From now on out in New York City only criminals
will have containers of soda pop larger then 16 ounces.
Don't these government nannies have any real problems to solve???
Health Board Approves Ban on Large Sugary Drinks
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
Published: September 13, 2012
Seeking to combat rising obesity rates, the New York City Board of Health approved on Thursday a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, street carts and movie theaters, enacting the first restriction of its kind in the country.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who proposed the measure, celebrated its passage on Twitter.
“NYC’s new sugary drink policy is the single biggest step any gov’t has taken to curb #obesity,” he wrote. “It will help save lives.”
The measure, unless blocked by a judge, will take effect in six months. The health board vote was the only regulatory approval needed to become binding in the city, but the American soft-drink industry has strongly opposed the plan and vowed this week to try to fight the measure by other means, possibly in the courts.
“This is not the end,” Eliot Hoff, a spokesman for New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, an industry-financed group opposed to the soda sales restrictions, said in an e-mail moments after the vote. “We are exploring legal options, and all other avenues available to us.”
The plan is a marquee initiative of the Bloomberg administration, which is known for introducing ambitious – and, some say, overreaching – public health policies, including a ban on smoking in bars and the posting of calorie counts on chain restaurant menus.
The soda measure would bar the sale of sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces, smaller than the size of a common soda bottle. It would affect a range of popular sweetened beverages, including energy drinks, presweetened iced teas and common brands of nondiet soda.
The restrictions would not affect fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; no-calorie diet sodas would not be affected, but establishments with self-service drink fountains, like many fast-food restaurants, would not be allowed to stock cups larger than 16 ounces.
Only establishments that receive inspection grades from the health department would have to obey the rules, a group that includes movie theaters and stadium concession stands. Convenience stores, including 7-Eleven and its king-size “Big Gulp” drinks, would be exempt, along with vending machines and some newsstands.
Mr. Bloomberg has said the plan does not limit consumers’ choices, since customers can still purchase as many 16-ounce drinks as they would like. The soft-drink industry, which has spent more $1 million on a public-relations campaign opposing the plan, argues that the policy restricts consumers’ freedom to buy beverages as they see fit.
Six in 10 residents said they thought the plan was a bad idea in a recent poll by The New York Times. But the measure easily earned the approval of the health board, whose members were appointed by the mayor. The board voted eight to zero, with one abstention, to approve the measure just after 11 a.m. Thursday.
Mr. Bloomberg has made curbing obesity a top goal for his administration, citing higher rates of diabetes and fatalities among the city’s more overweight neighborhoods. More than half of adult New Yorkers are obese or overweight, according to the city’s health department.
Opinion among other city lawmakers is mixed. Several City Council members, including many members of the council’s minority caucus, said the plan would adversely affect small businesses, particularly in poorer neighborhoods. A resolution against the plan has been circulated in the City Council, but the speaker, Christine C. Quinn, has not put the measure to a vote.
The plan has generated widespread interest in the topic of obesity and soft drinks. The mayor has been pilloried in some quarters as Nanny Bloomberg, with critics saying the soda plan is another example of social engineering by the government. Supporters, including many prominent academics and scientists who study nutrition, say the policy could help reduce the amount of calories consumed by city residents.