New York Tries To Ban Giant 'Big Gulp' Drinks
New York's mayor wants to ban giant fizzy drinks as part of a crackdown on the city's obesity problem.
The infamous "big gulp soda" would no longer be allowed on sale if Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets his way.
Instead, there would be a 16oz (almost half a litre) limit on the size of sugary drinks. It would be the first ban of its kind limiting portion sizes in America.
Mr Bloomberg said: "The percentage of the population that is obese is skyrocketing," adding: "We've got to do something."
The measure to broaden healthy eating across the US has been deemed by critics as "nanny state" behaviour.
Already, the Coca-Cola company has spoken out, saying: "New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this.
"They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase.
"We hope New Yorkers loudly voice their disapproval about this arbitrary mandate."
City officials announced that they believe the move will prove popular with New Yorkers and push governments around the US into adopting similar restrictions.
The proposal would limit purchases on sugary drinks to no more than 16 ounces in popular leisure venues such as restaurants, cinemas and sports stadiums. Businesses that violate the new plans would face fines of $200 (£130) for every failed inspection.
Only sweetened drinks containing more than 25 calories per 8oz (240ml) would be subject to the ban - diet sodas would be exempt.
The plan, expected to be approved by Bloomberg's appointed Board of Health, could take effect as soon as March 2013.
McDonalds, the world's largest fast food chain, immediately reacted by calling the ban "narrowly-focused and misguided".
Under the new proposals McDonald's would no longer be able sell fizzy drinks in anything larger than what is currently their 'small' size. A medium drink at McDonald's is 21oz (620ml) while a large is 32oz (950ml) - twice the size of the new legal limit.
While those who still want to guzzle 32oz can simply buy two drinks instead, Mr Bloomberg said the measure should serve to curb consumption. He said: "You tend to eat all of the food in the container. If it's bigger, you eat more.
"If somebody put a smaller glass or plate or bowl in front of you, you would eat less."
Mr Bloomberg, who has served three-terms as New York's mayor, has continuously campaigned to tackle US obesity problems.
He has outlawed trans fats in restaurant food and forced chain restaurants to post calorie counts on menus. He has also led efforts to impose smoking bans in the city's bars, restaurants, parks and beaches.
His battle against the fizz has already seen him fight for a "soda tax" and to prevent food stamps being used to purchase sugary drinks - both plans were rejected.
Mark Kalinowski, an analyst with Janney Capital Markets, who covers companies including McDonald's, responded: "Maybe the mayor can outlaw all soft drinks and outlaw all fun while he's at it."