Wednesday at City Hall in a news conference, Mayor Bloomberg announced his plans to ban sugar-bearing beverages–including sports drinks, sodas, and energy drinks–over 16 ounces. This ban, which won’t go into effect until March, must first be approved by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, whose sign-off is considered inevitable–because the mayor appoints all members of the organization’s board.
Said the mayor, “New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something. I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”
The ban on over-16-ounce beverages would not extend to grocery stores or restaurants, nor would it include diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages.
Predictably, the beverage industry was quick to respond: “The New York City health department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top,” the industry spokesman, Stefan Friedman, said. “It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity.”