Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial initiative to ban large sugary drinks sold at fast food joints, movie theaters and sporting events goes into effect March 12. Bloomberg is so certain that the ban will curb the epidemic of childhood obesity that he is calling for the state to enact the same measures he has set for the city, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
State officials like Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and State Senate Republican Leader Dan Skelos have yet to comment on Bloomberg’s desire to extend the large sugary drink ban across the state.
Bloomberg’s remarks come a few weeks before restaurants, food carts, stadiums, movie theaters, delis and arenas are banned from selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. Establishments that ignore the ban will be subject to heavy fines – though it’s worth noting that convenience stores and venues not overseen by the city Department of Health are exempt.
The mayor has taken a lot of heat after putting forward his plan to limit sugary drink sizes from lobbyists from the American Beverage Association (ABA) who don’t buy that city-sponsored portion-control will do anything to promote public health.
“The soda ban is exceedingly unpopular with New Yorkers. It increases the cost of doing business in the city and will have no impact on the mayor’s stated goal of reducing obesity. New Yorkers can decide for themselves what to eat and drink,” Chris Gindlesperger, a spokesman for ABA told the Journal.
Bloomberg has not backed down.
“Kids, once they get obese, they will be obese as adults. And this year, for the first time in the world, in the history of humanity, more people will die from overeating than from under-eating,” the mayor said. “So, we’re trying to do something here.”
We were wondering what our readers think of the looming large soda ban. Do you think it goes too far? Do you support it? Share your thoughts.