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I think our e-mailer Steven made a very though-provoking point tonight. He wrote: "People say they don't want the mayor to tell them how much to drink, but every day the soda manufacturers tell you how much to drink. Who asked the population if they wanted the standard size of soda to change from 12oz to 16oz?"
I'm not saying I agree with the Mayor's plan, but I do think Steven's argument is valid. We are influenced every day by advertising campaigns and big wigs at corporations making decisions for us so they can boost their bottom lines. The Mayor claims he is doing the same thing. He says he's not banning people from drinking 32 ounces of soda; he's just banning the size of the cup in hopes of "influencing" people to drink less.
This time tomorrow, New Yorkers will know whether they will be able to continue buying sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. The Board of Health will vote on Mayor Bloomberg's controversial anti-obesity plan, which prohibits restaurants, delis, food carts, and concession stands from serving large sugary drinks.
The Department of Health believes portion control may help curb the obesity epidemic, which it says costs taxpayers $4 billion a year. But polls indicate most New Yorkers don't favor the idea because it limits choice, and may hurt small businesses. What do you say?
Should the Board of Health approve the ban? Since board members are appointed by Mayor Bloomberg, do you assume it will pass? Will you change your habits when and if the regulations take effect next March?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
Here's a suggestion: Most delis, restaurants, food carts and concession stands offer very few choices when it comes to healthy, low or no-calorie beverages. How about having the Board of Health mandate that these establishments carry more of the healthy, no cal drinks and less of the sugary drinks?
We all know what causes obesity. So give us a better choice in healthier drinks instead!
Dina and Ed of Throggs Neck
I will only vote for the next mayoral candidate who promises to get rid of this, why doesn't bloomberg put a ban on the size of his ego?
It's all irrelevant at this point -- first it's going to have to work its way through the courts which, I assure you, will put the effective date of any regulations sometime in 2014, assuming that the courts allow the regulations to go forward.
Upper West Side
The DOE / State and City should not provide access or provide unhealthy eating and drinking habits. A place of education teaches by word and by deed.
In addition, the government should consider not covering obese related problems for all children born after 2013.
In addition, any persons not living a healthy lifestyle should receive an increased insurance rate starting in 2014.
This would give people time to react and the incentive to do what is right.
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
To put it bluntly it's time for this Mayor to just stay out of our business.
He continues to remind us taxpayers about how much it will cost and in this case he quotes $4 billion.
How much money for every project he has put hands on has he cost us taxpayers.
The most important one is this sham going on for so many years about ground zero and until today we still don't have any idea what this City and State do with our money. They continue to squander it on the most ungodly things that are so unnecessary and none of us can even ask.
[WELL NOW I'M ASKING NOW WHAT THE HELL DO ALL OF YOU DO WITH THIS MONEY OF OURS] Plus today this Mayor is in Washington and what is so important that he has to go there and already none of the projects that should be taken care of in the outer boroughs even have a dent in them.
That's why I could go on forever and ever and we need to demand answers and quickly. A little example that no-one took the time to plan the bus routes for the children with special needs.
I'm quoting the range of hours that the children were in the buses. They road on the buses as late as 7pm at night.
No water, food or bathroom breaks. What are they thinking. Just worry about your votes so that you all can have a lifetime job.
HEY BUT DON'T FORGET THE BIKE LANES=JUNK LIKE THAT IS MORE IMPORTANT.
Something is definitely wrong somewhere.
Thank you John,
The City's Prohibition Mayor needs to read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. If he did and on the bizarre chance that he might understand any of it, he would immediately grasp that whatever we ingest, imbibe, inhale or shoot up and in what quantity is non of the government's business.
The same goes for the quack Health Commissioner.
Port Richmond, SI
Bloomberg is deflecting attention from the real problems that are likely to kill New Yorkers: rising crime levels, kamakazee cyclists all over the place, increased homelessness, etc. We should be so lucky to die from too much soda!
this has nothing to do with Health!!.. this is bloomberg playing the tax game.. Now.. if you want more to drink more than 16 oz. you'd have to buy another drink, which in turn equals another purchase which equals more taxes the city govt. will be taking in. If bloomberg cared about about NYker's health he'd ban Mcdonald's, Cigars and the Bigs SUV's he likes to ride around in ..
Erik from bushwick..
The Board of Health should spend some time in the subway controlling the rats instead of letting the above ground rats dictate what we can drink and how much.
Mike @ Stuy Town.
I wonder if the mayor cares for the good of all people or is he just flexing his money muscle.
