Poll: New Yorkers Oppose Bloomberg’s Large Soda Ban

A new poll of New York City residents finds them largely opposed to Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s proposal to ban large sized sodas:

NEW YORK – About half of New Yorkers say Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban of sugary drinks over 16 ounces from the city’s eateries is an example of government going too far, while 42 percent say it would be good health policy, according to a poll released Monday.

Of the 500 adults surveyed Sunday for the NY1-Marist poll, 53 percent said the proposal is a bad idea, while 42 percent praised the concept – which would make New York the first American city to so directly attempt to limit portion sizes in an attempt to fight obesity.

Forty-five percent of those polled said they think the ban would help people lose weight, while 52 percent said it wouldn’t make a difference. More than half the people surveyed said they never order a sugary drink large enough to be banned.

The pollsters contacted people at random on cell phones and land lines Sunday. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Not overwhelming opposition, but certainly not support either. It’s good to see that, for the most part, the majority of New Yorkers are sane on this issue.

FILED UNDER: Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Hey Norm says:

    This isn’t smart, efficient, Government.
    Besides…I’m on my second 20oz. Coke this morning…so no, I don’t support this at all.

    Having said that, Frum is making a Big “C” Conservative argument for the ban.
    Not saying I agree…but it’s interesting.



  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    How scary is it, however, that 42% of New Yorkers apparently are not opposed to this sheer absurdity?

  3. Brian Lehman says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: It’s probably the same percent of New Yorkers that doesn’t drink soda. People are fine with banning something they don’t plan to consume. Now, try to ban venti lattes and you’d have riots.

  4. John Burgess says:

    Limit pizza sales to two slices at a time. Or gas to 5 gallons.

  5. Franklin says:

    @Hey Norm: Thanks for the links. Amazingly, Frum said pretty much what I said in the other thread (but of course he did it more eloquently): This is essentially consumer protection against marketing tricks (millions of dollars spent investigating and exploiting our natural human irrationality).

    Frum also makes the good point that your liberty isn’t really being restricted in any significant way. You’re free to buy two drinks, or a 2-liter, or whatever. In that respect, the ability to get around the law is actually a feature, not a bug.

    Still (and I’m again in agreement with Frum here): I’m not sure this is critically necessary or would even work. But when an issue becomes as critical as obesity has become, you have to consider government intervention. Again, I’m not sure this soda ban is the step to take, but the government has the power to respond to any other disease (for example quarantining people), so there’s no reason they can’t do something about this one.

  6. george says:

    It makes about as much sense as the war on drugs – that is, none at all. What’s curious is that many of those who are in favor of the war on drugs call this (which is more or the same thing) a symptom of the nanny state. Tomato, tomahto …