HERNANDO, MS (abc24.com) - Imagine not being able to supersize your favorite soda. If the mayor of New York has his way, that will happen.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ban the sale of soda or sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. He says it's a way to fight obesity, but that idea didn't sit well with Mid-Southerners.
In 2010 Mississippi lawmakers tried to pass a tax on soft drinks and sweet tea but it never happened. Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson supported that tax and is all about eating healthy but he says banning large sugary drinks is not going to help fix the problem.
Mayor Johnson lost 15 pounds by cutting soda from his diet. He loves talking about getting healthy. He spent all day Thursday at a meeting in North Carolina speaking about healthy eating. He thinks the proposed ban on big sodas in the Big Apple is a little extreme.
"I think the role of government and health department should be to help educate people so they know what they're putting into their bodies and let them make their own decisions,” Mayor Johnson said. “I don't think we should be telling people what they can or cannot eat. I think that's their choice."
Mississippi leads the nation in obesity and diabetes among children and adults, but Mississippi residents told abc24.com banning super-sized soft drinks won't solve that problem.
"You cannot ban sodas from anybody. I think it's wrong. If they want to drink their sodas, let them have it,” said Hernando resident Judy Davis.
"It all starts at home. You have to make up your mind and do it yourself. The government can't make you,” said another resident, Sandy Low.
"I think it's up to us. The government should stay out of it,” said resident Donald Harris.
The New York City Board of Health will vote on the ban of supersized sodas and sugary drinks this fall.