New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg makes new enemies with his announcement to champion a bill that would ban the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at most restaurants, cinemas and street vendors. Yet in doing so he has also made an innumerable number of new supporters in the city’s population of health-conscious parents, and one really important backer, first lady Michelle Obama. Our kids can get their hands on many contraband items in this liberal city. But if this ban passes, starting March of 2013 the Big Gulp might become as difficult for them to procure as an order of trans-fatty fast food.
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“People understand we have to do something… when the statistics say 30, 40, 50 percent of our kids are obese, they are going to be obese as adults, they’re not going to live long, they’re not going to have great lives,” the Mayor to a CBS2 correspondent in a recent interview. This comes hot on the heels of the American Beverage Association’s “We’re trying to do better” campaign, and they’re bubbling mad. Opponents site a decrease in sales that will hurt the city’s economy, but many are focusing on the positive effects similar bans (on smoking, and aforementioned trans-fats) have had on the general health and quality of life in the city. I for one am happy that I don’t have to worry about my kid inhaling second hand smoke while on a jaunt at one of the city’s wonderful parks. And when he’s done running around I’d be similarly pleased if I didn’t have to say, “no” to a request for a 16 oz container of syrupy soda being sold at the beverage stand.