Bloomberg says says a drinks-ban protest isn’t funny, given all the fatness

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Bloomberg at the AIA Center for Architecture. (Dana Rubinstein)
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg says there's nothing funny about the so-called "Million Big Gulp March" protesting his big-soda ban.

"[I]t is so tragic what is happening, that I will say the humor kind of escapes me," said the mayor of the march, planned for this afternoon in City Hall Park.

In May, the mayor's office revealed that it was planning to enact a ban on the sale of sugary sodas in containers larger than 16 ounces, an announcement that incurred the wrath of the beverage industry.

This afternoon, according to the AP, "business owners, local politicians and others against the proposed ban" will march in City Hall Park.

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When a reporter asked the mayor about the march this morning, at an event about mini-apartments, Bloomberg was not amused.

"If you want to kill yourself, I guess you have a right to do it," he said. "I'm sure you read the FT today."

The mayor was referring to an article in the Financial Times about Olympic officials questioning the wisdom of having McDonald's and Coca-Cola sponsor the games.

"You did read the FT story about obesity?" asked the mayor. "Front page? Don't even read the newspapers? There's a real question as to whether McDonalds and Coca-Cola should be sponsoring the Olympics, where they're supposed to only have healthy things."

The mayor went on to cite a separate report today, this one in the Post, about city hospitals having to invest in expensive new equipment that can accommodate patients of greater girth.

"This is going to be worse than smoking ever was," Bloomberg continued. "Smoking deaths in New York City are now down to 7,000 a year. Obesity-related diseases are 6,000 and skyrocketing, while the smoking ones are coming down."

"We just have to do something about it," he said.