Bloomberg: State Should Follow NYC's Large Soda Ban

Implies convenience, grocery stores not under city's jurisdiction should impose restrictions

NEW YORK -- The state of New York should follow New York City's lead and prohibit the sale of large sugary drinks in stores that do not fall under the city's soon-to-be-enacted ban, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Beginning March 12, the city will prohibit restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas from selling sugary drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces. The city will begin fining sellers for violating the ban in mid-June.

The city ban, however, does not include convenience stores, such as 7-Elevens, and supermarkets, both of which are regulated by the state government, said the report. But on Monday, Bloomberg urged the state to move forward with a ban that matched the city's new regulations.

"The state should do exactly the same thing in stores," Bloomberg said at a news conference in Brooklyn.

Under the city ban, a restaurant would be prohibited from selling a large sugary drink, but a c-store across the street would be exempt.

The New York City Board of Health, a panel appointed by the mayor, approved the new regulations in September.

A sugary drink is defined as any beverage sweetened with sugar or another caloric sweetener that contains more than 25 calories per eight fluid ounces and contains less than 51% milk or milk substitute by volume as an ingredient. A diet soda, a milk shake or sweetened latte that is larger than 16 ounces would not be banned.

The mayor's spokesperson, Marc LaVorgna, told the Associated Press that Bloomberg was not suggesting that the state should impose the size limit in stores. He just meant that the rest of the state should adopt the city's policy, said AP.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office had no comment, said the report.