New York Limits Big Drinks . . . What’s Next?

A girl enjoys way too much cotton candy for her own good at Coney Island, New York.

As expected, the New York City Board of Health approved the recommendation of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, banning the sale of oversized sugary drinks. This means that in some restaurants and other venues, you will no longer be able to purchase a sugary soda larger than 16 ounces. Now, for the sake of clarity, this also means that:

• You can still buy a 64 ounce Big Gulp at 7/11 because convenience stores are exempt.
• You can still buy a giant fruit juice anywhere, no matter how much sugar it contains.
• You can still buy a giant milkshake, sugar and all.
• You can still buy a giant beer, without any size limitation.
• You can still buy more than one 16 ounce sugary soda at a time.
• You can still buy a giant calorie-free diet soda.

This law makes little difference to me personally. When I visit New York, as I do a few times a year, I never purchase giant sugar drinks, or beers, or whatever. The only impact on me will be that if I go to a fast food restaurant that allows me to serve myself from drink dispenser, I won’t be able to get a cup larger than 16 ounces for my diet drink. I can probably live with this sacrifice.

I’m all in favor of Americans (including me) cutting down on calories, especially empty ones. But I’m not all in favor of the government mandating such things. I wonder what will come next? Surely there are other unhealthy foods that Mayor Bloomberg and his pals can ban. How about overly sugary donuts? Or what about candy? Or what about cotton candy at Coney Island? Or how about the use of half and half in coffee drinks? Or oversized bagels? Or pizza with too much cheese? Or movie popcorn with butter? Or . . . ?

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  • Patrick

    You could tell years ago with the anti smoking taxes that the state was going to move into other areas. We Americans have worshipped ole Caesar and he’s feeling it about now. Don’t complain, enjoy.

  • Ernie

    As you correctly note, you can still buy more than one sugary 16 oz soda at a time. So, it’s not the product that is banned, just the size. Maybe oversized bagels will be next, but probably not entire products such as cotton candy. I’m not worried, I think its a step in the right direction, most health improvements are made in small, incremental steps. One small step for man, …