New York City bans oversized soft drinks, tackles obesity
by Jennifer Peltz and David B. Caruso
Associated Press Writers
September 14, 2012 12:00 AM | 1153 views | 2 2 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Luke Husemann and Christina Nunez of Baltimore sip on extra-large soft drinks at a fast-food restaurant in New York on Thursday. The era of the supersized cola came to an end in New York City on Thursday, when health officials approved an unprecedented 16-ounce  limit on sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, delis and movie theaters. Nunez says she drinks a super large soft drink every day after work.<br>The Associated Press
Luke Husemann and Christina Nunez of Baltimore sip on extra-large soft drinks at a fast-food restaurant in New York on Thursday. The era of the supersized cola came to an end in New York City on Thursday, when health officials approved an unprecedented 16-ounce limit on sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, delis and movie theaters. Nunez says she drinks a super large soft drink every day after work.
The Associated Press
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NEW YORK — New York City cracked down on supersized sodas and other sugary drinks Thursday in what was celebrated as a groundbreaking attempt to curb obesity but condemned as a blatant intrusion into people’s lives by a busybody mayor.

Public health experts around the nation — and the restaurant and soft-drink industry — will be watching closely to see how it goes over among New Yorkers, a famously disputatious bunch. Barring any court action, it will take effect in March.

The regulations, approved easily by the city Board of Health, apply to any establishment with a food-service license, including fast-food places, delis, movie and Broadway theaters, the concession stands at Yankee Stadium and the pizzerias of Little Italy. They will be barred from serving sugary beverages in cups or bottles larger than 16 ounces.

No other U.S. city has gone so far as to restrict portion sizes at restaurants to fight weight gain.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg rejected suggestions that the rule constitutes an assault on personal liberty.

“Nobody is banning anything,” he said, noting that restaurant customers can still buy as much soda as they want, as long as they are willing to carry it in multiple containers.

He said the inconvenience is well worth the potential public health benefit, and likened the city’s actions to measures taken decades ago to phase out lead in household paint.

“We cannot continue to have our kids come down with diabetes at age 6,” he said.

Others, though, likened the ban to Prohibition. A New York Times poll last month showed that six in 10 New Yorkers opposed the

restrictions.

“It’s a slippery slope. When does it stop? What comes next?” said Sebastian Lopez, a college student from Queens. He added: “This is my life. I should be able to do what I want.”

The restrictions do not apply to supermarkets or most convenience stores, because such establishments are not subject to Board of Health regulation. And there are exceptions for beverages made mostly of milk or unsweetened fruit juice.

(Because convenience stores are exempt, the rules don’t even apply to 7-Eleven’s Big Gulp, even though the belly-busting serving of soda has become Exhibit A in the debate over Americans’ eating habits.)

Some health experts said it isn’t clear whether the ban will have any effect on obesity. But they said it might help usher in a change in attitude toward overeating, in the same way that many Americans have come to regard smoking as inconsiderate.

The regulations follow other ambitious health moves on Bloomberg’s watch, many of which were attacked as a push toward a “nanny state.”

Yet some have proved to be national trendsetters, such as making chain restaurants post calories on their menus. The city has also barred artificial trans fats in french fries and other restaurant food, cracked down on smoking and promoted breast-feeding over formula.

The Board of Health approved the big-soda ban 8-0, with one member, Dr. Sixto R. Caro, abstaining. Caro, a doctor of internal medicine, said the plan wasn’t comprehensive enough.

Others spoke forcefully of the need for action to deal with an obesity crisis.

“I feel to not act would really be criminal,” said board member Susan Klitzman, director of the Urban Public Health Program at Hunter College. City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley called the rule “a historic step to address a major health problem of our time.”

The restaurant and beverage industries complained that the city is exaggerating the role sugary beverages have played in making Americans fat.

“This is a political solution and not a health solution,” said Eliot Hoff, a spokesman for an industry-sponsored group called New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, which claims to have gathered more than 250,000 signatures on petitions against the plan.

He said the group is considering suing to block the rule.

“We will continue to voice our opposition to this ban and fight for the right of New Yorkers to make their own choices. And we will stand with the business owners who will be hurt by these arbitrary limitations,” Hoff said in a statement.
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Diane Rogers
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September 23, 2012
Well said Dan. The problem with political solutions is they only serve the political ambitions of our leaders. They do not solve problems. Every person who wants a huge sugary drink will figure a way around this one with ease. It is not designed to stop anything but simply a statement of things to come...a warning so to speak of the power of the State. I don't have a solution for obesity but neither do they. There is no empirical evidence that it will save lives, unlike the seat belt laws which have. This is definitely designed to be a slippery slope for further intrusion.
Dan Rivera
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September 14, 2012
There they go again, another socialist experiment.There must be another nefarious reason for this. Here's why, everyone knows sugar is the real cause of obesity and diabetes when mixed with a fat diet. They won't Ban Sugar because it's a billion dollar industry. But ban the size of your soft drink? Oh Yea, now we can order 10 or 20 small softdrinks, or the restaurant owner can sell you a 4 oz cup with unlimited refills those Morons. Or hey just go to your local supermarket buy a 2 liter and leave it in your car and just order a large cup of ice, Oh but then they will make it criminal to hide coke in your vehicle! Uhm Prohibition? We are destined to repeat the past if we don't learn from it. Our pledge of allegiance says "and to the replublic for which it stands, one nation" ect. We are a Replubic! People! The Government bodies were set up by the forefathers of this country so that we can enforce our god given liberty against Tyrants. The force the government has is the one we give it to enforce the indivisuals right and soverignty. Unlike the democratic form government which rules by a majority vote, and can lead to legal plundering of proerty from one person to benefit another who refuses to earn it. Remember, not so long ago the majority said blacks couldn't vote! Majority rule can be very dangerous to free societies! Softdrink ban? No, this is a test to whittle away little by little to see if the public reacts. If their is no back lash, then the shadow leaders are confident they can impose more bans just like Hugo Chavez creeped in and won the hearts and mind of the people of venezuela and now they are REDS! It's for your own good they say. Hitler started off the same way!
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