Little Gulps, Big City?

New Yorkers and other interested parties are waiting to see what will become of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest proposal involving sugary beverages -- and it’s already leaving a sour taste in some people’s mouths.

Bloomberg is suggesting a ban on the sale of any sugary beverage over 16 ounces in the city’s restaurants, delis, movie theaters and street carts. His reasoning?

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible.’ New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something. I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do,” Bloomberg told The New York Times in making his proposal in late May.

Bloomberg’s supporters include former President Bill Clinton. “It’s basically too much sugar going into the body. We can’t process it all. So, if you get rid of these giant, full of sugar drinks and make people have smaller portions, it will help,” Clinton told CNN’s Piers Morgan.

Bloomberg’s opponents include Coca-Cola and McDonald’s Corp., as well as plenty of concerned citizens. Coca-Cola’s VP of science and regulatory affairs, Rhona Applebaum, said the government should help get kids more active before it gets involved in regulating beverage size.

Coca-Cola said in a statement: “New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase.”

The proposal would not apply to convenience, grocery or drug stores, and would exclude diet and dairy-based coffee drinks. It must be approved by the city’s Board of Health to be passed.

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