NEW YORK -- The Big Apple is turning off the spigot on supersized sugary drinks.
Thursday, the New York City Board of Health approved Mayor Michael
Bloomberg's proposed 16-ounce cap on sweetened bottled drinks and
fountain beverages sold at city restaurants, delis, movie theaters,
sports venues and street carts.
The beverage ban, which goes into
effect on March 12, applies to drinks that have more than 25 calories
per 8 ounces. It does not include 100% juice drinks or beverages with
more than 50% milk.
"The (obesity) epidemic is destroying the
health of too many of our citizens & this new policy will begin to
change that," Bloomberg tweeted Thursday.
Soft drink makers and sellers, as well as beverage trade groups, quickly condemned the first-of-its-kind ban.
we don't need is more burdensome regulation making it harder for
businesses to function and skewing the competitive landscape," said New
York State Restaurant Association spokesman Andrew Moesel.
Yorkers for Beverage Choices, a coalition funded by the American
Beverage Association, said it is "exploring all avenues to challenge the
board's ruling, including in court."
Once implemented, the ban could whittle more than waistlines: It could also cut soft drink sellers' profits.
drinks in particular are high-margin items, said Joe Pawlak, vice
president at food industry research firm Technomic."They're one of the
most profitable items you'll see," he said.
executive director of the advocacy group Center For Science in the
Public Interest, says he would like other cities, as well as the
government decision makers, to follow New York City's lead. Already,
Cambridge, Mass., Mayor Henrietta Davis has considered a ban of
supersized sugary soft drinks at restaurants in her community.
food and drink-oriented businesses industries are trying to get ahead
of government health mandates, as well as meet demands from consumers
and health activists for more transparent nutritional information.
On Wednesday, McDonald's said it will post calories for all items on its menu boards and drive-thru menus in the United States.
are also major soft drink sellers, such as 7-Eleven, that don't have to
comply with the New York City ban because it doesn't affect beverages
sold in grocery or convenience stores. So those Big Gulps are safe for