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Michael Bloomberg defends soda ban on 'Late Show'

UPI News Service, 03/12/2013 

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on "Late Show with David Letterman" he will appeal a State Supreme Court decision overturning his large soda ban.

A judge Monday stopped Bloomberg's administration from banning New York City restaurants, movie theaters and other establishments from selling sugary beverages in cups that hold more than 16 ounces, one day before the new law was to take effect.

"State court judge said the Department of Health didn't have the authority to do it. We think that they do. We'll appeal. In the meantime, this year, 70,000 Americans will die from obesity -- 5,000 here in New York. We've got to do something about it," Bloomberg said on Monday's edition of "Late Show."

"And what would be the statistics of people who are dying of starvation versus people who are dying from obesity?" Letterman asked.

"For the first time in the history of the world, more people will die from overeating than undereating this year," Bloomberg said. "It's all happened in the last 20 years."

Letterman then said he believes "it's the corporate food industry, not the individual that is at fault here."

"I think that it is incumbent upon government to tell people what they're doing to themselves and let people make their own decisions. So our job is to educate people, and the ban on bigger cup sizes was a way to remind you if you wanted 32 ounces, you'd have to take two cups, so maybe you'd only take one. But people have a right to make products, and people have a right to buy them, and I don't know which comes first," Bloomberg said.

"The argument can also be made that in a country of this size and around most of the world, it takes this kind of operation to feed all of these people," Letterman said. "But it is so engineered -- the taste, the sweetness, the saltiness, the amount of pressure one needs to crack a potato chip with their teeth, has all been engineered so people continue to eat that kind of food."

"As long as you don't ban Cheez-Its. Cheez-Its are Ok. That's my addiction," Bloomberg said.

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