A majority of New Yorkers surveyed by Quinnipiac University say they're opposed to Mayor Bloomberg's plan to ban large servings of soda and sugary drinks. 54 percent say they're opposed, with 42 percent in favor of the proposal, which would prohibit the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces from many establishments regulated by the Health Department (but not 7-Eleven).

That opposition has grown since June, when another survey found 51 percent of New Yorkers white-knuckling on their giant sodas. Oh well, it's not like it matters what these peons think—the Bloomberg-appointed Board of Health is widely expected to vote in favor of the proposal next month. (At a press conference this summer, Bloomberg replied to a question about the ban's opponents by saying, "If you want to kill yourself, I guess you have a right to do it. We're trying to do something about that.")

Asked about the survey, Bloomberg spokesman Samantha Levine tells us, "The administration uses science and research to inform policy decisions, not what's politically popular, or unpopular. The health of New Yorkers remains our priority." And according to Quinnipiac, half of New Yorker voters surveyed say they approve of Bloomberg's record on public health, with 38 percent disapproving. Last week's New Yorker had an interesting look at the soda proposal. Columnist James Surowiecki writes:

It’s true that the ban will be easy to circumvent: if you want to drink thirty-two ounces, you can just buy two sixteen-ounce servings. But Bloomberg’s proposal makes clever use of what economists call “default bias.” If you offer a choice in which one option is seen as a default, most people go for that default option. People who are automatically enrolled in a retirement plan, for instance, are more likely to stay with their original plan than those who choose plans for themselves.

In countries where people have to choose to be an organ donor, most people aren’t donors; in countries where people have to actively say they don’t want to be an organ donor, most are donors. The soda ban makes sixteen ounces or less the default option for soda drinkers; if they want more, they’ll have to make an extra effort.

Man, killing yourself sure is a lot more work than it used to be since Bloomberg came to town!