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NYC eyes ban on large sodas to combat obesity

POSTED: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 5:34pm

Controversy is bubbling up in the Big Apple.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages that come in containers larger than 16 ounces.

A typical can of soda is 12 ounces, an amount allowed under the proposed ban.

The typical single-serve bottle of soda is 20 ounces, more than what would be allowed to be served in restaurants, movie theaters, food trucks and ball park concession stands.

Grocery stores would be exempt.

The proposal has left a bitter taste with some New Yorkers.

According to the New York City Health Department more than half of the city's adult residents are overweight or obese.

It's a statistic Mayor Bloomberg and many obesity experts blame partly on oversized containers of sugary drinks.

"You tend to eat all of the food container in front of you. If it's a bigger container, you'll eat more," Bloomberg says.

In a statement, the New York City Beverage Association refers to the proposed ban as part of an "unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks."

Others say Bloomberg has the right idea.

"This is classic public health. If there's a toxic substance in the environment, reduce or eliminate it," says the Center for Science in the Public Interest's Dr. Michael Jacobson.

The ban would not apply to low-cal fruit juices, diet soft drinks or dairy-based drinks like milkshakes.

If passed by the New York City Board of Health the ban would take effect as soon as next March.

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