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New York City to Ban Big Sodas at Restaurants, Food Carts

Personally, I've never really thought of sodas as particularly Chowish and think 40 ounces of it is just gross, but I know many people live on the stuff. What do Chowhounds think of this?


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  1. They should shut down Katz deli and most of chinatown, too much sodium.

    1. Buy two 20 ounces.

      Ban caffeine, too, which is in most sodas; then espresso!

      Shut down the coffee shops/houses - or, are there any anymore? I only ask because of my interest in coffee houses.


      1. It's a health issue not a food issue, with a strong political aspect. The other threads on sugar have made clear that this is a hot-button issue. My view is that the proposal doesn't go far enough to do what needs to be done

        2 Replies
          1. re: GH1618

            What's next...the size of my steak?

          2. It's a symbolic gesture really. Large bottles will still be readily available in convenience stores, and restaurants will still offer refills. I also don't see how it can be enforced - there are so many exceptions, restaurants will still keep larger cups on hand and can claim they are only for water, diet beverages, unsweetened tea, etc...

            1. I can see, and have been in favor of the ban on smoking in restaurants and other places as I am not a smoker and cigarette/cigar smoke makes me gag--it is also extremely unhealthy to those in the smokers' surrounding areas. Now--the issue with the oversized beverages is just too "big brotherish". Although I don't drink much soda at all (save for the occassional diet soda), I am too "frugal" to purchase an oversized one when I would be able to purchase a 2 liter bottle for much less. That being said, I don't think most people live off the oversized sodas. If they do, then the soda is NOT the only bad beverage OR food item they are living on. If someone is at an amusement park..and it is a hot day...and they did not bring water, there is nothing fatally wrong withe the purchase of one of those sodas. I think Bloomberg is going off his rocker on this one. Just my opinion.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jarona

                Yeah but what about second hand CO2 from the bubbles, won't someone think of the children! (<-to quote Homer Simpson, 'In case you can't tell Marge, I'm being sarcastic').

              2. Maybe the government should ban any personal choice as it relates to food and allocate us all an approved daily ration of healthy kibble.

                I drink two 12 ounce diet cokes per day and own KO stock. I'm not in favor of the ban.

                1. They should make a law banning blue-nosed food nazis.

                  1. This is silly, unenforceable nanny statism. But it strikes me that the logic flows rather cleanly from the drug war- if we can control/ban those substances, why not this one? This is a sort of real world reductio ad absurdum anti-drug war argument. Bloomberg may have just immanentized the eschaton!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Naco

                      What would a Chowhound eschaton be? Breakfast at Alinea, Lunch at French Laundry, Dinner at elBulli? Night capper at McDonald's?

                    2. If Bloomberg were serious he'd ban televisions, computers and related products. All of which are big contributors to obesity and complications from. Soda, like ny other food, natural or not, will add to the problems of an inactive lifestyle. Bloomberg is grandstanading and not addressing more serious issues of the City, such as support for small business and jobs in general.

                        1. re: Kagemusha

                          Yeah the daily show take on this was perfect.
                          "It combines the draconian Government overreach people love with the probable lack of results people expect."

                        2. Apparently, all Nazis didn't emigrate to Argentina.

                          1. With all the focus on soda's only, what will happen to the Venti and Trenta sizes at Starbucks in NYC, will these be banned too?

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: gmk1322

                              That's actually an interesting question... The ban does include sweetened tea and coffee, but dairy based drinks like milkshakes are excluded. Starbucks and others could probably argue that their blended drinks are exempt as dairy based, and they presumably can still sell drip coffee w/o sugar and let customers add as much sugar as they want at the condiment bar.

                              1. re: mpjmph

                                If I can't purchase a 40oz Big Gulp of Mountain Dew at the 7-11, then why are Granny Bloomberg and his sycophants allowed to purchase 750ml bottles of desert wines?

                                The last I checked, the amount of calories for a 750 ml bottle of "table wine" is approximately 500 to 700 calories per bottle, where the typical 40 oz of soda averages between 500 to 600 calories per mug, and the typical 40 oz bottle of beer runs anywhere between 400 to 600 calories per bottle (dependent upon the brand of beer).

                                Also, what's stopping anyone from purchasing a two liter bottle of soda (which is 67.6 fl oz) at the same store, and pouring that into a 40oz mug?

                                It's a stupid and intrusive law, written by paternalistic control freaks...

                                1. re: deet13

                                  Not really sure why you replied to me? All I've said is that it's an unenforceable ban, and there are a lot of exceptions and loop holes.

                                  1. re: mpjmph

                                    I agree with you.

                                    I'm just rolling with the flow of the discussion.

                                  2. re: deet13

                                    Actually you still will be able to purchase that 40oz Big Gulp at the 7-11. That's the perfect illustration of the absurdity of this law-- It only applies to restaurants, take-outs, movie theaters, and food carts. Stores are exempted. So a consumer can buy a hotdog or sandwich at the food cart then go around the corner and buy whatever size of sugary beverage to accompany it.

                                2. This to me just reeks of big brother and is an eyeroll " solution" to a true health problem
                                  Yes...obesity is a serious concern
                                  But really banning larger sodas at food carts?????
                                  Silly...and of little merrit or sense

                                  1. I can't imagine drinking only 16 ounces at a time.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: FoodPopulist

                                      And I can't imagine drinking more than 12 ounces at a time.
                                      Unless it is beer.
                                      But soda? Love the stuff, but the idea of drinking 40 ounces of the stuff just disgusts me (and never mind what it does to my body). Is it any wonder that so many Americans are so fat?
                                      To each his own. And evidently, diet sodas are just as bad (and possibly worse) for one's health and do nothing to fight obesity.

