STATEN ISLAND — The war on Big Gulps isn't over.
The pet project of Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been relaunched with an attempt to make it illegal to sell large sodas to minors.
Staten Island Assemblyman Matthew Titone, a Democrat, announced a package of bills on Wednesday that include the ban on children younger than 18-years-old buying sodas bigger than 16 ounces.
"Why on earth would we want to give that to our child?" said Titone. "We need to stop thinking about obscene quantities of sugary soft drinks as a G rated movie but as an R rated movie."
The aim of the bill is to stop the over consumption of sugary foods and drinks that's been linked to health issues like obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, Titone said.
"It’s been a long time coming," Titone said. "On the one hand we have all our health professionals and our scientists telling us about the inherent dangers about the overabundance of sugar, yet we never do anything."
The planned ban would make it illegal for minors to buy a single serving of a drink. A parent could still give them to a child if they choose, Titone said.
"We’re not banning it," Titone said. "You could let your child have it but you have to give to your child."
Titone also introduced a bill that would require a warning label on food and drink products with a high amount of added sugar and another that would require that the label is written by the state Department of Health.
The labels would warn consumers the product is close to or exceeds the recommended daily consumption amount of sugar — estimated as being between 20 to 30 grams by the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association.
The bill would also require nutrition fact labels on all foods to add the percent of daily value for sugar to them, Titone said. Currently they do not.
"America needs a wake-up call about sugar," said Dr. John Piazza, of N.Y. Chiropractic and Physical Therapy, who is backing the bill. "We have warning labels on cigarettes, on alcoholic beverages and on sugar substitutes. It is time to place them on sugary food and drinks."
Since the ban fizzed out, other groups and politicians have tried to address the issues of obesity from drinking sugary drinks.
Last year, Staten Island Borough President James Oddo challenged students to "kick the can" and avoid drinking soda for 30 days. He said his office focused on education on health issues instead of legislation.
"The notion that I'm going to mandate, I'm going to tell you what you can and can't have, makes people forget the message," Oddo said at the time.
"We want to educate you, we want to encourage you and we want to inspire you."
Titone said that, while he gives credit to Bloomberg for starting a conversation about the dangers of sugary products, his proposals were too far reaching.
He said his proposals are less severe and, while he expects there to be some changes when they go through the legislative process, will serve as a starting point in the state to address the issue.
"I'm really trying to take a fair, balanced approach to this, but we could no longer ignore it," he said. "It really is time to get together and start treating sugar for what it is, a highly addicting, unhealthy ingredient."