Mayor Bloomberg wants a 16-ounce limit on the size of sugary drinks sold in New York City. The big soda ban would apply to drinks that contain more than 25 calories per 8 ounces. Diet soda would be exempt.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks in the city's restaurants, delis and movie theaters in the hopes of combating obesity — an expansion of his administration's efforts to encourage healthy behavior by limiting residents' choices.
The proposal — expected to be announced formally on Thursday in a City Hall briefing — would take 20-ounce soda bottles off the shelves of the city's delis and eliminate super-sized sugary soft drinks from fast-food menus. It is the latest health effort by the administration to spark accusations that the city's officials are overstepping into matters that should be left in the hands of individual consumers.
"There they go again," said Stefan Friedman, spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association, who called the proposal "zealous" in a statement. "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."
But City Hall officials, citing a 2006 study, argue that sugary drinks are the largest driver of rising calorie consumption and obesity. They note that sweet drinks are linked to long-term weight gain and increased rates of diabetes and heart disease.
The administration's proposal would impose a 16-ounce limit on the size of sugary drinks sold at food service establishments, including restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts. It would apply to bottled drinks as well as fountain sodas.