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Northeast Queens Pols Blasts Board of Health's Approval of Large Soda Ban

Avella, Halloran say they believe the mayor should focus on other issues facing the city.

State Sen. Tony Avella and Councilman Dan Halloran slammed the city Board of Health's decision on Thursday to approve Mayor Michael Bloomberg's .

As of March 12, sales of sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces will be banned at restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas.

The city will begin fining sellers $200 for violating the ban in mid-June. The proposal passed by a vote of eight to zero, with one abstention, one absence and one vacancy on the board.

Avella, D-Bayside, said he thought the mayor and the city should focus on "initiatives that will produce real, tangible results, not gimmicks."

"While I agree that something must be done to address the growing obesity problem in this city and that this policy derives from those good intentions, I believe that this just goes too far," Avella said. "There are surely other ways to curb obesity rates in this city that do not involve infringing on an individual's personal choices. Today, the mayor is saying you can't have a big soda, what's next? With shrinking school budgets, increased taxes and water rates and less affordable housing, there are surely other matters that the mayor should be focusing his time and efforts on."

Halloran, R-Whitestone, said he believed the decision oversteps the role of government.

"The mayor has decided and his appointees have agreed: You are not fit to take care of yourself," he said. "Government has to take care of you. This kind of arrogance is bad for the health of our democracy."

Patch wants to know: What do you think of the ban on sugary drinks? Post your comments in the section provided below.

zahid12 October 20, 2012 at 02:21 PM
There are surely other ways to curb obesity rates in this city that do not involve infringing on an individual's personal choices. Today, the mayor is saying you can't have a big soda. https://www.carlmontpharmacy.com/fluorouracil.html
anwar January 14, 2013 at 08:00 AM
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Harriet Brown January 14, 2013 at 04:46 PM
The so-called obesity epidemic, in adults, is caused by the anti-smoking movement. Nothing will make you gain more weight, faster, than quitting smoking. In children, it is caused by parents being afraid to let their children walk to school by themselves and play outside, because of the crime rate. It is also caused by cutting physical education programs. Children need to be physically active, in order to keep their weight in check.
Phil Konigsberg January 15, 2013 at 07:35 AM
While it is true that in many cases when someone quits smoking they will gain between 5 and 10 pounds during the first few months of cessation, if their eating habits have remained the same as they were when they smoked, the weight should come back off within a few months. If some exercise is added to their daily regimen like a brisk 30 minute walk, that should help speed the weight loss along. The alternative of continuing to smoke tobacco products leads to the documented realization of disease and premature death to 50 % of tobacco users. Now that is a not just an epidemic - it's a worldwide pandemic.
Harriet Brown January 15, 2013 at 03:58 PM
When I quit smoking, I gained 40 pounds. I know other people who gained even more. And what about children whose parents are afraid to let them go out and play or walk to school with friends and schools cutting back on physical education programs and recess?

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