New York to impose ban on large soft drinks in some venues
New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last Friday (1 June 2012) an unprecedented proposal to ban on large-sized soft drinks in New York restaurants and cinemas. The ban on soft drinks in excess of 500mL (both carbonated and uncarbonated) would see businesses that violate the rule facing fines of $200 per failed inspection.
Mayor Bloomberg says he is targeting New York City’s “sky-rocketing” obesity levels. However, opponents of the measure claim it is the act of a “nanny state”, and the proposal has provoked an angry reaction from drink bottlers. In a statement, Coca-Cola Co. said, “We hope New Yorkers loudly voice their disapproval about this arbitrary mandate.”
People who want to consume 1L of soft drink will be free to order separate smaller drinks. But, Mayor Bloomberg says the restrictions are targeted to discourage excessive consumption of sweetened drinks containing more than 25 calories per 500ml. The restriction will not affect sales of diet soft drink, or any drink that is at least half milk or milk-substitute.
Citing recent studies linking sugary drinks to rising rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal is due to take effect in March 2013.