Clutch Your Ginormous Cups Close: NYC's Board Of Health Voted To Approve Soda Ban

Update: Well, that’s that, folks. It was expected that NYC’s Board of Health would vote to approve Mayor Bloomberg’s pet ban on sodas and sugary drinks over 16 ounces at movie theaters, restaurants and other venues and guess what? It happened, and the proposal has been approved.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the ban will go into effect on March 12 and will make sugary drinks in containers over 16 ounces a thing of the past at restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas. The proposal passed almost unanimously with a vote of eight to zero, with one abstention, one absence and one vacancy on the board.

———————–Earlier story below ————————————————

Can you taste the dread in the air? That’s the flavor of fear from many New York City dwellers who could lose their big sodas at movie theaters, restaurants and other public venues as of a vote today by the Board of Health. There’s still hope for the oversized sugar drink lovers, however. While the plan is likely to pass what might be a final vote, the overwhelming amount of public interest in the ban could keep the proposal from becoming an official regulation.

Advocates of the plan like its biggest fan Mayor Michael Bloomberg see it as a way to combat rising obesity rates, noting that if people have to buy a separate cup of soda to get more then 16 ounces, they might just stop there and save themselves some calories. Those calories add up — if someone drinks a soda every day for a year, it makes a difference of 14,600 calories, notes the Associated Press. That’s enough to add four pounds of fat to your body.

There’s been quite a hullabaloo since Bloomberg announced his plan, and the Health Department says it’s received more than 38,000 written and oral comments about it since it hit the news four months ago.

Some of the biggest opponents of the plan are, of course, those who make and sell soda. Those companies say they’re unfairly being painted as the culprit and it’s just not fair. Movie theaters are bummed and say patrons shouldn’t be punished on a fun night out.

“We firmly believe the choices made during the other 363 days have a much greater impact on public health,” said a spokeswoman for AMC Theatres.

If the plan is passed by the board, it might take effect next March. No one is quite sure what would happen to change that or if anything is going to be switched up before the expected vote today. The board has said it’s been reviewing the mass of public comments.

NYC big-soda crackdown plan goes to vote Thursday [Associated Press]



Edit Your Comment

  1. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    Nannystatism: Since some people can’t make the correct decisions, we won’t let ANYONE make that decision. Pro-Choice, as long as the choice you make is the one they want you to make.

    Heil Bloomberg

  2. LabanDenter says:

    Mayor Appoints Board.
    Mayor comes out with crack pot idea.
    Board votes which way?

    hmmmm. Would you vote against your boss?

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “We firmly believe the choices made during the other 363 days have a much greater impact on public health,” said a spokeswoman for AMC Theatres.

    Even AMC is admitting most people only go to the theatres about once a year!

  4. Taylor Rolyat says:

    Mayor Bloomberg’s Board of Health is comprised of the town of Sandford’s Neighbourhood Watch Alliance (hat tip Simon Pegg)

  5. MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

    What if I want a 64 oz. DIET Coke, huh? I mean, come on….a flask of Jim Beam is a bit much for a 16 oz. cup, so what am I supposed to do? How will I get ripped in public now without my drink reeking of alcohol???

    • hoi-polloi says:

      Totally fine to drink as much diet soda as you like. There’s also nothing limiting the size of alcoholic beverages. Here’s the text from the linked article:

      The rule wouldn’t apply to lower-calorie drinks, such as water or diet soda, or to alcoholic beverages or drinks that are more than half milk or 70 percent juice.

      Why do I get the sense that there’s going to be a whole lot of winking when people ask for a jumbo diet cola?

      • MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

        Well,that’s interesting. If they are allowed keep and distribute the bigger cups in some circumstances, maybe they’ll be able to charge couples for two 16-oz drinks and give you a 32-oz cup. (Depending on the law, they might have to give you the empty cup, or they might be able to hand it to you full. I’m too lazy to read up on it now.)

        • Southern says:

          According to a story Consumerist posted about this a couple months ago, if it’s a self-serve place where you get your own soda, the largest cup they’ll be able to sell you is 16oz.

          If THEY fill the cup, then they can sell the larger sizes, but will only be allowed to use them for diet drinks.

      • Jawaka says:

        I’m curious how this is going to work in fast food restaurants where they just give you the cup at the counter and the customer fills it theirselves. Will there be a state worker there to make sure that you’re filling up with diet and not regular Coke?

  6. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    Well I for one commend the NYC Board of Health and hope they step up and take the lead in this issue. After all, according to First Lady and Lobster Eating Champion Michelle Obama, obesity is absolutely the greatest threat to national security:

    Also, it’s about “balance”, which the government should monitor and regulate to make sure we all have it.

    • Marlin says:

      Let me guess, you’re the kinda person that also read World Nut Daily and takes it as truth as well.

      breitbart as a citation… Hahahahahahahahahaha

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        The video is there showing Lobsterella saying exactly that. It does not matter what site it is on – that doesn’t change the fact that she said it.

        I could easily copy it to youtube. Would that satisfy your bigotry?

      • Southern says:

        Your /sarcasm detector needs a tune-up. :)

  7. hoi-polloi says:

    If I had to pick the most likely place where I’d share a drink with my wife rather than buying my own, it would be at the movies. Considering how much concessions are at the theater, I’m sure I’m not the only one sharing a drink.

    The movies are also one of those places where getting a second drink would be an absolute pain. If you’re thinking ahead and buy two up front, your hands are full. If you decide to get another during the movie, then you’re going to miss something. These aren’t the biggest problems in the world, but definitely annoying.

