As part of his latest anti-obesity campaign, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed banning the sale of sugared drinks in quantities larger than 16 ounces. The ban is expected to be rubber-stamped by Bloomberg’s appointed heads of the Health Department.
The city’s proposed ban on sugary drinks would apply to service in nearly all restaurants, movie theaters and street food carts and it is part of a Health Department aim to reduce obesity. The ban, which if approved would be the first of its kind in the nation, would take affect in March 2013. Diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based beverages like milkshakes and alcohol would be exempt from the ban and it would not affect sales in supermarkets or bodegas. However, corner stores and all other establishments that receive a letter grade on food service from the Health Department would have to follow the ban. The Health Department is not seeking City Council approval to move forward with this plan, but the city’s Board of Health would have to sign off on it, something that is considered a foregone conclusion.
Since taking office Bloomberg has also banned smoking in virtually all of New York City and he has forced restaurants to place calorie counts next to all menu items.