NYC approves ban on large sodas

As expected, the New York City Board of Health has gone along with a proposal from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and become “the first in the nation to ban the sale of sugared beverages larger than 16 oz. at restaurants, mobile food carts, sports arenas and movie theaters.” [Time, AP] Notes Scott Shackford, “the ban shouldn’t affect diet or sugar-free drinks, but as The New York Times reports, establishments with self-service fountains will not be able to stock cups that hold more than 16 ounces. So essentially, thirsty people will want to avoid the targeted businesses altogether even if they’re drinking healthy.” [Reason] Earlier here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.


  • Thank you Mayor Bloomberg for protecting us poor, ignorant peasants from ourselves. Notice they didn’t include what the beautiful people drink — Starbucks.

  • I can only assume this means that NYC has solved every other problem. In that case, I must extend my congratulations!

  • Big Gulps from 7-Eleven are exempted because 7-Eleven is a convenience store. Since it’s only “sugary” beverages and not all establishments are required to serve only 16 ounce and smaller sizes isn’t there an equal protection issue here?

  • How long will it be before an enterprising soul comes up with a program like “Buy one 16oz and get the second free” or for a nominal sum?

  • Ed,

    I see nothing that would prevent the ban from including a large number of their Venti sized drinks. Anything that used a flavoring syrup or perhaps even cream would likely exceed the calories/oz limit.

    Am I missing something?

  • OBQ:

    The law, at least as originally written, excluded dairy/coffee based drinks.

  • OBQuiet,

    Isn’t is just soda-pop? Carbonated soft drinks? Would iced tea drinks and coffee drinks be exempt?

  • Oh, and Kool-Aid, Hawaiian Punch, fruit juices and drinks….

  • Thanks for the information about targeted exceptions.

    I do remember ice tea being mentioned as potentially not being available sweetened.

    Does this also mean that restaurants will have to stop offering free refills? And if not, why wouldn’t everyone just sell a 16 oz drink with optional refill?