Big sodas are leaving the Big Apple. Under a new proposal from Mayor Michael Bloomberg that was ratified by the New York City Board of Health on September 13, all sugar-sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces would be banned in locations that fall under the board's regulation.
Bloomberg called for the ban because more than half of New Yorkers are overweight or obese. Critics say the mayor, who has a history of taking on the soda industry, is trying to run a "nanny state."
The ban will go into effect in March 2013, bringing changes to residents and tourists looking for a sugary drink. Will the ban remove every 24-ounce soda bottle in New York City? Will it affect popular restaurants and food chains?
Keep clicking to find out the skinny on the super-sized sugary drink ban...
Bottled sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces
All locations regulated by the New York City Department of Health will have to get rid of bottles or cups of sugary drinks that are larger than 16 ounces, eliminating popular 20- and 24-ounce options. Exempt from the ban are drinks sold at convenience or grocery stores, vending machines and newsstands.
Since New York City restaurants and fast food chains fall under the NYC Department of Health (think of those bold letter "grades" posted on windows), they have to comply and serve drinks in 16-ounce cups. That means the 21-ounce medium and 32-ounce large cup options sold at McDonald's would not be sold in New York City, regardless of if someone is ordering a diet soda. Refills won't be prohibited under the proposal, however, and people can also choose to purchase another drink.
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Want a big 24-ounce bottle of soda to wash down that pastrami sandwich? Fuhgeddaboudit - coolers and refrigerators at delis fall under the new proposal.
New Yorkers catching a baseball game at Citi Field or Yankee Stadium may not get the same souvenir soda cup as in years past. The ban would also apply to sugary drinks sold at sporting events - but only non-alcoholic ones.
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With sugar-sweetened drinks set to become smaller at New York City movie theaters, you may want to opt for a big water to go with your bag of popcorn.
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Street carts fall under the Health Department's regulation, so they too must reduce their soda sizes. However, nearby newsstands will be exempt from the plan.
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What is allowed?
Exempt from the mayor's proposal are juices, dairy-base drinks, alcoholic beverages and diet drinks that meet the calorie guidelines. And of course, water.