Updated 05/31/2012 01:09 PM
NYC mayor looks to ban high sugar drinks
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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking the next step in his crusade for public health. He wants to ban high sugar beverages larger than 16 fluid ounces from nearly all restaurants in the city.
The city's proposed ban on high sugar drinks is part of a Health Department goal to reduce obesity and would apply to service in nearly all restaurants, movie theaters, and street food carts. Corner stores and all other establishments that receive a letter grade on food service from the Health Department would have to follow the ban.
During Bloomberg's years as mayor, smoking was no longer allowed in restaurants and parks, trans fats were banned from restaurants, and fast food chains were forced to display calorie counts on their menus.
The New York City Beverage Association is pushing back. A spokesman for the group says, in a statement, “The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates. It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity.”
If approved, it would be the first of its kind in the nation, taking effect in March of 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.
The Health Department is not seeking City Council approval to move forward with this plan but the ban does require the approval of the city's Board of Health.