- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2013

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg believes his ban on large sugary drinks — set to go into effect Tuesday — will mostly benefit the poor, since they “don’t have the ability to take care of themselves as well” as the wealthy.

“[P]eople are doing Pilates and running in marathons and triathlons, and if you look at where obesity is in the country, it tends to be in people at the lower end of the economic ladder [who] don’t have the ability to take care of themselves as well,” Mr. Bloomberg, the 13th-richest man in the world, said Monday.

“If anybody will get helped by this, it’s them, because they’ve got to focus on working harder and moving themselves up the economic ladder, and being overweight doesn’t help you do that.”

The mayor has received some serious flak for the ban. The city is even being sued by the NAACP, which says the ban will adversely affect minorities. Some businesses, such as Starbucks, say they won’t comply. Starbucks will continue selling its 20-ounce venti drinks.

The mayor, however, predicts widespread acceptance of the new regulations, the New York Post reports.

“I think you’re not going to see a lot of push back here,” he said.

Starting Tuesday, many food establishments, excluding supermarkets and gas stations, won’t be allowed to sell sugary sodas in sizes larger than 16 ounces. Violators will face fines of $200, starting in June.

“[S]ugary drinks are helping to drive the obesity epidemic, which falls hardest on low-income communities,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “Obesity is killing more than 5,000 New Yorkers each year and demands bold steps to fight this crisis; this week New York City will do precisely that.”

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