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LUNA post: Sweet news for sugar lovers

Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, cooed Mary Poppins.

But that’s probably about as much as you’d be allowed, if you lived in New York.

Recently, there have been many New Yorkers who haven’t been feeling that sweet towards MayorMike Bloomberg.

In May 2012, Bloomberg introduced a controversial plan (the first in the US) to ban large sugary drinks in restaurants and other venues across New York City (a bold decision in a country famous for excess), due to come into effect Tuesday March 12.

The original proposal was to prohibit the sale of sugary drinks (including soda, energy drinks and sweetened smoothies) in cups or containers bigger than 16 oz. (approx. 500 ml) in restaurants, deli’s, food carts, movie theatres and other entertainment venues.


Source: Richard Drew/Associated Press

But in good news for sweet tooths, State Supreme Court judge Milton Tingling has overruled the proposed ban, saying that the mayor had bypassed the City Council by going straight to the NY Board of Health – the members of which he conveniently appoints.

The reason behind the mayor’s madness (except that he just needs a lollipop to calm him down) was that it would help to fight the obesity epidemic, protecting people from the empty calories founded in sweetened drinks.

In the past he has also stepped on some of  his electorate’s toes by putting in moves to ban smoking, guns and artificial trans-fats, however nothing has incensed New Yorkers more than this proposal, with many labelling Bloomberg a ‘nanny’.


Nanny Bloomberg. Source:

Consumers and retailers alike were up in arms about having to go without their daily cup of sugar (is it bad for you, or something?), claiming that their personal liberty was being infringed, and generally being annoyed at the overhaul they had to make to their cup sizes.

And of course, Starbucks got shitty.

The super-corp refused to remove venti-sized drinks from its menu, pending the outcome of a lawsuit.

McDonald’s chimed in too, saying that customers ordering a large coffee would be given as much sugar as they wanted to add – as long as they did it themselves.

Plus the plan was laden with loopholes including that there was no ban on refills or buying huge bottles from supermarkets, it didn’t apply to alcohol and rules surrounding coffee were cloudy – meaning it would be relatively easy to circumvent the sugar prohibition.

(Ironically, 7-11’s infamous Big Gulp, clocking at almost 2 L, was exempt from the ban.)

Bloomberg has vowed to appeal the court decision, saying: “It would be irresponsible not to try to do everything we can to save lives.”

However, soft drink fans (including Sarah Palin) have taken to Twitter to celebrate.


Buckets of Coke™ for everyone! “@brendenwood: Ban on large soft drinks in New York over-turned by a judge.

— Scott Ellis (@blahblahellis) March 11, 2013


Victory in NYC for liberty-loving soda drinkers. To politicians with too much time on their hands we say: Govt, stay out of my refrigerator!

— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) March 12, 2013



And just general amusement at this classic from Bette Midler:

NY judge ruled against the soda ban.Seems most guys like large cups and 64 ounce jugs…and on that note..good night, world….

— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) March 12, 2013


Some very sour grapes for Bloomberg.


via Wall Street Journal


Published at LUNA Digital.


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