Mayor Bloomberg Dismisses Latest Criticism of Big Beverage Ban

(Photo: Getty)

Only stores will carry these. (Photo: Getty)

Over the weekend, the New York Post chronicled some of the more unexpected side effects of the city’s upcoming ban on large soda cup sizes at restaurants, including an end to 2-liter soda bottles with pizza deliveries. Although the Post‘s pizza-loving interviewees were dismayed by the rule, Mayor Michael Bloomberg strongly defended the beverage ban during a press conference today.

“When it comes to the pizza parlor, they cannot deliver more than 16 ounces in any one container. So if you want 32 ounces, they’ll deliver 2,” Mr. Bloomberg said, proceeding to tweak his questioner–the Post‘s David Seifman–over an earlier inquiry about the mayor’s new education initiative. “If you want 64 ounces, I’ll see whether your mathematical skills as a liberal arts major [are] adequate to be able to do that when I read your article.”

Mr. Bloomberg also argued perhaps deliverymen’s lives will be made better now that they won’t have to lug heavy soda containers around.

“But it’s hardly an imposition. The store doesn’t have to charge any more,” he said. “It may be easier for the delivery person. Rather [than] one big bulky bottle, to have the smaller bottles that fit in there. But, in any case, one of the things that everybody keeps missing [is] we’re not banning anything. Other than saying you have to serve it in portions 16 ounces or less.”

As the original Post article covered much more than just pizza and soda deliveries, Politicker asked Mr. Bloomberg if he was concerned about some of the other regulatory restrictions, like against the 32-ounce carafes that sometimes come with bottle service at bars and nightclubs. Needless to say, we were unable to get our question out before Mr. Bloomberg rejected it.

“I mean, if you’re going to drink more than 16 ounces of alcohol with something in it, you’re not going to make it out of the bar! Or maybe go out in a stretcher,” he said, pointing to the health risks that come with obesity. “Think about the costs of somebody who comes down with diabetes, has to be treated, has to have limbs removed. And society is going to pay for that. Those are the real costs.”

Mr. Bloomberg dismissively added, “This other stuff is just made up because somebody on Sunday wants to write a column and they can’t find any news that day.”