New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg defended the city’s new law banning restaurants from serving large sugary drinks, saying that it’s “in the country’s interest.”
“This year, for the first time in the history of the world, more will die from too much food than from too little food,” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Sunday’s “Face the Nation” on CBS. “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, being overweight — [it’s] the first time it’s gone from being a rich person’s disease to a poor person’s disease.”
The law that takes effect this week bars restaurants and stores in the city from selling high-calorie drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.
“We’ve just got to do something, and all we’re doing in New York is reminding you that it’s not in your interest to have too many empty calories,” he said.” You can have some, but if you want to have 32 ounces, just buy two 16 ounce cups, 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.”
Mr. Bloomberg also pushed back on the notion that the new law constitutes any sort of “ban,” instead labeling it “portion control.”
“We’re not banning anything,” he said. “It’s called portion control — it’s a typical [way] that companies use and governments use to explain to people what’s in their interest and what isn’t,” he said. “Every food manufacturer and soft-drink manufacturer — they have portion control. What they’re trying to do is maximize their profits, and what government’s trying to do is to inform you that if you’re overweight and you have all these empty calories and you keep eating, that your health is going to suffer and you’re going to live a not as healthy and a shorter life.”