The New York Times is reporting that, in an effort to combat obesity, the Bloomberg administration is seeking to ban the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters, street carts, and even sports arenas.
Specifically, any soda or sugary drink over 16 ounces would be prohibited if the proposed ban is approved, The NY Times reports. The plan would be the first of its kind in the United States, and would take affect next March.
According to NY 1, "diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy based beverages, milk shakes, and alcohol would be exempt from the ban." The ban would also not affect sales in supermarkets or bodegas.
Any food service established that is regulated by the New York City Health Department will have to follow the ban, The Gothamist reports.
"Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, 'Oh, this is terrible,' Mayor Bloomberg told The NY Times . "New York is not about wringing your hands, it's about doing something," he said. "I think that's what the public wants the mayor to do."
A spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association responded to the proposed ban saying "The New York City health department's unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top," NY 1 reports. "The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates."
According to Reuters, a documenting outlining the proposal showed that 58% of New York City adults and close to 40% of New York City public school students are obese or overweight.