Mitchell Reports | May 31, 2012
>> york city mayor michael bloomberg who has touched off a nationwide controversy with his efforts to combat obesity. he is proposing to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces from restaurant, food carts and concessions. diet drinks and fruit juices would be exempt. joining me is the mafr. mr. mayor, explain how you think this would work and counteract the criticism that this is the nanny state run amok.
>> well, the way it would work is those organizations, those industries that we regulate, which are restaurants and movie theaters and carts, they would -- they can sell 32 ounces of sugar drink to you but they have to put it in two containers. the idea is 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. at this point there's an epidemic in this country of people being overweight, bordering on obesity, the percentage of the population that is obese is sky rocketing. in new york city alone the number of deaths from smoking has declined so much and the number of deaths from obesity has gone up so much those two are about to cross. we're going to have more deaths from obesity than smoking. we've got to do something. everybody is wringing their hands saying we've got to do something. you can still buy large bottles in stores but in a restaurant, 16 ounces is the maximum that they would be able to serve in one cup. if you want to order two cups of the same time, that's fine. it's your choice. we're not taking away anybody's right to do things, we're forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another. keep in mind, 30 years ago 6 1/2 ounces was the size of all soda drinks in bottles in machines. when i was a kid coke came in 6 1/2 ounces, pepsi came in 6 1/2 ounce bottles. today, typical one is 12 ounces and a lot of people now 16 ounces.
>> just to make the point, this is 12 ounces of pepsi . this is 20 ounces and this is what would no longer be possible.
>> no. you can buy it in the store.
>> in the store.
>> just when you order a drink in a restaurant or in a movie theater , they would have to give you no bigger than a 16-ounls cup. if you want multiple ones, that's up to you. we're not taking away anybody's right. all we're trying to do is remind you that this is something that should be, is, not should be, is detrimental to your health and to do something about this national epepidemic. it's not the only answer, it's not the only kautz of people being overweight. we've got to do something. sitting around and watching our kids get fatter and fatter and they are going to be overweight as adults, that's not something we should do as a society. we have an obligation to warn you when things aren't good for your health. i don't think we have an obligation or even the right to take them away from you though there are some things where i think everybody would agree we should f. there is asbestos in the room we don't allow people to go in there. we would stop people from going in until the asbestos is cleaned up. in new york city you can smoke. you can't smoke where other people would have to be there and couldn't -- because they needed the job, leave. so you can smoke in volunteer place but you can't smoke in a place where there are employees. calorie counts. we tell you how many calories there are in foods. you can decide. do you want the big one or the small one t fattening one, i probably would because it tastes better or the dietic one. but it's up to you. we have a responsibility to tell you. you have the responsibility to take care of yourself and be in charge of your own destiny. that's not something government can or should do.
>> and in schools, are these now banned from schools?
>> we have a lot of cities around the country have no longer sell full sugar drinks in schools. kids do trend to drink a disportion nat amount of full sugar drinks, the average kid is something like three full sugared drinks a day. at 12 ounces. you could not take that amount of sugar and put it in a tea and get to the dissolve much less drink it. it's an enormous amount of sugar. in all defense of coca-cola and pepsi , i think these companies are trying to do something about it. the public wants full sugar drinks, they would probably make the same amount selling diet drinks. and both of those companies have worked hard to try to bring down the calorie count and get people to act more responsibly. i would like to push that from the consumer point of view and force the consume tear make the decision and hopefully move over to the less fattening drinks. pepsi and coke will sill be selling making money to their stockholders and both companies are well led and do understand their part of our society. and they have a vested interest in making sure that the public is safe and products are healthy. and they are going in that direction. in this case, it's really the public, there was a great study done that people sitting in fronts of a bowl of soup and as they were eating the soup, unbeknownst to them there was a pipe coming in the bowl so as they ate it the bowl kept getting refilled. that's the way people work. so here the idea is, if you have to take it in a smaller glass, you got to make a conscious decision to have another cup. and we think a lot of people won't and therefore that will reduce one of and only one of, the contributors to the obesity epidemic going on.
>> the other is get kids out and to have more fis ed. are you closer to endorsing in the presidential race from what you've seen so far?
>> i watch your program with intent interest and i've learned a lot about both of the candidates and we'll see down the road. i think it's fair to say the public really does have a choice between these two candidate who is have very different views and that's healthy of a democracy.
>> and you're not ready to endorse.
>> i'm not running for office and i'm not ready to endorse.
>> thank you very much, mike bloomberg . thanks for joining us today on the campaign against -- not only the physical problems of childhood obesity and the rest of us, but also the cost to society. thanks so much. good to