NEW YORK—A proposed ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in city eateries went before the Health Department Tuesday, receiving unanimous support to launch a public review period.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner, first detailed the plan in late May. Farley’s support and the Health Department’s record of not blocking mayoral initiatives makes Tuesday’s vote somewhat expected.
After the plan became public, furious debate occurred, even taking off in international media. At the health board meeting, members questioned why the city wasn’t stretching its reach even further, such as banning free refills and popcorn.
“The popcorn isn’t a whole lot better, from the nutritional point of view,” board member Dr. Bruce Vladeck said, according to AP.
Andrew Moesel, a spokesman for the city chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, said outside the meeting that the popcorn and refill remarks were “very alarming.” The group may take legal action against the sugary drink proposal.
Bloomberg, Farley, and others in favor of the proposal said mass marketing campaigns for sugary drinks, such as soda and fruit punch, especially target children and more public education is needed.
Moesel said in an earlier statement, “If we want New York City to remain the restaurant capital of the world, we must stop placing these burdensome restrictions on what can and can’t be served here.”
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.