                                      The law is well intentioned, but will ultimately fail.
                                      Education is the key, not legislation.
                                      And even that would probably fail.

                                    2. And then the next day Bloomberg's office supports National Donut Day. Huh?

                                      How many seconds after this law is passed will a lawsuit be filed? Meanwhile the economy continues to go down the drain. Let's not discuss the real issues of the country.

                                      "Mayor Bloomberg supports National Donut Day while defending soda ban plan on 'Today': Daily Buzz"

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Antilope

                                        I read that piece this morning.....quite the hypocrite. What I find ridiculous is that he says anyone who would oppose him on this for whatever reasons........ is being ridiculous. He really is a fascist.

                                        1. re: fourunder

                                          If they really want to ban them, ban the purchase of sugar drinks by minors. Let their parents decide if the kids should have them. Also ban their purchase with food stamps. But if adults wish to buy them with their own money, the government should stay out of our lives.

                                        2. re: Antilope

                                          Now he has no credibility on the subject of healthy eating. But he's not a fascist (see fourunder reply) — that's ridiculous.

                                          1. re: GH1618

                                            He's dictating making the decision for everyone who enters NYC .....that they cannot make their own consumer desired purchases....or that business cannot sell things, which are legal by law.


                                            Fascism: : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control <early instances of army fascism and brutality — J. W. Aldridge>

                                            Autocratic: au·toc·ra·cy (ô-tkr-s
                                            )n. pl. au·toc·ra·cies
                                            1. Government by a single person having unlimited power; despotism.
                                            2. A country or state that is governed by a single person with unlimited power.

                                            Okay, I'll amend and say, at the very least, he seeks to be a Fascist.

                                        3. Diversion politics makes me ill. Who knew soda had so much power.

                                              1. re: Rella

                                                If he is going to dictate what people eat, he should be in a Lunch Lady uniform.

                                            1. I think it's sad that people still don't understand the concept of "empty calories" and that it might take a political ban to decrease (or eliminate) the consumption of sugar-filled drinks, but all in all I think that decision should be left to the individual. I wanted to bring a little attention to the work of this merchant --> http://www.bxtimes.com/stories/2012/2... . Clearly, the mayor has his fans.

                                              1. I'm looking forward to seeing the results. Skinny tourists and new yorkers! I'll be able to watch them from the Windows of Per Se, as I'm enjoying a multi-course tasting, paired with wines. I won't be skipping the desserts.

                                                1. Our mayor is arrogant and wrong but.... From the looks of the tourists waddling around Central Park I believe a Federal ban on pails of soda might be in order.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: beevod

                                                    I would ban soda for kids. Or at least the sale of. The same with any pasteurized and/or concentrated fruit juice and drinks. In fact, I think I'd ban any sugar water and milk to kids 18 and under. Let the parents buy it for them. Refined white stuff is a dangerous product. Now, while I don't believe in banning sales to adults, I do believe a law should be passed in making jink food into a lesser evil, visa vie using whole grains and unrefined sweeteners in such things as cakes and soda. Or am I wearing a tin foil hat in thinking it would help reduce some obesity?

                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                        Sugar milk. Yoo Hoo, Nestle Quick, etc. Again, let the parents buy it for them.

                                                  2. Today, June 4th, 2012....

                                                    Mayor Mike announced that he supports decriminalizing pot possesion

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: fourunder

                                                      The guy can't make up his mind.

                                                      1. re: fourunder

                                                        Ummmm. Hasn't he ever heard of the munchies?

                                                        1. re: Leepa

                                                          I suspect a close family member indulges and he is just taking the first steps for a preemptive strike or preemptive war......

                                                          1. re: fourunder

                                                            Yeah. But those munchies can't be good for ya. Who knows... someone might even want a Big Gulp or something!

                                                            1. re: Leepa

                                                              From my past.....I knew a guy who would anticipate his behavior and purchase a frozen Tree Tavern Pizza in advance........when time came, he would consume it right out of the freezer....hard, cold and not baked......

                                                      2. What's next? Mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients? No soda purchases with food stamps?

                                                        1. So apparently drinking 21oz of soda at a time is bad for your health BUT stuffing 50+ hot dogs into your body in 10 minutes is lauded (aside from the bad puns) by the govt in NYC.


                                                          1. If this passes, it won't prevent people from chugging 40 ounces of sugary sodapop at a time, just from buying it in a single huge cup. That's not a ban, it's a packaging regulation. The effect may be to get soda junkies to stop after the first quart; it may be to increase the total price, as the vendor will be selling two cups instead of one. What's the problem with that?

                                                            1. Package sizes for *everything* are much smaller in Germany. There are no "big gulp" sizes. The potato chips bags are not insanely humongous. Not sure whether this is due to government regulations regarding serving size, but you betcha it makes a difference in consumption.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                I'm old enough to remember when detergents were offered in "giant economy size" packages, though I don't remember how much of an economy that actually was, except for the manufacturers. It was later that the marketing concept was extended to certain foods such as breakfast cereals and beverages, and still later when it was extended even further - and irrelevantly - to portion sizes in eateries. What the economics and sociology of all this might be, I couldn't say, but it's a characteristic American madness that more and bigger is always better.

                                                              2. This is hilarious
                                                                Bloomberg Limits Seder Portions