New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to appeal a judge’s ruling that blocked a ban on the sale of large sugary drinks in New York, insisting in an interview on “The Late Show with David Letterman” that public officials must do something to curb the obesity epidemic.
“For the first time in the history of the world, more people will die from overeating than undereating this year,” Bloomberg told Letterman in an interview that will air Monday night.
According to excerpts released by CBS, Bloomberg appeared to respond to critics who said he had overstepped his authority with the soda ban—insisting the limits were more about educating the public about the dangers of sugary drinks.
“I think that it is incumbent upon government to tell people what they’re doing to themselves, and let people make their own decisions,” Bloomberg said. “So our job is to educate people, and the ban on bigger cup sizes was a way to remind you if you wanted 32 ounces, you’d have to take two cups, so maybe you’d only take one. But people have a right to make products, and people have a right to buy them, and I don’t know which comes first.”
Letterman questioned whether the government shouldn’t go further, noting how the food is “engineered” to taste good so that people will continue eating it.
That prompted a joke from Bloomberg, who talked about his own “addiction.”
“As long as you don’t ban Cheez-Its. Cheez-Its are OK,” he said. “That’s my addiction.”