The city of New York plans to ban the sale of large soft drinks and other drinks that have high amounts of sugar, at movie theaters, restaurants and street carts. This is the biggest effort yet by the city of New York in its war against obesity.
The ban would affect nearly the all of the menus of sugary drinks found at fast food franchises, delis, pizzerias and sports arenas from pre-sweetened teas to energy drinks.
The largest drink that would be allowed in the proposed plan would be just 16 ounces, the equivalent of a medium coffee but smaller than the average size soda bottle. The ban, if passed, could take effect as early as March of 2013.
Diet sodas, dairy-based drinks, fruit juices or alcoholic beverages would not be included in the list of banned drinks. The ban would also not include those beverages sold in convenience or grocery stores.
Mayor Bloomberg of NYC said that obesity is a problem nationwide, but health officials have washed their hands of the problem. However, he said that NYC would not wash its hands of the dangerous problem.
On Wednesday, the Beverage Association of New York City criticized the proposal. The health department and the industry have often times clashed saying that soda has been unfairly singled out and have purchased ads in subways to promote their opinion.
For the proposal to pass it would need the Board of Health’s approval, which is considered likely. One of Bloomberg’s priorities in his tenure has been public health and he has championed a number of regulations.