Bloomberg describes the big-soda ban as a maybe-global boon for poor people

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Bloomberg on Monday morning. (Dana Rubinstein)
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Starting tomorrow, restaurants and movie theaters in New York City will no longer be able to sell oversized sugary drinks, a move that's sparked plenty of controversy, but one which Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks will end up going into effect without much of a fuss.

"I think for all of what people say, people will quickly glom on and will do it and they’ll get used to it very quickly," said Bloomberg this morning, at a press conference marking the tenth anniversary of 3-1-1.

Last year, the city's Board of Health, which is controlled by the mayor, approved a ban on the sale of sugared drinks in portions larger than 16 ounces at all food-service establishments regulated by the city: that includes restaurants, movie theaters and some bodegas, but not grocery stores or 7-Elevens, which are regulated by the state.

The ban is designed to help curb obesity and its related health impacts, including diabetes.

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Bloomberg today argued the ban would particularly help poor people, and said it's something that should perhaps be implemented everywhere.

"If you look at where obesity is in the country, it tends to be in people at the lower end of the economic ladder, who don’t have the ability to take care of themselves as well," he said. "And if anybody will get helped by this, it’s them, because they’ve got to focus on working harder and moving themselves up the ladder, and being overweight doesn’t help you do that."

Also: "I think you’re not gonna see a lot of pushback here at all. And I do think that if this works, it’s a good starting point. Everybody rushes to say, 'Oh you’ve asked the state to do it.' I think everybody across this country should do it. And, in fact, obesity is a problem around the world. There are places that have starvation and very high diabetes rates."