Forget Coke vs. Pepsi, There’s a New Soda War Bubbling in NYC

Monday, July 09, 2012

A rally was held in New York City protesting Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed crackdown on super-sized, sugary drinks. Not to be outdone, the Bloomberg administration released a 22-page press release of statements from people who support his proposal.

Dubbed the “Million Big Gulp March,” the small protest that took place in City Hall Park on Monday was organized by the group NYC Liberty HQ. Participants included business owners, local politicians and others against the proposed ban.

The mayor struck back with a long name-dropping list of people who support his move to prevent restaurants, movie theaters, sports arenas, food carts and delis from selling sodas and other sugary drinks in servings larger than 16 ounces.

Leading off was film director Spike Lee. “I’m in favor of [the soda ban]. Look, when I was growing up in Brooklyn, we had gym, and you had to run. You had some physical activity. Children today in public schools across the country are not being taught art, are not being taught music and they have no physical ed. Obesity is a major, major problem in this country. Americans—we’re just obese. It’s crazy,” the statement read.

There were a lot of health care officials and community groups that showed up on the list, but other notables included British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, folk singer Judy Collins, former Mayor Ed Koch and former President Bill Clinton, who was no stranger to fast food menus before his quadruple heart bypass surgery.

Earlier in the day, Bloomberg told reporters he didn’t know what the march was about. “If you want to kill yourself, I guess you have a right to do it. We’re trying to do something about that,” said Bloomberg, who has positioned his stance as a fat-busting move.

“We’ve got to do something about this and they can have a march and make a joke out of it, but there’s a story in the Post today where the hospitals are having to increase the size of their gurneys and strengthen them,” the mayor went on. “This is going to be worse than smoking ever was.”

Bloomberg’s earlier health initiatives included a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, a ban on trans-fats in fast food eateries, and calorie counts on menus in local chains.

Opponents, however, say Bloomberg’s latest initiative is overstepping the city’s authority and infringing on personal freedom.

With the Associated Press


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Comments [5]

Stuart Pitt

We New Yorkers are fighting back!!!

Danny and the Dirtbags have made the anti-Bloomberg protest song… check it out!

Jul. 10 2012 05:09 PM
W. Jones

If Mayor Bloomberg wants to ban about more than 2 hours of TV a is proven that a sedentary lifestyle has much more to do with obesity that the size of a soft drink!

Jul. 10 2012 04:04 PM

Bloomberg stole the last election so he could put through a ban on Big Gulps? OMG!! Glad to see he has his priorities in order!! roflmao

Jul. 10 2012 03:48 PM
mike from Brooklyn

I agree with Bloomberg that people shouldn't be drinking huge sodas, but I don't know about his attempts to ban huge sodas. As someone who was a major soda drinker for most of his life I understand how people feel their freedoms are being taken away. But as someone who has quit drinking soda because it is bad for my health, I see the other side as well. I am just glad that Bloomberg gave up on his plan to make it impossible to buy soda on foodstamps. If he is going to legislate against beverage choices at least he is doing it for everyone and not attacking poor people. Particularly because in poor neighborhoods it is often difficult to find a place that sells much else other than soda. I drink seltzer now, its like soda only not bad for you, I recommend others try it as an alternative as well.

Jul. 10 2012 10:20 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

Forcing movie theaters and fast food chains to stop selling enormous portions that are overpriced for what they are is hardly an affront to our personal freedom. Currently, if you want what used to be a "small" soda, you cannot actually purchase that size; the "small" is what the old "large" used to be, and costs $4.50. The fact that we've all blindly swallowed the whole "super sizing" of America proves how successful advertisers have been in turning all of us into thoughtless consumers, believing that "bigger is better." Now we're a nation of fatsos who thinks we need 32 ounces of soda to sit through a 2 hour movie. I don't know how anyone with an ounce of intelligence can lobby to protect the right to buy a Big Gulp.

Jul. 10 2012 09:46 AM

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