New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban on large sugary drinks in an effort to curb obesity. The plan would make it illegal for food service establishments such as restaurants, street vendors, sports venues and movie theaters to serve sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces.
The ban would apply to both bottled soda and fountain drinks containing more than 25 calories per eight ounces and would not include alcohol, fruit juices, diet soda or any beverage that is at least half milk. Grocery stores and convenience stores would be exempt.
According to Bloomberg, New York City spends $4 billion a year on health care for overweight residents and the city claims sugary drinks are the most significant factor in the increasing number of obese or overweight New Yorkers.
“Obesity deaths have grown to 5,000 and will soon exceed the number of smoking deaths [in New York City],” Bloomberg said during an interview at the All Things D Conference. “You can still be obese, we are just telling you this is detrimental to your health and helping you understand that with portion size.”