Mayor Bloomberg Seeks to Restrict Large Sodas
The fight against sodas rages on, with Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to ban the sale of 16-ounce and larger sugary drinks from sale in New York City.
And it's not just sodas getting the ax — The New York Times reports that the ban would extend to dairy drinks (like your iced coffee sugar-filled treats), diet sodas, and fruit juices. Drinks with fewer than 25 calories per eight ounces, i.e. Vitamin Water, would be OK under the new ruling.
The plan, which would affect sales at NYC bodegas, restaurants, movie theaters, and even sports arenas, is Bloomberg's most far-reaching plan to combat obesity. Already, Bloomberg has passed rulings against artificial trans fats in restaurants, and required restaurant health grades to be displayed.
The ruling must still be approved by the Board of Health in New York City, and is likely to pass. While responding to critics who call him "Mayor Nanny Bloomberg" for criticizing consumer choices, Bloomberg said he didn't think the new rule would limit consumers. (After all, there's no proposal against free refills.) He said in an interview to the NYT, "Your argument, I guess, could be that it’s a little less convenient to have to carry two 16-ounce drinks to your seat in the movie theater rather than one 32-ounce... I don’t think you can make the case that we’re taking things away."
Lobbyists from soda groups are against the ruling; said spokesman Stefan Friedman from the New York Beverage Association to The New York Times, "The New York City health department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top... These zealous proposals just distract from the hard work that needs to be done on this [obesity] front."