New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg appeared on MSNBC on Thursday to explain portions of his controversial proposed ban on soft drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. “We’re not taking away anybody’s right to do things, we’re simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another cup,” Bloomberg told MSNBC.
Bloomberg told MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell that his porposed ban would not limit the sale of soft drinks to individuals, but it would force many vendors to only sell small portions and force consumers to buy two small portions if they wanted more.
“The idea here is, you tend to eat all the food in the container in front of you,” said Bloomberg. “If it’s a bigger container, you eat more. If somebody put it in a smaller glass or plate or bowl in front of you, you would eat less.”
Bloomberg went on to cite the “epidemic” of obesity in America and said that his is a concrete proposal of what to do about this crisis. He stressed, however, that there would be no limits on the sale of beverages – just their portion size.
“We’re not taking away anybody’s right to do things, we’re simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another cup,” said Bloomberg.
“It’s not perfect, it’s not the only answer, it’s not the only cause of people being overweight – but we’ve got to do something,” said Bloomberg. “We have an obligation to warn you when things are not good for your health.”
Bloomberg said that there are a variety of activities and substances that are curtailed for public safety. He said that it is illegal for people to enter a room with asbestos, for example. “In New York City, you can smoke,” said Bloomberg. He stressed that one could not do so where they could be endangering anyone that has to work in a given area.
Bloomberg concluded by saying that his administration was hoping to enforce responsibility on consumers. “I would just like to push that from the consumer point of view and force the consumer to hopefully move over to the less fattening drinks and everybody will be better off,” said Bloomberg.
UPDATE:Coca-Cola Refreshments has issued a statement relating to New York City’s anti-obesity initiative targeting soft drinks:
“The people of New York City are much smarter than the New York City Health Department believes. We are transparent with our consumers. They can see exactly how many calories are in every beverage we serve. We have prominently placed calorie counts on the front of our bottles and cans and in New York City, restaurants already post the calorie content of all their offerings and portion sizes — including soft drinks.
New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase. We hope New Yorkers loudly voice their disapproval about this arbitrary mandate.”
Watch the segment below via MSNBC:
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