NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Take a Big Gulp.
As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Friday, if Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio takes over City Hall, he’ll follow in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s footsteps when it comes to sugary drinks.
De Blasio has been a critic of some of Bloomberg’s policies, but agrees with the mayor on one controversial issue.
Speaking Friday, de Blasio said he supports Bloomberg’s efforts to ban super-sized sodas.
“As a parent, especially, I feel that we have been sadly losing the war against obesity,” de Blasio told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb. “I believe that the mayor has been right on this issue…this has a horrible impact on our children.”
New York’s Court of Appeals — the state’s highest court — announced Thursday that it has agreed to hear the case early next year. Two lower courts have blocked Bloomberg’s efforts to ban the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in some restaurants, stadiums, movie theaters and some other places.
“I think the mayor is right and I would continue the legal process. We have to, of course, look at the specifics with our own lawyers and figure out the best way to handle the mechanics. But there’s no question that I want to see this rule go through and I hope that the court will support it,” de Blasio said.
As the parent of two teenagers — daughter, Chiara, and son, Dante — de Blasio said he wants to help parents curb childhood obesity.
“You know, it takes a lot of energy to keep on top of kids and make sure they do the right thing. Unfortunately, as parents, it feels like every day we’re fighting an enemy and that is the growing availability of bigger and bigger sugary drinks,” he said.
De Blasio added even if the highest court nixes the ban, he’ll propose a big soda ban through the City Council.
Meanwhile, Republican challenger Joe Lhota said he opposes the proposed ban.
“I don’t agree with the mayor’s position on the soda ban. If the lawsuit is still in place, I’ll instruct the law department to drop the case,” Lhota said Friday.
De Blasio said the soda ban isn’t the only thing he’ll do to help curb childhood obesity. He said his strategy will include more time in the gym for city school kids and the establishment of neighborhood play streets.
The American Beverage Association, which has helped lead the fight against the regulation, said it’s confident the lower court decisions will be upheld.
“The courts have agreed the Board of Health did not have the authority to pass this regulation,” spokesman Christopher Gindlesperger said. “We look forward to a final resolution of this issue.”
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