Bloomberg Backs National Donut Day Despite Proposal to Ban Sugary Drinks

By Trevor Kapp on June 1, 2012 1:25pm 

Large crowds gathered outside Madison Square Park on Fri., June 1, 2012, for National Donut Day.
Large crowds gathered outside Madison Square Park on Fri., June 1, 2012, for National Donut Day.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

FLATIRON DISTRICT — Throngs of New Yorkers lined up outside Madison Square Park Friday for National Donut Day — an event that calorie-conscious Mayor Bloomberg endorsed, despite recently proposing to ban large sugary drinks.

“It doesn’t sound ridiculous,” he told NBC’s Matt Lauer during a "Today Show" interview Friday morning. “In moderation, most things are OK.”

Bloomberg has proposed to prohibit the sale of sodas and other sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.

But he insisted Friday that he’s no hypocrite, adding he largely supported 75th annual National Donut Day because of its history.

“Just think about what National Donut Day is,” he said on the "Today Show." “National Donut Day celebrates a lot of young ladies during World War I… who went and gave donuts to our soldiers while they were fighting to protect democracy.”

But those who turned out to receive a free chocolate donut from Entennman’s were left scratching their heads over the apparent irony.

“It’s hypocritical,” charged Frank Riggins, 45, a truck driver from the Lower East Side. “He’s trying to ban one while promoting the other.”

Fred Leong, 37, of Bayside, Queens, said that while he’s stood by Hizzoner in the past, he’s not sure whether the mayor’s making the right call regarding the ban.

“I believe in rights,” said Leong, who works in human relations. “I think we could do a better job of getting guidance on how much sugar to consume. As a society, we just need guidance.”

Major Evan Hickman, of the Salvation Army, which participated in the event, said it was important to set the calorie debate aside and focus more on what the day symbolizes.

“We’re gonna feed people that are hungry,” he said. “If it’s a donut, a cup of water, a cup of coffee — people need to eat. We are here to serve so many people just the way veterans were served back in World War I.”

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