New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his proposal to ban the serving of sugary drinks that exceed 16 ounces in the city’s restaurants, sports venues, and movie theaters, on Andrea Mitchell Reports today.
“There’s an epidemic in this country of people being overweight,” the mayor said. “It’s not perfect, it’s not the only answer, it’s not the only cause of people being overweight, but we’ve got to do something. We have an obligation to warn you when things aren’t good for your health.”
More than half of New York City’s adults are overweight, including 22% that are obese, according to the city.
The ban would not affect diet drinks, fruit juices, dairy-based beverages, or alcohol; nor would it impact what is sold in grocery or convenience stores. Bloomberg also stressed the fact that consumers can make the choice to purchase two cups of such a beverage to circumvent the limit.
“We’re not taking away anyone’s right to do things,” he told Mitchell. “We’re simply forcing you to understand you have to go from one cup to another cup.”
The New York City Beverage Association opposes the proposal, which the city health department will vote on next month.
Update: The New York Beverage Association wrote the Lean Forward and Morning Joe blog with their counter-arguments, saying "The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates."