(Photo : flickr.com)
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with a host of other officials and in collaboration with the New York City Board of Health passed a proposal on Thursday to ban the sale of soda and other sugary soft drinks in servings larger than 16 ounces in all of New York City.
The proposal is an attempt to battle the obesity epidemic that is increasingly affecting residents of New York City, New York State and the rest of the country as well. The minds responsible for pushing this proposal are as follows: Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services Linda Gibbs and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.
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"Obesity is an illness that is slowly, painfully destroying health and taking lives," Gibbs said in a statement. "Over time our environment has been increasingly working against us - people move less and eat more, portion size has grown, and sugary beverages - full of empty calories - have grown exponentially and nearly 6,000 New Yorkers are now dying each year of obesity-related illness. The question rightly became: how dare the government intervene, but how dare the government fail to intervene?"
So intervene the administration will. As of March 12, 2013 all food service establishments in New York City will be officially banned from selling soft drinks with more than 25 calories per 8 ounces in sizes larger than 16 ounces. This regulation is applicable to restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concession stands at movie theaters, stadiums and arenas.
"Today's vote is a historic and important step in fighting New York City's epidemic of obesity and diabetes. It continues the long tradition of this Board of Health leading the charge against major health problems of the day," Farley said in a statement. "It is my hope that in the future we will see this day as a turning point in epidemics that each year claim the lives of thousands of New Yorkers."
Bruce Ratner, Chairman and CEO of Forest City Ratner, which owns the Barclays Center announced today that the Center - the new home of the Brooklyn Nets - is opening next week and it will be the first major New York City venue to voluntarily adopt the new regulations banning the sale of soda and other equally sugary beverages.
"This is the biggest step a city has taken to cub obesity," Bloomberg said in a statement. "The Board of Health's passing this proposal means that New Yorkers will soon consume fewer junk calories and eventually begin turning the tide of the obesity epidemic...I raise a 16 ounce cup and toast Barclays for joining us today and implementing this play six months ahead of schedule. This is a game-changing vote and the new Barclays Center is on the winning side."