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City Bans Big, Sugary Drinks at Eateries, Theaters

Thursday, September 13, 2012

soda ban The city shows just how much sugar is in different sizes of drinks. (Fred Mogul/WNYC)

New York City's health board has passed a rule banning super-sized, sugary drinks at restaurants, concession stands and other eateries.

The regulation passed by the Board of Health on Thursday puts a 16-ounce size limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas and other calorie-packed beverages.

Opponents have decried the large, sugary drinks ban as an improper insertion of government into the free market and individual choice.

One board member, Dr. Sixto R. Caro, abstained from voting. The other eight board members voted yes.

"I am still skeptical. This is not comprehensive enough," said Caro, a doctor of internal medicine who practices in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Vick Nair, manager of Lucky's Pizza in Long Island City, said he only sells relatively small bottles of drinks so the 16-ounce cap won't affect his business. "My customers don't want big drinks with their pizza, and if they do, they get two small ones," he said. "I think it's good and can help with obesity and make people stop and think a little."

Pepsi driver and deliveryman Sean Jones, however, doesn’t think smaller bottles will lighten his load. "I don't think it will affect anything. People are going to drink what they want to drink," he said. But he admits the move might motivate people to drink less, to stop at 16 ounces instead of doubling down and getting 32, "but it'll all depend on price."

The beverage industry has spent millions of dollars in advertising to defeat the proposal, and several politicians have joined industry efforts. The business-backed group New Yorkers for Beverage Choices claims 250,000 people have joined its campaign.

Mayor Bloomberg and his supporters have noted that for many years 16 ounces constituted a large portion — the size Coca-Cola introduced in the 1950s to serve three people. They argue the gradual increase in soda size is one of the many factors contributing to Americans’ growing caloric intake and obesity rates.

Diet beverages and unsweetened tea and coffee would be exempt from the size cap — but at places where with free refills, no one would get a cup larger than the legal limit for high-calorie drinks.

Also exempt from the drink size cap would be milkshakes and juice drinks. Health officials say those at least have some nutritional value, even as they acknowledge such drinks also spike insulin and thicken waistbands.

Ironically, the Big Gulp — the icon of massive beverages — would be exempt from the proposed size limits because the city has no jurisdiction over 7-Eleven and other convenience stores. They fall under state regulations.

The cap will not go into effect until March 2013.

With the Associated Press

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Comments [11]

The Inventor

@Clive

I'm sorry, but the onus is on you to demonstrate your position that aspartame is harmful.

But I will comply with representing my sources.
Various long term medical studies have concluded it is of no serious risk. Of course such news doesn't make for good scare tactics.
Dr. Harriet Hall, who is well known for exposing pseudoscience and quackery, has written about aspartame in her regular column in Skeptic Magazine. Here is the article as well as citations from various European studies (over 500 hundred of them) that demonstrate the studies of Aspartame that date back to the '80s--making it the most researched additive in current use.

The process which derives aspartame has birthed other technology that now allows us to get human insulin without harming animals.

Please do your research before you blatantly use chemical names without understanding them.
Again, there's a petition on dihydrogen monoxide going around which awaits your signature.

Sep. 14 2012 12:22 PM
clive betters

@inventor

stick to substance over style. i can't punctuate,and the sky also tends to be blue. how clever of you,"church of the obvious" follower.

re-aspertame: what you don't look for you won't find,snarky pants.

Sep. 14 2012 09:16 AM
The Inventor

Clive,

I would appreciate a full scientific analysis of Aspartame that allows you to arrive at such a conclusion within a single sentence containing more commas than factual reports on what the additive does.

I think you may also wish to devote your efforts to banning dihydrogen monoxode

Sep. 13 2012 10:35 PM
clive betters

@ AG- that's wonderful,and i agree. i don't want gov't telling us what to eat, or not eat. yet, that is exactly what thy are doing, vis a vie,the govt proxy junk food industry,anyway! if you care about children,you've got to do something, on a bigger level. not everyone, had the great fortune, to grow up in your enlightened household,so, should they be condemned to heart attacks, diabetes,and obesity etc etc? i lose patience,with the cultic libertarian mindset,that seems to forget,that we're not all seperate little drones, trying to fight the system....oh excuse me,i forgot, that's pretty much what we have become. disgraceful..

Sep. 13 2012 10:29 PM
clive betters

another level of stupidity:

diet soda,which has aspertame,is a carcinogen. at the very least,there is absolutely nothing, nutritionally redemptive about it.

Sep. 13 2012 10:17 PM
AG

clive - my immigrant parents never allowed my siblings and I to drink soda in the house (or eat things like white bread)... so as adults we don't... it's really that simple. I find it sad that ppl need to even rely on the government to tell them not to smoke or drink things that have no nutritional value. Parents are the ones who need to educate the children... or our tax dollars have to e used to teach ppl about health that they should learn at home... and then further tax dollars are paid out to care for ppl because of their unhealthy lifestyles.

Sep. 13 2012 10:16 PM
The Inventor from NYC

Let's ban alcohol next!
More laws! More control!
We can't control ourselves! We need Mother government!

Prohibition works, I tell ya!

Sep. 13 2012 10:01 PM
SKV from NYC

I wish people would stop talking about their liberties being infringed. This is about CUP SIZE. You can still drink as much sugar-water as you want, just like you always could. This is simply about packaging.

(Not that I think people have a constitutional right to drink unlimited sugar-water. Not like voting, for instance.)

Sep. 13 2012 07:54 PM
clive betters

how about promoting and providing healthy choices. psych 101, should tell us, that people are not motivated by negative renforcement. it's beyond useless, to tell people, what's NOT good for them.[and, some will be drawn further into the sugary],if you don't educate, about the viable healthy alternative[s].

Sep. 13 2012 03:27 PM
ROY from Queens

All hail Pharoah Bloomberg! All hail Pharoah Bloomberg! (Sardonicism)

Sep. 13 2012 02:00 PM
LBF from uws

The name of the organization is Board of Health, not Health Board.

Sep. 13 2012 10:11 AM

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