No one should have to approve a ban on big sugary drinks. People should know what is best for themselves. The mayor should mind his business. This is not Bloomberg city we have freedom of choice. We are not a third world country. We are a democracy.
They need 2 get out of my body or pay rent
I agree with the ban because besides it being purely gluttonous, sugary drinks are bad for your health! In this economic crisis, more and more people are qualifying for public health insurance, which essentially means that if people are not taking care of their health by eating and/or drinking poorly, the city is "eating" the cost of their medical care when these people get sick with diabetes and other health problems. I think that Mayor Bloomberg not only cares about the health of New Yorkers, but he is also trying to save the city some money. I'm all for it.
Amanda from the St. George section of Staten Island
What's up with the MTA fare hikes? Why must I work just to be able to afford only my transportation to and from work?
What's Bloomberg's big government going to do next? Ban burgers?
Large Fries? Really, it's all about education not a Bloomberg, big brother edict. People can and will order 2 sodas if they want.
Consumers are not as stupid as Bloomberg apparently thinks they are.
Drinking calories is one of the worst things to consume If you must order 2 16 oz drinks Why dont all restraunts offer unsweetend ice tea especially fruit flavored teas are a great zero calorie beverage Hello snapple, how about some zero calorie options with no chemical sweetners?
Government in a free country has no place limiting beverage sizes. If this goes unchallenged, what is next... Checking consumers' weight or bmi at grocery checkouts if you want to buy chips or ice cream?
Joan in Queens
Does it really matter what difference it makes whether we are for Mayor Bloomberg's Soda Ban or not? We all know what the final vote of the Board of Health will be tomorrow -- all mayoral appointees -- how else do you think that they will vote? I feel sorry for all the small businesses that are going to suffer because of this ban. For a Mayor that toots his own horn about caring for small businesses this is mind-boggling.
More far-fetched was his speech at the Economic Club in Washington, DC on the economy. When he made the statement that New York City has bounced back from the recession and that the rest of the country must be helped because the middle class was suffering and under siege -- I didn't know whether to laugh or scream! So, I chose the latter. Please, he is no patriot for the Middle Class!
I think what the mayor is doin is ridiculous.. i dont see how deducting an amount of ounces in a drink is gonna help. He is just causing more problems in this state. This should not be passed.
Though drinking too much soda is bad and people actually need to be educated about it. We have at the top a Opportunistic Mayor who looks to take away more and more freedoms from New Yorkers. Its odd that all of this comes along with pedestrian plazas and other insane changes in the city. I think this Soda ban may be an attempt to reduce the amount of Soda delivery the city in attempt to lessen the vehicle traffic bringing these sodas to stores and vendors...all of this is done for the sake of the wealthy not the average citizen.
I don't agree with the ban. It's not right that someone won't be able to buy a large drink to share with their family. It will cost people more money to buy a small drink for each family member.
Debbie from Whitestone
They Should BAN sugary drinks because it is one of the MAIN causes of weight gain / it is like the smoking bill - it was good
Will From Williamsburg
If this does pass tomorrow i hope the next mayor can repeal it just like Mitt Romeny wants to repeal Obamas health care plan.
Joey GLENDALE, QUEENS..
I am 22 years old. I personally feel that Mayor Bloomberg's Soda Ban is one of the most ridiculous and wasteful things to ever occur to New York. This is not about health at all. Bloomberg is turning NYC into a nanny state, and is blatantly infringing on our personal rights. If he was so concerned about health, especially children's health, he should realize that the job to take care of children are their parents, not City Hall. The parents should know what is right and wrong for their children.
I drink two cans of Pepsi/Coca Cola every day, and I am not obese, or even close to being overweight, and the same is true for many people. I exercise every day. If Bloomberg truly wants to combat obesity, he should fund programs that help with exercising, and educating people. We must use our money for more important things, such as NYC's rising crime rate and deteriorating subway system.
So you are going to ban a drink but not ciggerettes that kill?
It's absurd. USA is going down the drain worse than Cuba. Freedom of choice should reign forever. Let's f fight for It!
I'm all for the ban.
It's not limiting any freedoms.
You can buy 2 or more 16oz sodas if you need, but it will make you more aware that you really don't need that 2nd soda.
This is similar to a speed limit, over 65mph kills, so does too much sugary sodas.
And guess what? If it doesn't work out, it can be revoked.
People need to relax and let our mayor give this plan it's chance to work.
They all said the same about the trans fat ban, and it DID work.
If the Mayor was truely concerned about childhood obesity he would mandate physical education five days a week in all public schools.
