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Giant Soda Ban Falls Flat With New Yorkers, Poll Finds

By Jill Colvin | June 13, 2012 10:03am
The mayor wants to bar restaurants from selling sugar-sweetened sodas larger than 16 ounces.
The mayor wants to bar restaurants from selling sugar-sweetened sodas larger than 16 ounces.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to ban super-sized drinks is falling flat with New Yorkers.

More than half of voters — 51 percent — are against the idea of prohibiting restaurants, delis and concession stands from selling large, sugar-sweetened sodas, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday.

Older voters were more likely to oppose the ban, with 57 percent of voters aged 50 to 64 opposed to the idea, versus 49 percent of voters aged 35 to 49 and 46 percent of voters under 35.

Support was highest in Manhattan, where 55 percent of those polled voiced support for the ban. Meanwhile, 65 percent of Staten Islanders, 53 percent of Queens and Bronx residents and 52 percent of Brooklynites think it’s ill-advised.

“Is he your mayor or your nanny? New Yorkers are not swallowing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed curb on big buckets of soda,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Institute director Maurice Carroll, noting that just 39 percent of those polled believe the move will succeed in curbing obesity rates.

New Yorkers were also split on the mayor’s general handling of public health issues, with 47 percent in support of his efforts to curb obesity rates and cut smoking, and 45 percent opposed.

“While the soda ban goes flat with New York City voters, the glass is half full — or half empty — for Mayor Mike. Voters are evenly divided on his overall efforts to make us healthier,” Carroll said.

The Board of health voted Tuesday to move forward with the plan.

The poll of 1,093 New York voters, conducted from June 6-11, has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.