Nightly News   |  May 31, 2012

Controversy over super-size drink ban

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a new initiative targeting sugary drinks served at restaurants, movie theaters and even the ball park. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

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>>> now to a simple question. should you be allowed to buy a soda that comes in a container larger than 16 ounlss? with america's obese taw epidemic getting worse, the mayor of new york city , michael bloomberg is determined to do something about it. what he wants to do is outlaw what he calls supersized sodas and other sugary drinks. a plan that a lot of people may disagree with. but if it catches on he, who knows, could you see it where you live? ron mott is in times square tonight. good evening to you.

>> hey, matt. good evening to you. time was a 7 ounce drink was all you could get. today, a small typically is 16 ounlss and they only get bigger from there. 20, 30, or 40 ounlss or bigger and mayor michael bloomberg said that's a big problem. in an effort to win or at least compete in the battle of the bulge , mayor bloomberg is proposing a wide scale ban on sugary and sweetened beverages over 16 ounces, principally sodas served at restaurants, movie theaters, food carts, even the ballpark.

>> obesity is the only public health issue in the country that is getting worse, and everybody is wringing their hands, i have to do something about it. nobody is doing anything about it.

>> it is sugar. americans consume at least 22 teaspoons a day. that's 75 pounds a year. bloomberg led to the first restaurant ban on trans fat in 2008 . now it's sugar.

>> as long as you're doing it to yourself, it's up to you. but we have a $4 billion cost in dealing with obesity, and the public is picking up that tab.

>> not all sweet or high calorie drinks will be down sized. off the chart, water, of course. diet sodas . coffee drinks, dairy based beverages, 70% fruit and vegetable juices and alcoholic beverages . koosz the country, reaction is split.

>> it's probably better for health reasons.

>> i'm mixed on it because there is an obesity crisisen the country and some people drink way too much.

>> they're definitely overstepping their boundaries.

>> i think shea should because health it, is an issue.

>> they called it zealous, saying soda is not driving the obesity rates. one civil libertarian called it a monstrous government overreach.

>> it's telling us it's okay to eat this in this portion but not this in this portion. that's not what we elect politicians to do.

>> there was a bit of an uproar a few years back when mayor michael bloomberg banned smoking in indoor places. the soda ban could take place as early as next march.