New York | Thursday, May 31st, 2012
Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the latest and perhaps biggest step in his crusade to make New Yorkers healthy with a proposal to ban supersized sugary drinks starting as early as next March. The measure would prohibit the sale of any sweetened drink larger than 16 ounces. That’s less liquid than you’d find in an average soda bottle, not to mention the monstrosities served in movie theaters and fast food outlets. Energy drinks, sodas and pre-sweetened iced teas would all be subject to the rule; diet sodas, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, and alcohol would be spared
“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands,” said the mayor in an interview yesterday. “New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something.” Bloomberg has already done something about smoking–banning it in bars, restaurants and public parks–and trans-fats, which he successfully fought to have removed from New York City menus. The proposal has angered the soda industry and libertarians, some of whom have nicknamed the mayor Nanny Bloomberg for his aggressive lifestyle legislation. Still, the Board of Health will likely approve his latest health proposal since, as the New York Times notes, Bloomberg appointed most of its sitting members.