New York mayor aims to cut soft drinks down to size
An anti-obesity initiative launched by Michael Bloomberg, New York’s mayor, to ban the sale of “supersized” sweetened drinks in restaurants, cinemas and stadiums has attracted fierce criticism from the US beverage industry but won praise from public health experts.
Mr Bloomberg’s plan would stop food service establishments selling sugary drinks in portions bigger than 16oz (475ml). Diet sodas or drinks containing milk would be exempt, and restaurants could still offer free refills.
New York’s department of health said large portion sizes were contributing to the widening obesity epidemic, pointing to data that show more than half of adult New Yorkers are overweight or obese. The administration said people were consuming bigger soda portions with more “empty” calories but not feeling fuller or less thirsty.
However, Stefan Friedman, spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association, said: “The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates.” – (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012)