Mayor Bloomberg: ‘We're Not Banning Anything; It's Called Portion Control’

By Fred Lucas | March 11, 2013 | 12:49pm EDT

Mayor Michael Bloomberg (AP Photo)

( – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the large soda ban set to go into effect this month at city restaurants, street vendors and movie theaters is how government tells the public what’s in their best interest.

“We're not banning anything. It's called portion control,” Bloomberg said Sunday on CBS’s "Face the Nation." “It's a typical way that companies use to and governments use to explain to people what's in their interest and what isn't.”

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Bloomberg championed the measure approved by the New York City Board of Health last September that bans the sale of soda and other sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. The ban is set to take effect this month.

However, New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling on Monday stopped the Bloomberg administration from carrying out the ban.

During the CBS interview on Sunday, host Bob Schieffer asked, “Already we're seeing some people who are saying, 'This is making it really hard on us,' not necessarily people who sell those sugary sodas, but people like, well, Starbucks. They don't know what to do about some of the coffees that they sell. What about all that?”

Bloomberg dismissed the concerns.

“Number one, that's ridiculous. They can figure out -- Starbucks knows how to market things, knows how to package things,” Bloomberg said. “They can change instantly when it's in their interest to do so. This is in the country's interest. This year, for the first time in the history of the world, more people will die from too much food than from too little food.

"More people will die from the effects of obesity than from starvation, and we've got to do something about this. This is going to bankrupt the country. Our medical system cannot handle it. It -- being overweight is the first time it's gone from a rich person's disease to a poor person's disease. We've just got to do something.”

Bloomberg said residents of the city can still have as much soda as they want, just not in the big containers.

“If you want to have 32 ounces, just buy two 16-ounce cups,” Bloomberg said. “Take them back to your seat. If you want 64 ounces, take four cups back. But what's likely to happen here is you'll take one and probably not come back for the second, but it's totally your choice.

“We're not banning anything, it's called portion control,” the mayor continued. “It's a typical way that companies use and governments use to explain to people what`s in their interest and what isn't. Every food manufacturer and soft drink manufacturer, they have portion control.

"What they're trying to do is to maximize their profits, and what government is trying to do is inform that you if you're overweight and you have all these empty calories and you keep eating that your health is going to suffer and you will live a not as healthy and a shorter life.”

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