Movie Theater Owners Fight Back Against Mayor Bloomberg's 'Nanny Approach' Soda Ban

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The nation’s theater owners have joined the growing chorus of critics objecting to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal that his city ban sodas and other sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces.

The ban could affect revenue from concession sales and present practical problems for theater operators if they are required to enforce it.

In objecting to the proposal, the theater owners argue that since most moviegoers visit their local cinemas infrequently, the theaters' sale of large-size sodas does not significantly contribute to the nation’s obesity problem.

“NATO believes that Mayor Bloomberg's nanny approach to a serious problem will offend most New Yorkers as it will limit their freedom of choice in specific venues they attend for entertainment purposes to escape their daily routine," said the National Association of Theatre Owners in a statement. "On average, people go to the movies only four times a year, and purchase concessions even less, so including movie theaters in any regulation only diverts resources and attention from the real source of the problem -- lifestyles.”

Coca-Cola, which is sold in many theaters, also criticized the mayor’s proposed ban, calling it an “arbitrary mandate.” Said the soft-drink maker, “The people of New York City are much smarter than the New York City Health Department believes. New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase.”

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