Massachusetts mayor proposes sugary drinks limit

Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:36pm EDT

A man holds a tray of food with cups of soft drink larger than 16 ounces (473 millilitres) at a McDonald's restaurant in Times Square, New York May 31, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A man holds a tray of food with cups of soft drink larger than 16 ounces (473 millilitres) at a McDonald's restaurant in Times Square, New York May 31, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

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(Reuters) - The mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has asked the city's health officials for recommendations on limiting the size of soda and sugar-sweetened drinks served in restaurants.

The request follows a controversial proposal by New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg to limit the size of such drinks.

Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis said in a statement that "the target of this effort is super-sized and over-sized sugary drinks, especially when children are the primary consumers."

Cambridge, which is across the Charles River from Boston and is home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is part of the Greater Boston area.

Davis said Cambridge had already enacted important health policies related to smoking and unhealthy trans fats. She said she hoped the request for recommendations on sugary drinks "gets the ball rolling on limiting the amount of soda consumed by children and adults in our community."

Bloomberg's proposal would limit sales of large-sized sugary drinks by restaurants, mobile food carts, movie theaters and delis. It is aimed at fighting the growing problem of obesity and would affect drinks sold in containers larger than 16 ounces (0.47 liters).

Davis's proposal was inspired by Bloomberg's.

"Malnutrition in this country is not only a problem of not getting enough to eat, but also consuming way too many empty, sugary calories," she said.

(Reporting By Toni Clarke; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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