    • Rachacha says:

      I share a drink with my kids all the time. When my kids were younger and we would go to a fast food restaurant, they would not eat many fries or drink that much soda, so I would simply buy them their chicken nuggets from the $1 menu, and order my combo “Super sized” and share the drink and fries with them. Saved me money, and cut down on waste. If this rule had been enacted, I would have to purchase a 16oz soda for myself, and another small for the kids.

      I do teh same thing at teh movies, buy a large beverage and share it with the family.

  8. sparc says:

    sounds good to me since I don’t live in New York :P

  9. Southern says:

    The “14,500 calorie ” claim needs more info; a 16-oz compared to what? (per linked story, compared to a 20oz).

    “They say the proposal strikes at a leading cause of obesity simply by giving people a built-in reason to stop at 16 ounces: 200 calories, if it’s a regular Coke, compared to 240 in a 20-ounce size. For someone who drinks a soda a day, the difference amounts to 14,600 calories a year, or the equivalent of 70 Hershey bars, enough to add about four pounds of fat to a person’s body. ”

    So that’s where the 40 calories per day (14,600/year) comes into play.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Although they don’t consider the opposite case, how many people will buy 2 16oz sodas and drink both as opposed to a single 20 or 24oz one?

      Bloomberg the nanny of NYC

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        I envision a single 16 oz drink being priced @ $2.00 (as an example), but getting a 2 for $2.50 deal, or maybe 2 for $3 deal so the venue sells as much soda as before, but just in a different way.

      • who? says:

        Honestly, people pick some odd battles. I’m not talking about NYC, I’m talking about consumerist commenters. Of all the *real* ways that our government is trying to limit our freedoms, you think the size of soda cups is the problem? If people want more than 16 oz of soda, they can just buy two cups. It’s not that hard to figure out.

        Study after study has shown that when people are presented with a plate of food, they’ll eat it, and be satisfied. If they’re presented with a bigger plate of food, they’ll eat that, instead. An even bigger plate? Yup, they’ll eat that much, too, even if it’s a ridiculous amount of food. The problem with ginormous sugary sodas is that people will buy and drink the big size, when they would actually be perfectly satisfied with a smaller size. If someone really wants more than 16 oz of soda, there’s nothing stopping them from buying two drinks. But realistically, most people will buy one drink, drink it, and go away satisfied, and be healthier in the long run.

        • StarKillerX says:

          Pick your battles?

          Okay, well you tell me then, if NYC can tell everyone what size soda and/or tell restraunts how much salt they are allowed to use when cooking then what can’t they do?

        • Cerne says:

          This is a real limit on a fundamental freedom. People fight these unjust laws because tyrants like Bloomberg use the same kind of reasoning your provide above to target other freedoms as well.

  10. mbd says:

    I want a larger soda when I go to the movies because I want the soda to last though the bucket of popcorn, without having to leave the auditorium to get a refill. Snacks at the movies are a treat that I only have occasionally, and it is my right to exercise my choice of how much of a legal product I consume.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Now you’ve done it!

      If nanny Bloomberg reads your comment his next target will be the size of popcorn containers theaters are allowed to be sold. Gee thanks!

      • Not Given says:

        Popcorn is a whole grain. Really it is. Now, the fake butter, otoh…

        • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

          Isn’t that fake ‘butter’ actually a Halliburton waste product that they sell to keep the company profitable when there aren’t any wars to fight?

    • dush says:

      they need to make movie theater buckets that fill a third the way full with drink in a lower compartment with a long straw then the top two thirds of the bucket is filled with popcorn.

  11. Cerne says:

    I can’t believe this law actually passed. If the people of NYC can’t be trusted to chose what they eat and drink how can they possibly be trusted to vote?

    These laws do nothing but limit freedom. The 14,600 calorie savings only occur if those calories aren’t replaced with a substitute which they often are. Not to mention that there is no proof pop is a leading contributor to obesity.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Maybe the voting is what showed the people to be idiots that can’t take care of themselves?

      Remember this is the where most of the population that voted a Hillary, who had never lived in the state before deciding to run the for Senate, and don’t forget a section on NYC keeps re-electing Charlie Rangel to Congress.

  12. Jawaka says:

    So will I get more fries now to compensate for the lack of soda that I’m getting in my super sized combo now?

  13. Southern says:

    One thing I just noticed – this law only applies to drinks sold in CUPS.

    I predict a large increase in the amount of plastic used (for bottles) in NYC.

    I wonder if this is why Coke & Pepsi recently started distributing sodas in 1.5Liter (50oz) bottles?

    So go to the theater, buy a 1.5Liter Pepsi, get a cup full of ice for free. Done.

  14. sendmoney2me says:

    hopefully the next thing we read about these people pushing this law is that they were all voted out of office. it’s really no one’s business what size drink i wish to drink in this land of freedom called the United States of America

    • Southern says:

      Bloomberg can’t run for re-election because of term limits. That’s why he’s pushing all this crap now.

      The Board of Health is appointed (by him).

  15. PragmaticGuy says:

    Waiting for the 16 oz soda to go up to $6 in the theater but there’s always a two for one special on it.

  16. scoosdad says:

    Free refills for everyone!

  17. Difdi says:

    Simple solution. Bring your own cup, buy multiple 16oz cups from the restaurant/theater/cart, and dump them into your cup.

    Perhaps something like

  18. CRiley65 says:

    Apparently, we are too stupid to realize what we are eating, drinking, taking (as in drugs) or whatever else they want to control. Only government knows better.

    Time to get someone else in—across the board! Fire everyone from the president to the governor to the street cleaner and start 100% from scratch. (Sorry about the street cleaner thing. Just in a rambling mood.)

  19. shthar says:

    I really can’t see how this will make it past the courts.

    But then, I was brought up when men were men, and women were glad of it.