Should NYC Ban Large Sugary Drinks?

Newsmax 2013/03/12 13:13:21
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Eateries from corner delis to movie concession stands have gotten a last-minute reprieve from the nation's first ban on big sugary drinks. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging them to shrink their cups and bottles, anyway.

Hours after a judge struck down the 16-ounce size limit for sodas and some other sweet drinks as arbitrary and outside city health regulators' purview, Bloomberg defended it as a groundbreaking anti-obesity effort and all but challenged businesses to comply out of concern for their customers.

"If you know what you're doing is harmful to people's health, common sense says if you care, you might want to stop doing that," he said. Besides, he said, the city expects to win on appeal.

It was a sign of how aggressively Bloomberg sees the city's role in pushing New Yorkers to improve their health habits and nudging other cities to do likewise. But it remains to be seen whether the city that was first to compel chain restaurants to post calorie counts and bar artificial trans fats in restaurant food will ultimately prevail in capping soda portions.

For now, though, the ruling it means the ax won't fall Tuesday on supersized sodas, sweetened teas and other high-sugar beverages in restaurants, hot dog carts, arenas and even coffee shops.

The rule has sparked reaction from pizzeria counters to late-night talk shows, celebrated by some as a bold attempt to improve people's health and derided by others as another "nanny state" law from Bloomberg during his 11 years in office.

On the "Late Show with David Letterman" Monday night, Bloomberg defended the ban but he also joked about his own "addiction."

"As long as you don't ban Cheez-Its," he said. "Cheese-Its are OK. That's my addiction."

Jose Perez, a special education teacher, said Monday as he got a can of soda and a hot dog from a street vendor, "Really, I think it's just big government getting in the way of people's rights.

"I think it's up to the person," he said. "If they want to have a giant soda, that's their business."

Monday's ruling came just hours before the restriction was to take effect, handing a victory to the beverage industry, restaurants and other business groups that called the rule unfair and wrong-headed.

"The court ruling provides a sigh of relief to New Yorkers and thousands of small businesses in New York City that would have been harmed by this arbitrary and unpopular ban," the American Beverage Association and other opponents said.

State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling said the restriction was arbitrary because it applies to only some sugary beverages and some places that sell them. For various reasons, it doesn't cover alcoholic drinks or many lattes and other milk-based concoctions. Nor does it doesn't apply at supermarkets or many convenience stores — including 7-Eleven, home of the Big Gulp.

"The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose," Tingling wrote in a 36-page ruling that examined the scope of power that should be afforded an administrative board for regulations.

Tingling, a Democrat elected to the trial court bench in 2001, said the Bloomberg-appointed Board of Health intruded on the elected City Council's authority when it imposed the rule. He cited in part a case from the 1980s which questioned whether a state public health council had the authority to regulate smoking in public places.

The appeal likely will turn on whether a higher court "feels that the mayor has gone too far in ruling by decree in bypassing City Council," said Rick Hills, a New York University law professor who has been following the case.

In defending the rule, city officials point to the city's rising obesity rate — about 24 percent of adults, up from 18 percent in 2002 — and to studies tying sugary drinks to weight gain.

The judge acknowledged the impact of obesity on the city's residents, and noted that those bringing suit likewise didn't dispute obesity is a significant health issue, but questioned how much sugary drinks can be blamed for it. Ultimately Tingling said whether the issue of obesity is an epidemic is not the key issue here, but whether the board of health has the jurisdiction to decide that obesity is such an issue that it could issue a cap on consumption of sugary drinks.

The judge found that the regulation was "laden with exceptions based on economic and political concern."

Critics said the measure was too limited to have a meaningful effect on New Yorkers' waistlines. And they said it would take a bite out of business for the establishments that had to comply, while others still could sell sugary drinks in 2-liter bottles and supersized cups.

While some eateries held off making changes because of the court challenge, some restaurants had begun using smaller glasses for full-sugar soda. Dunkin' Donuts shops have been telling customers they will have to sweeten and flavor their own coffee. Coca-Cola has printed posters explaining the rules.

Frames Bowling Lounge, a bowling alley and upscale bar in Manhattan, developed — and is keeping — a slate of fresh-squeezed juices as an alternative to pitchers of sodas for family parties. That entailed investing staff time, buying new glasses and changing menus, executive general manager Ayman Kamel said.

"All that cost a lot of money, but you have to go with the flow," he said, and customers have started calling about the new juices.

"We're all very excited about it," he said.

Read More: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Sugary-Drinks-Law...

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Top Opinion

  • Daryl 2013/03/12 23:06:24
    No but New York should ban nanny-state mayors with fascist tendencies by electing people that respect the constitution.

