Meet the Press   |  March 24, 2013

Super-sized soda ban: How far will he go?

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg talks about his initiative to ban excessively sized soft drink containers and how he plans to implement the policy.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> about the fight for personal freedom in new york city . those people who oppose your effort in the name of public health to limit portion size when it comes to sugary drinks. a judge has ruled against you saying the law doesn't make sense at the moment. how far will you take this push to limit how much soda you can drink in new york city ?

>> we are appealing. we think the judge was clearly wrong on this. our department of health has the legal ability to do this, and we're not banning anything. all we're saying is we want to show you just how big the cup is. if you want 32 ounces, take two cups to your seat. if you want 64, carry four. our hope is if you only take one, you won't go back --

>> wasn't this really about public awareness?

>> obesity this year is going to kill more people in new york city than smoking. if you remember we put a smoking ban in, nobody thought that was going to work. today all of latin america , all of western europe , and almost every big city in america and most of the states are smoke free. this is another thing. obesity is going to kill more people this year in the world than starvation. we have to do something about it.

>> what about sodium linked deaths in new york city , 23,000?

>> you look at the packaged goods manufacturers are now advertising low sewodium and they reduced the sodium in their products. everybody is better off.

>> where is the line? would you ban the salt shaker ?

>> we're not banning anything. we're trying to urge them to tell the public -- our job is to educate. it's the public's job to decide when they look on the grocery shelf or have the lever on a soda machine which thing to take, which product is in their interest. all we're trying to do is educate and then hopefully if they understand they would be better off with one product or another, they'll make the in intelligent choice.

>> you could do ads for education as the executive of new york city , you are telling people what they can and cannot do. why is that government's job to do that?

>> we're not telling them at all. we're telling them what science says is or isn't in their interest. we allow you to smoke. we just don't let you smoke where other people have to breathe the smoke that you -- that you're exhaling or comes from your cigarette. the same thing with obesity which incidentally is a public interest because we're going to spend $5 billion on treating people of 0 obesity in our hospitals in new york city alone this year. but regardless --

>> where is the line? where is it too far for government to go?

>> i do not think we should ban most things. i do think there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom and that is, for example, if you're drinking we shouldn't let you drive because you'll kill somebody else. if you are carrying a gun, we shouldn't let you on an airplane. there's a lot of things that we do -- if there's asbestos in the classroom we should remove the kids from classroom until you clean the air. if you want to own a gun, i certainly think it's constitutionally protected. you certainly have a right to have a gun if you want. if you want to eat a lot and get fat, you have a right to do it. but our job of government is to inform the public.

>> mayor bloomberg being thanks as always.