Bloomberg: Winning Public’s Heart on Soda Restrictions Will Be Easy
The New York City Board of Health will conduct a public hearing tomorrow on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to restrict soda cup sizes at restaurants and movie theaters, so his administration gave their argument another push with an Alphabet City press conference this morning. According to Mr. Bloomberg, however, the wheels are in motion and there’s no stopping this initiative.
“I don’t think there’s a negligible pushback whatsoever,” Mr. Bloomberg said to a reporter asking if he was surprised by the strength of the opposition. “You certainly don’t get it on the streets.”
He also suggested reporters, hungry for conflict, have been artificially highlighting opponents of his plan by interviewing special interests, saying, “Only if you go and try to incite somebody and ask somebody who works for a company that you know is going to do that, can you find that.”
“If you do the polls, 53% already say it’s going in the right direction, and that’s without getting them to really understand the issue,” he continued. “Compared to smoking, this is an easy battle to win and nothing’s going to stop this thing, in my impression.”
This is a point he further emphasized in a press release sent out after the event.
“Six years ago, naysayers called the transfat ban ‘a misguided attempt at social engineering by a group of physicians who don’t understand the restaurant industry,’” Mr. Bloomberg said in the statement. “This week, we saw evidence that the ban is reducing New Yorkers’ fat intake and potentially saving lives. Six years from now, hopefully we are celebrating a reversal in the obesity epidemic currently killing 5,800 New Yorkers a year and due to our plan to limit the size of sugary beverages and other anti-obesity initiatives.”