Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s new proposal to ban soda servings over 16 ounces is generating plenty of controversy and discussion, and earlier today his administration pushed back hard on reporters asking whether this latest move could be labeled as part of Mr. Bloomberg’s “nanny state” philosophy.
“New York City has life expectancy that’s greater than the nation as a whole and it’s increasing at a rate greater than the nation as a whole,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York’s Health Commissioner. “We think this is going to be very popular, as the other things we’ve done — which were often initially controversial — have been.”
Howard Wolfson, the Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs, also chimed in to argue that while the soda restriction may face complaints now, it will inevitably be popular in the long run.
“When you look at the history of the some of the initiatives, … they initially engendered a fair amount of criticism — the smoking ban being principle among them,” he said. “I remember back in those days it was seen as unpopular and there were politicians that opposed it.”
Mr. Wolfson also contended that other cities and governments will move to copy New York in this regard.
“I think people looking back will see this as a great accomplishment for public health,” he said. “I think this is going to start a nationwide movement towards this, a nationwide trend. … I think it will prove to be very popular.”