Many schools have no physical education classes and most schools only have it one day a week. Banning children from large drinks does not teach them to live a healthier life.
Introducing a child a variety of physical activities can change their life.
since when do we need the mayor of any state tell us what we can eat and where or how much the mayor needs to apply his attention to the increase in crime
No! No! No! What's next, alchohol can give you cirrohsis of the liver do we limt servings in our local taverns???? Will we be weighed at the grocery store if we do not buy enough fruits and vegetables??? Seems like "BIG BROTHER" is watching!!!!!!!!!
Donna in Queens
If the mayor really cared about childhood obesity, he would focus on greater support and resources for children. Stop cutting schools' physical education budget! Stop cutting funding to CBO's that provide recreational services to children in public schools. This is just more political grandstanding. Grow up Mayor - do the right thing for our children.
Denise from City Island
Honestly this is what the government does they make big deals about the small things
so we are blind sided from the bigger problems.
I think they should do it our people are huge and are ignorant they don't have the right of mind to teach their children to eat right and everything in moderation so that's where the government comes in i do think its wrong cigarettes are legalized and there's liquor stores on every other corner but that's a debate for another day.
I'm all for Bloombergs law. And as far as Europeans go I am sure they are not coming to NYC for big sodas! Let's get in shape New Yorkers. Drink water.
Mayor Bloomberg please stay out of our food and drinks, parents and teachers should educate their children on healthy drinks not you, I never drink sugary drinks because I know they are not good for me, I'm a grown woman, need no babysitter
Carmen from Bay Ridge
The main reason King Bloomy is pushing the soda limitation initiative, is because there's Obamacare money to be gained from it. His financial empire probably has a round-about way of profiting from it as well.
firstly our Mayor hand picked his panel to vote in his favor or they would run the risk of losing their job Friday morning. Secondly, if you look a closer look at a large drinks contains too much ice that the actual soda amounts to a small drink. If I purchase a large drink, it's only to share with my girlfriend.
Richard from Brooklyn
Mayor b wants to let 10,000 bikes loose on the streets which will cause lots of hospital visits but soda is a problem?
Ban it!!! Ban it all together Mr. Bloomberg!!! There is absolutely nothing natural in sodas. Kids shouldn't be drinking any kind of soda in any kind of quantity!
I have never expressed my opinions publicly, but for this issue, I am 110% behind the mayor. We all know childhood obesity and adult obesity is out of control. I absolutely believe in freedom of choice, but in my health care facility we treat bariatric (obese) patients daily. Adult onset diabetes, from obesity, is the start of lifelong illness: cellulitis, amputation, neuropathy, chronic kidney disease with dialysis treatments 3x/wk, only to name a few consequences. None of the patients we have treated were ever overweight due to a thyroid problem. It is a viscious cycle: you become overweight ( by not controlling what you eat), you become unable to exercise, which adds more weight and more difficulty exercising, walking, taking care of yourself. And for me, there is a monetary issue: eventually these people need long term care due to insurmountable health care problems, of which you and I eventually pay for. Being a type 1 diabetic and knowing the implications of not following a diet and being a bit chubby myself, I understand the weight problem. I hope this issue helps some people become healthier and take a look at their unhealthy habits.
Ann, Brooklyn, NY
There is an argument to made that these sugar laden drinks could be deadlier than cigarettes! More people die each year from diabetes and other weight related diseases than cigarettes! The Mayor is saving these people from themselves!
It won't change anything, obese parents pass on their bad food habits to their children. Banning soda sizes isn't going to deter people from continuing bad food habits. I have been in Pathmark at Atlantic ave and have had obese families stare at my cart full of fruit and veggies like I did something wrong. Everything can be bad for your health if consumed excessively.
I support the ban. The only way to have an affect is to hit the producers.
People say they don't want the mayor to tell them how much to drink, but every day the soda manufacturers tell you how much to drink. Who asked the population if they wanted the standard size of soda to change from 12oz to 16oz?
bloomberg is the SAME man that put Snapple vending machines in NYC public schools!
He needs to make up his mind!
Thirty years ago we as a school decided to have healthy drinks in the vending machine in a ballet school. The dancers were slim but we were thinking of their health. Firstly asapertain in diet drinks is a POISON, corn syrup also very bad. Something with real sugar is actually better.
To ban the big sodas is ridiculous why dont they look at the REAL problem. Soda is not healthy period.
Ban smoking in the Park but people are blowing all the smoke in your face when walking down the street especially at rush hour, it is really bad but that seems to be okay!! This is just as ridiculous, either you REALLY are going to look out for people's health or not.