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Soda Ban In New York Spreads To Boston, Worries Local Restaurants

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-soda sentiment seems to be spreading: Boston is also now considering a ban on the sale of super-sized soft drinks at restaurants in an attempt to prevent obesity.

Cambridge, Mass., Mayor Henrietta Davis, who brought the idea to a city council meeting Monday, provided few details, but said such rules would be similar to the ban being debated in New York City, where regulations outlawing sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces could go into effect as early as March 2013.

Like their New York counterparts, owners of some Boston-area restaurants are concerned.

“People love soda around here,” said the owner of one downtown Boston deli who asked not to be named, fearing negative attention from local officials. “Soda –- especially the bigger bottles –- carry high margins, so my business would definitely take a hit.”

“We have plans to expand to a second location,” he added. “A soda ban wouldn’t kill those plans, but it would certainly affect them.”

The New York City Board of Health is in the process of approving Bloomberg’s soda ban, with a final vote scheduled for Sept. 13. At a recent hearing, board members said that other items should be included in the ban, such as large tubs of popcorn and milkshakes.

That’s just what scares Adam DiCenso the most. The owner of Pinnochio’s Pizza in Cambridge, DiCenso said he just heard the news that Boston was considering the ban.

“I can live without the big sodas, but we also sell big slices of pizza,” DiCenso said. “I just hope they don’t try to take those away too.”

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