Hail the Big Gulp: 69 percent of Americans reject Bloomberg's drink ban

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Lift those 16-ounce glasses high? There is not a single demographic in the nation that agrees with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on big drinks in his town. It is something that all ethnicities, political parties and income brackets agree on.

“Americans, by 69 percent to 30 percent, say they would vote against a law that limits the size of soft drinks and other sugary beverages served in restaurants to no more than 16 ounces,” reports a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

Naturally, Republicans have stronger feelings, though: 78 percent would vote down the ban, along with 71 percent of independents and 62 percent of Democrats. Three fourths of conservatives, 70 percent of moderates and 57 percent of liberals agree, along with 75 percent of “non-Hispanic whites” and 57 percent of “nonwhites,” Gallup found.

Mr. Bloomberg’s administration is appealing a lower-court ruling made in March that struck down his proposed limit on sweet beverages in the city’s restaurants. The judge ruled it would unfairly apply to only select retailers.

The mayor insists the measure would help reduce diabetes and obesity rates, while critics counter it epitomizes nanny-style government. Indeed, the we fret about getting fat. But we fear loss of daily freedom more.

“Americans may think that limiting the size of beverages may be too much of a government encroachment into individual freedom, and the choice of beverage size should be left to consumers and businesses, not the government,” says Gallup analyst Alyssa Brown.

“This would be consistent with Gallup’s finding that more than half of Americans still say the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses.”

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