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  • SickOfBigGov 2013/04/03 02:52:51
    I think NY should ban large egos.
  • Turboski 2013/03/31 01:52:56
    If it was something excessive like 100oz. then yes, but 16oz max is stupid
  • drakey wakey 2013/03/30 22:23:08
    drakey wakey
    let them kill themselves
  • HiYa 2013/03/30 22:03:54
    They should have an incentive to not sell them, but not a flat out ban.
  • Road Dog 2013/03/30 21:42:31
  • flyingseaturtle BN 2013/03/30 21:26:46
  • Lorenz0 W. ElMenzo 2013/03/30 21:23:12
    Lorenz0 W. ElMenzo
    No! NYC, & Bloomberg, deserve each other!

    you deserve each other
  • Kat ♪ ~ ♪ 2013/03/30 21:14:19
    Kat ♪ ~ ♪
    Bloomberg wants to be a dictator, all he is is a little prick.
  • dan 2013/03/30 20:04:42
    Free refills........
  • moknowsky 2013/03/22 08:52:48
    They need to ban that feculent little whinger, Nanny Bloomberg!
  • lady_c5_loadmaster 2013/03/16 21:49:44
    When I take my kids to the movies I get 1 extra large drink and we share it. It is cheaper than having to buy individual regular size drinks.
  • Tom Trojan 2013/03/16 04:21:17
    Tom Trojan
    What else do you want the government to determine for you?????
  • Common Sense 2013/03/15 22:16:43
    Common Sense
    I don't get it. He bans sugary drinks but you can still buy a pack of cigarettes.
    Bass ackwards....
  • Michael 2013/03/15 01:15:23
    No they shouldn't. Thats the start of becoming slaves to the government. If that happens. I will die before I become a government slave. If America allows the government to control us, then I don't know what I'll do. If you are a true American you won't allow yourself to be a slave to Obama, and the rest of the government.
  • The Third Reich 2013/03/14 20:58:33
    The Third Reich
    I was raised my whole life here, and as much as I love this city, the goddamn Mayor is doing too f-ing much. TOO much. It almost makes me want to leave. Seriously Bloomberg stop. STOP.
  • Michael The Thi... 2013/03/15 01:09:27
    I don't understand why people is still moving to New York. Its a great city, the only problem is the mayor.
  • The Thi... Michael 2013/03/15 01:13:14
    The Third Reich
    I don't know anymore either. I've lived here forever, so I dont care to move, but I agree the city is great besides him. And besides the cry-worthy living expenses. He's going to send us all further downhill than we already are
  • Michael The Thi... 2013/03/15 01:17:52
    But isn't it his last year in office? What possessed him to be a wanna-be dictator?
    He has been in office since 2002, and I am now seeing him trying to control New Yorkers. I hope New Yorkers will not allow him to control the city. Because America was never suppose to be a government controlled country.
  • The Thi... Michael 2013/03/15 02:01:38
  • Michael The Thi... 2013/03/15 02:58:30
    I meant overboard government control like What Bloomberg is doing. I know he needs to be stopped I just hope New Yorkers will protest soon. I also believe that what the judge did was smart of him, and I hope they didn't attack him for making a good decision.
  • Sister Jean 2013/03/14 19:58:37
  • ♒ßεllεchεvεllε®♒ 2013/03/14 18:40:00
  • jjoann98133@hotmail.com 2013/03/14 17:56:16
    i do like coke cocoa.
  • Wm Kabrich 2013/03/14 17:39:04
    Wm Kabrich
    I have heard and had enough of Bloomberg & Moochel Owebumer, they need to get out of our lives and leave people alone they don't know better and are just a waste of every thing.
  • Katiana2808 2013/03/14 17:24:40
    Not good for health, causes diabetes. High intake of sugar when drinking those kind of things. I know that we are responsible for our health, but sugary drinks taste so good, but in fact are a real harm to our body. That's why many people in america suffer from diseases such as obesity, diabetes and have heart attacks. It's because of what they take as food. Not only Americans, but many other countries too have a great number of people suffering from food disorder... We should focus on a healthier diet, based on greens, lean meat, cereals and other low-calorie foods and avoid taking too much calories, for our health and for our body...
  • dan Katiana... 2013/03/30 20:03:56
    I drink soda all the time, along with candy and all sorts of things you would find unhealthy and bad for me, I would wager I am in superior ealth and physical condition to you.
  • rcardon 2013/03/14 17:07:02
    let the people decide what they will drink. They are all taught the benefits and dangers in high school health class. Besides banning products people might buy does nothing but hurt the economy.
  • Tiger!! 2013/03/14 16:18:13
    hell no!!!!
  • whatever 2013/03/14 15:42:02
    Everything that is bad for you should be banned by the government, including death.
  • Autumnjuel.3388 2013/03/14 15:13:29
    No whats the difference you ban large sugary drinks so they buy 5 small sugary drinks..whats the purpose health or sell more?tha'ts like making snacks in smaller bags and saying only 100 calories then people say oh there small i can eat 5 bags.you cant make people be healthy
