Jul 25, 2012

By Jane Brown

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New Yorkers have had their say on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on large sugary drinks in restaurants and movie theatres . The city’s board of health held a public hearing Tuesday on the rule that would limit soft-drink cup and bottle sizes to 16 ounces or less at food service establishments. 

Brooklyn resident Marty Markowitz showed up to voice his opposition to the ban.  He explained, “I’m not overweight because of big gulp sodas.  Frankly, I’m overweight because I eat too much pasta, pastrami sandwiches, pizza, bagels and cream cheese and lox, velvet cake, cheese cake.”  His comments provoked laughter from the crowd.   Markowitz is among the critics who say the proposed ban is an assault on personal freedom. 

But there were those who came out to support the proposal, including medical professionals.  They say Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to ban sales of large surgary drinks would protect the public.  They liken soft drink companies to Big Tobacco and say pop and other sweetned beverages are a leading factor in the obesity epidemic.  A vote by members of the city’s health board is expected in September.

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