Sugar bully/New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg cares about you soooo much that he’s proposed something that’s never been done anywhere else in the entire country in his latest effort to protect you from yourself: banning “sugar drinks” like soda to be sold in cups larger than 16 ounces.
In a twist, the mayor’s proposed ban doesn’t include alcohol, which means a 40-ounce Slurpee would be more illegal than a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor.
“All across the country, everybody recognizes obesity as a growing,
serious problem,” the mayor said in an interview with the New York Post. “But everybody’s just
sitting around wringing their hands, not doing anything about it . . . I
think it’s fair to say that while everyone else is sitting around
complaining, New York City is acting.”
The ban would apply to any business that receives a letter grade from
the Health Department — including food carts — which includes more than
20,000 businesses, movie theaters, and sports arenas.
Diet soda, and beverages that include less than 25 calories per 8 ounces, would not be included in the ban.
The sugary drink industry, obviously, is not thrilled.
“There they go again. The New York City Health Department’s unhealthy
obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top.
The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda
because soda is not driving the obesity rates. It’s time for serious
health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to
actually curb obesity,” Stefan Friedman, a spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association, says.
Under the proposed ban, any business caught selling sugary drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces would face a $200 fine.
The ban would take effect in March of 2013.
The big-soda ban is just the mayor’s latest attempt to force his will on
the dietary habits of people in New York. Earlier this year, he started
enforcing a policy that bans people from donating food to city
homeless shelters. His reason: the city isn’t able to monitor the sodium
content of donated food, and therefor can’t ensure that hungry homeless
people aren’t consuming too much salt. Last month, we had a crazy
theory that homeless people are more interested in eating in general
than they are with how much salt they consume. Our theory was proven
true — more on that here.
As the mayor continues his crusade to shrink the waistlines of Gotham’s
residents, just keep in mind that a 16-ounce Pepsi can become a 32-ounce
Pepsi real fast — all you have to do is buy two.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 31, 2012