  • Patrick Henry~PWCM~JL 2013/03/14 14:59:59
    Patrick Henry~PWCM~JL
    But, as this is-or was-a republic, that is the exact place bans should take place. In the municipality. That is the proper role of the city government. And most logical-it is easier to vote with your feet (move) to another town than to another state or country.
  • Autumnj... Patrick... 2013/03/14 15:15:31
    no mtter it just wont work and its really stupid Goverment is getting involved with this small stuff
  • Patrick... Autumnj... 2013/03/14 15:32:07
    Patrick Henry~PWCM~JL
    I'm just saying that this is the level that is most appropriate. The people should really be involved in their local governments more than the national one-the local governments have more influence and say in their lives. Brainless Obozo doesn't have the authority, yet, to regulate your water bill but your city counsel does. His Majesty has no say over your electric bill, yet, but your city counsel does. You pay property taxes to fund necessary services like the PD and FD... Who sets that rate? The city counsel. People are putting the emphasis on the wrong syllable here. Don't like a soda ban in NYC? Get out-I don't see how people can live there to begin with, but I love my country home and big dogs. The National Socialist government banning sodas, on the other hand, would not only be inappropriate and ridiculously difficult to enforce (like the unconstitutional gun grabbing or marijuana bans) but it would be almost impossible for people to vote with their feet. Where would they go? I almost wish that we could build a colony on Mars and entice ALL LIBTARDS to move there. Maybe if we offered them free t-shirts (a la "Pinky and the Brain and their Chia Earth." Dating myself!!!)
  • Autumnj... Patrick... 2013/03/14 17:53:09
    i see what your saying and i allso agree that who can live in new york but for Goverment to try to regulate how much sugar you drink is truely stupid its like proabition that didnt work oh ok regulate my water bill and try to keep companys from becoming a manopoly oh never mind that my electric company i have is my only real choice..how about instead of banning sugary drinks we say the Goverment isnt going to pay for your obesity after we tell you to cut out bad food choices then and only then will people have to make better choices
  • Patrick... Autumnj... 2013/03/14 21:09:46
    Patrick Henry~PWCM~JL
    Oh, I gotcha now!!! True, all I am saying is that this is the level it should happen at-if it HAS TO HAPPEN AT ALL. I am completely against this nanny state BS all together. I am trying to point out that it is the lesser of evils. Make any more sense?
  • Autumnj... Patrick... 2013/03/14 22:43:51
    yea it does make sense and i now understand what you mean about nanny state didnt quite get that term but i do see what your saying...
  • Robert Autumnj... 2013/03/14 19:15:32
    I don't believe large sugary drinks should be banned either and I'm not dumb enough to drink them. And lets be clear, the ban is on LARGE sugary drinks not just any sugary drinks. A lot of people may know the damage large amounts of sugar can cause to their bodies and are like a lot of people in that they don't care and can't figure out why they get sick so often. This to causes a strain on the economy and profits for the pharmaceuticals. Considering how this country in general's health ranking in relation to it's economical ranking, how can passing a law that can possibly improve on someone's health who otherwise wouldn't be called stupid? Perhaps unnecessary or unreasonable, but stupid?
  • Pale Horse 2013/03/14 14:23:40
    Pale Horse
    The Liberal Play Book.

    If someone kills a person with a gun - Ban the Gun.

    If someone is fat from too much soda - Ban the Soda.

    God forbid we hold someone accountable.

    baning soda
  • USAF Vet 2013/03/14 09:12:04
    USAF Vet
    If NYC does not want to ban sugary drinks, fine. Here's an idea, why don't you morons in NYC rewrite the law again, make Bloomberg mayor until he drops dead, have him embalmed 'for eternity' (like Lenin), then put on permanent display in City Hall. Once a week, month, year or day, you can visit city hall, wale at the body of Michael Bloomberg, and on your way out, place your generous contribution into the “Bloomberg Foundation for Idiots” box. You will leave feeling refreshed and renewed in the knowledge of what next to ban; toothpaste, brown shoes, plastic, ceiling fans, remote controls, ketchup or anything else YOU feel others must give up.
  • Soundstorm 2013/03/14 09:03:35
    New Yorkers should ban egotistical fat headed politicians trying to police their diets. For a city full of big talking, streetwise, tough guy posers New Yorkers tend be too sheepishly compliant to the bullying and abuse of the liberal establishment. I couldn't believe what whipped dogs they were when I lived there 25 years ago.
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