Boom: Mayor Bloomberg is ratcheting up his war against obesity by proposing to ban "the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts," according to the NY Times. Big Soda, bring on the hate!
The Times reports, "The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March."
Egads—that corresponds with Shamrock Shake time! Oh, wait, the ban won't apply to milkshakes—apparently "diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages" as well as "drinks with fewer than 25 calories per 8-ounce serving, like zero-calorie Vitamin Waters and unsweetened iced teas" are not subject to the ban.
It won't apply to "beverages sold in grocery stores or convenience stores" either, but it would apply at "restaurants, delis, movie theater and ballpark concessions... because they are regulated by the health department." (Same goes for street carts on sidewalks and in Central Park!)
Bloomberg said, "Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible.' 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." Yes, tell us how drinking soda is just like eating fat:
The spokesman for the NYC Beverage Association said, "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. In fact, as obesity continues to rise, CDC data shows that calories from sugar-sweetened beverages are a small and declining part of the American diet. It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity. These zealous proposals just distract from the hard work that needs to be done on this front."
The Bloomberg administration has been trying to convince New Yorkers to change its sugar drink habits by showing how portion sizes are ballooning out of control, and most recently used a Photoshopped ad to show the dangers of drinking too much soda (p.s., it could result in diabetes... and amputation!). And, hey, there are fewer obese kids lately!