New York City's mayor is proposing an unprecedented ban on the sale of large fizzy drinks and other sugary drinks in the hopes of combating obesity — an expansion of efforts to encourage healthy behavior that have led to shouts that America's largest city is becoming a "nanny state."
The proposal marks the first time an American city has so directly
attempted to limit sugary-drink portion sizes. City officials said
yesterday they believe it will ultimately prove popular with New Yorkers
and push governments around the US to adopt similar rules.
"The percentage of the population that is obese is skyrocketing," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday on MSNBC television. He added: "We've got to do something."
The plan — expected to win approval from the Bloomberg-appointed Board of Health and take effect as soon as March — is the latest health effort by Bloomberg's administration to spark accusations that city officials are overstepping into matters that should be left in the hands of individuals.
"New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase," the Coca-Cola Company said in a statement. "We hope New Yorkers loudly voice their disapproval about this arbitrary mandate."
The proposal would impose just below a half litre limit on sugary drinks sold at restaurants, cinemas, sports venues and street carts. It would apply to bottled drinks as well as fountain fizzy drinks.
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