Halloran, City Residents Rally During 'Big Gulp March'

Councilman chides Bloomberg's plan to ban sugary drinks over 16 ounces.

City residents and elected officials, including Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, protested a proposed city ban on sugary drinks more than 16 ounces in size during a Manhattan rally on Monday, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg was not amused, NY 1 reports.

The mayor’s proposed ban would prevent movie theaters, restaurants and stores from serving sugary drinks over 16 ounces.

There will be a public hearing later this month and the City Council could vote on the matter this fall, which would allow the ban to go into effect in March.

Members of NYC Liberty joined Council members Halloran and Letitia James, D-Brooklyn, and a number of residents at City Hall on Monday evening to protest the ban.

“It is not the role of the government to tell its citizens how much food or drink they can consume,” Halloran said. “Only you, not the government, should make decisions about you and your family’s diets. And soda is not inherently bad for you. Many responsible, healthy New Yorkers choose to consume soda in moderate amounts on certain occasions, such as at a movie or baseball game. If we want to fix the health problems in this city, let’s start with gym classes and after-school programs, parks and recreation space and educating people about health issues.”

The rally was described as the Million Big Gulp March.

But Bloomberg, who says an estimated 34 percent of New Yorkers are overweight and 22 percent are obese, did not appear amused by the rally, NY 1 reported.

“In New York City alone, we’re going to spend $4 billion of your money to treat obesity-related diseases,” he said. “It’s $100 billion-plus across the country and skyrocketing. We just have to do something about it and if somebody wants to have a march, I suppose it’s funny. But it is so tragic what is happening I have to say, the humor kind of escapes me.”

Vote in Patch’s on the proposed sugary drink ban. Do you believe the mayor is correct or do you side with the ban’s opponents?


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