New York – New York City Council members slammed plans to put limits on sugary drinks, with new opinion polls showing Americans do not back the scheme.
Lawmakers ridiculed Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, one of the architects of the ban, during the Monday hearing on the Health Department's budget.
Councilman Oliver Koppell (D-Bronx) demanded to know if Farley also planned to limit king-size candy bars or beer.
And Councilman David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) wanted to know why the city would not consider limiting the size of burgers or fries.
He said, "Why are you taking this piecemeal approach, which may or may not work, which you don't necessarily even have the science to back up?"
Farley defended the plan, saying people's well-being was on the line.
He said, "Obesity is a big problem ... The single largest contributor is the sugared drinks. There's something about this product which is particularly associated with weight gain."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg will formally submit the proposal to limit the size of sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit drinks made up of less than 70 percent juice to the Board of Health on June 12.
If the Board of Health approves the limits during a scheduled September vote, the ban would take effect in March 2013.
NY1 and Marist released a poll showing that New York City residents -- by 53 percent to 42 percent -- think the proposed 16-ounce limit on sweetened beverages is wrong.
The biggest opposition was on Staten Island and in Queens, where 58 percent of residents oppose the suggested ban. Manhattanites were sweetest on the low-sugar push, with 52 percent supporting it.
A separate Rasmussen Reports survey Monday showed that 65 percent of Americans oppose such a plan, while only 24 percent approve.
The limits would apply to restaurants, mobile food carts and other establishments that receive letter grades from the Department of Health -- about 20,000 in all. Violators would be fined $200 but would not lose points on letter grades.
The limits would not apply to diet drinks or beverages with fewer than 25 calories per eight ounces -- and would not apply to supermarkets or 7-Eleven stores, which market super-sized sodas.
Read More at: NewYorkPost.com