New York Major Michael Bloomberg feels so strongly about his city’s upcoming soft drink ban that he believes the policy should be expanded statewide.
Starting March 12, New York City will ban the sale of sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces within restaurants, food cards, concession stands, and other sources of fast food. Violators will face a fine starting in June.
Convenience stores are off the hook. Under New York state law, gas stations and supermarkets are regulated by the state government, placing them out of Mayor Bloomberg’s reach. At a news conference in Brooklyn, Bloomberg was asked if movie theaters, bowling alleys, nightclubs, and restaurants should have the same freedom to sell soft drinks as supermarkets.
“The state should do exactly the same thing in stores,” Bloomberg said in response.
The mayor views his policy as a means of combating the growing epidemic of obesity.
“Kids, once they get obese, they will be obese as adults,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “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 new policy does not prevent consumers from buying as many drinks as they want. If a customer does not feel satisfied by the amount of a particular beverage available in their 16 ounce cup, they can simply buy another.
“We’re not banning anything, other than saying you have to serve it in portions of 16 ounces or less,” Bloomberg said. “We’re just trying to encourage you and educate you that this is probably not the greatest thing for you, and all of the research done shows that portion control really does work.”
The New York City Board of Health approved the initiative in September. Opponents of Mayor Bloomberg’s soft drink ban have challenged the law in court, but there has not yet been a ruling.
[Image via ShutterStock]