Death To Obesity: Bloomberg Seeks to Ban Large Sugary Drinks

"I think that's what the public wants the mayor to do," NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the New York Times yesterday shortly after announcing a proposal to ban sale of sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces.

The plan does come with several major caveats: The ban will not apply to supermarkets and convenience stores, nor will it cover juices, dairy drinks such as milkshakes, diet drinks, and alcohol. Also, while cups will only be allowed to contain up to 16 ounces, refills are permitted.

A New York City Beverage Association rep responded to the proposal with unsurprising opposition.

"There they go again. The New York City Health Department's unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top," said the spokesman in reference to previous attempts by the Bloomberg administration to place a state tax on sodas and prohibit the use of food stamps to purchase sodas. Both efforts failed.

"The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates," he continued. "It's time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity."

The Associated Press points out that the ban is likely to be approved as it requires the approval of the city's Board of Health members — all of whom were appointed by the mayor.

The soda ban, which is expected to take effect next March, comes on the heels of a temporary suspension of the recently enacted ban on smoking in New York's state parks, beaches, and pools.

Earlier in the day the FDA ruled against the Corn Refiners Association request to relabel high fructose corn syrup "corn sugar."

[image via NYC Health]