NYC Mayor Proposes Ban on Sodas Larger than 16 Ounces
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing to ban sodas larger than 16 ounces from being served in restaurants, theaters, delis, and vending carts throughout the city. The proposal is part of the Mayor’s effort to combat obesity in New York.
“(Obesity is) the first disease that’s gone from being a rich person’s disease to a poor person’s disease. Look at the pictures of the old robber barons with their big stomachs out in the ’20s. They were proud that they were fat. They all died young, but they were proud until that. Today it is poor people who are dying much more. And the numbers are just off the charts,” said Mayor Bloomberg in a radio interview.
The oversize soda ban is the most recent public health initiative championed by the 70-year-old Mayor. He has already banned smoking in the city’s restaurants and public places, banned artificial trans fats in restaurant food, and required fast food outlets to post calorie counts on their menus.
Bloomberg’s proposed ban is not without its critics. Comedian Jon Stewart poked fun at it on his television show The Daily Show with Jon Stewart while drinking a large soda. He sarcastically said the public loves Bloomberg’s plan.
“”It combines the draconian overreach people love with the probable lack of results they expect,” Stewart said.
There are also supporters, including CNN contributor David Frum.
“Obesity is America’s most important public health problem, and the mayor has led the way against it. This latest idea may or may not yield results. But it is already raising awareness. Even if it fails to become law, it ought to prod the beverage industry into acting as more responsible corporate citizens,” Frum wrote.
Because soda is empty calories, it can contribute to obesity, which is associated with a number of health problems.
The measure will be introduced on June 12 at a New York City Board of Health meeting.
”Nobody is taking away any of your rights,” Bloomberg said during the radio broadcast. ‘This way, we’re just telling you ’That’s a lot of soda.’