Bloomberg To Ban Large Sweet Drinks - But, Your Bourbon And Big Gulps Are Safe

May 31, 2012 - 3:26 PM

A ban on large sugared drinks “seems punitive” and “won’t yield a positive effect,” New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn tells “The Right Views, Right Now.”

As speaker of the Democrat-dominated (46 of 51 members) council, Quinn is elected by the Council members and is primarily responsible for obtaining a consensus on major issues.

Regarding the ban on the sale of large-size sugared drinks proposed by Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn said that fighting obesity is important – but, this is not the way to do it (emphasis added):

“Fighting the obesity epidemic comes down to personal decisions and that’s why knowledge about nutrition is important because with it, people can make healthier choices. Another important factor is access to healthier foods. We’ve seen that if better choices are available, people will often take advantage of them. That’s why we’ve expanded Green Markets and the EBT program.

“However, limiting people’s choices is not about knowledge, empowerment or access. It seems punitive and I worry that in the end, this proposal won’t yield a positive result. Because after all, the person who doesn’t understand why it’s not healthy to drink 18oz of sugared soda, is simply going to get two 10oz cans or extra refills.

And, booze and Big Gulps can still be sold in super sizes.

A spokesperson for Mayor Bloomberg’s office confirmed to "The Right Views" that, only retailers that receive Health Department “letter grades” (which 7-Eleven and similar convenience stores do NOT) will be subject to the ban – so, your Big Gulps and large Slurpees are safe.

Thus, 7-Eleven is reserving judgment on the proposal until it can see its specific details.

7-Eleven spokesperson Margaret Chabris tells “The Right Views”:

“We are reserving public comment on this issue until we have a chance to review the actual written proposal, determine what impact it may have on 7-Eleven stores in NYC and discuss with our trade associations.”

Citing a newspaper report, Chabris noted that “[T]he measure would not apply to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores, and we are a convenience store.”

“We understand interest in reducing obesity in NYC, as well as across the nation.  That is one reason we launched our new Slurpee Lite™ platform of good-tasting Slurpee drinks without sugar. We also offer other healthy alternatives like salads, fresh-made sandwiches and fruit cups, as well as a wide assortment of diet drinks.”

So, if you want to cut calories, you can buy a super-sized, sugar-less Slurpee. But, you could still get a super sugar rush, if that’s what you’re thirsting for.

Oh, Thank Heaven, you might say. Or, maybe, not. :)

See more "Right Views, Right Now."