social experiments, but stay the ƒuck out of Upstate NY.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      You're an idiot. He's a Republican. Dummy.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. VoiceOfReason

    I'm laughing at the thought. I mean, I would AGREE with banning them, a blight on our nation's health. I just cannot imagine this would stand. I wish you luck, though.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. CommonSenseNotSoCommon

    So, no free refills at restaurants, etc? Limit how many sodas one can buy? Personally, I'd rather see the guy next to me down a 64 oz sugary soda than 64 oz of beer (which would apparently be allowed) and then hop in his car. I'm not that big of a fan of having the government get that involved in my personal life. While not quite the same as government trying to restrict "inappropriate" content on the internet, it trips some of the same alarms in my head.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. Portland tony

    Antifreeze is supposed to taste sweet when you drink it. But governments say no to drinking it? Booze is banned in some places or controlled by the state. Certainly beverage cup size can be limited. You don't see many beer bongs dispensing liquids in bars either.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • pj

      you can buy beer in any size container you want, including kegs. The stores just sell the most commonly wanted sizes. There is no need to regulate the size of drink people can get. It is simply the govt trying to make one more step into taking over our lives.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. pj

    a fix for obesity:... stop consuming more calories than you burn. If you want to sit on the couch and watch soap operas or play video games all day, then make a ham sandwich with 3 oz ham, 2 slices bread, mayo, lettuce, tomato. Divide that one sandwich into 3 parts: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    May 31, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Clearly you have never dealt with addiction or being obese. It is easier said than done.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryox82

      People yell at me because I don't eat a big breakfast during the work week anymore (I have an office job.) Honestly, I started to just eat when I am actually active. No reason to stuff your face just because it is 7 am, 12 pm, 5 pm, etc.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. Hamlet

    Well, NYC is a great example of liberal agenda. Everyone is treated exactly the same and therefore must be and act the exact same. To ensure this happens laws will be created to force conformance.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Hamlet

      "A Democrat before seeking elective office, Bloomberg switched his registration in 2001 and ran for mayor as a Republican, winning the election that year and a second term in 2005. Bloomberg left the Republican Party over policy and philosophical disagreements with national party leadership in 2007 and ran for his third term in 2009 as an independent candidate on the Republican ballot line."

      He can't figure out what he is, seems to change with the winds, but his history of DNC, then moving GOP but leaving because of Philosophical reasons kind of points to his liberal views.

      May 31, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

    I usually have one or two sodas per day. Yeah I know it is bad for you. I'm not stupid. I'm not fat though. Why do they feel the need to regulate what size we drink?

    May 31, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. Martimar

    Canada better start closing off its border... We might have to go illegally immigrate there for our freedoms!

    May 31, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rich

    Over 30% of those commenting on this article are obese.

    You know who you are!

    May 31, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • pj

      my bmi is 19, what's yours?

      May 31, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. chris

    O.K., so any sugary drink over 16 oz. would be banned but any alcoholic beverage over 16 oz. is fine. Like that makes any sense. Not only are alcoholic beverages loaded with calories, but we know what the other social consequences are as well. Stupid.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. como1

    Komrad Bloomberg you act like Putin's missing brother.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Toni

    The problem is that Americans want the freedom to choose their own lifestyle, including taking hundreds of extra calories on junk foods or smoking BUT they want someone Else to deal with the consequences e.g. To pay for the insulin or chemotherapy

    May 31, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
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