Bay Ridge

The One Man Ban: Bloomberg defends soda ban, says state should do the same

February 26, 2013 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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As of March 12, customers in New York City will no longer be able to buy a soda larger than 16 ounces in a restaurant or a movie theater, as the ban on supersized, sugary drinks that Mayor Michael Bloomberg fought for, and was heavily criticized for, goes into effect.

At a press conference in Bay Ridge on Feb. 25, Bloomberg was asked by reporters about the new rule and about the criticism against it from restaurant owners and other business groups. “It’s hardly an imposition. We’re not banning anything,” he told reporters. The mayor pointed out that the ban is for restaurants, bars, and public arenas only and that a customer could still buy a large size soda in a grocery store or a supermarket.

But Bloomberg also said that he thinks New York State should impose a similar ban on large sugar-filled drinks in grocery stores and supermarkets, which are regulated by the state. “The state should do exactly the same thing in stores,” he said.

The mayor was asked about the soda portion plan a day after the New York Post published an article detailing various ways the ban will have an effect on New Yorkers’ buying habits. For example, the Post pointed out that customers will not be able to get supersized sugary drinks with their pizza delivery.

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 Bloomberg said he pushed for the ban because he is concerned about the health of New Yorkers, particularly children. Drinking calorie-laden soft drinks can lead to weight gain and that can lead to diabetes and other health issues, the mayor said during the press conference, which took place at the High School of Telecommunications at 350 67th St. The mayor was at the school to discuss a new technology program that will be introduced into 20 schools in September.

“We’re trying to save the lives of these kids. We’re trying to do something here,” he said. Medical research shows that portion control is a key component of a healthy diet, he said.

New York City needs to get a handle on the obesity problem, Bloomberg said. He mentioned a shocking projection. “More people will die of obesity than smoking this year in New York City,” he said.


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