Menino Bans Sugary Drink Sales On Boston City Property

BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Tom Menino issued an executive order to ban the sale of sugary drinks on Boston city property on Thursday.

“I want to make this a healthier choice, the easier choice in people’s daily lives, whether it’s the schools, the work sites or other places in the community,” Menino said.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports

The mayor’s office, along with the Boston Public Health Commission, said Menino is issuing this order because of the link between sugary drinks and rising obesity rates and health care costs.

Read: Menino’s Executive Order (.pdf)

“There are high costs associated with these high rates of unhealthy weight, both at the personal level in terms of poor health outcomes, and at the societal level in terms of decreases in worker productivity and the rising health care costs,” said Barbara Ferrer of the Boston Public Health Commission.

The order “sets science-based standards for what’s considered a healthy beverage and what can be sold or served on City property,” according to a city press release.

The policy applies to cafeterias, vending machines, concession stands, and beverages served at meetings, City-run programs, and events where food is purchased with City dollars.

Back in 2004, Menino banned soda and junk food from being sold in public school vending machines, and now he’s taking his battle city-wide.

“Now is the time to expand our efforts that began in our public schools and set an example for the city as a whole,” Mayor Menino said, referring to the 2004 ban.

The mayor hopes the city takes steps over the next six months to phase out the sale of the sugary beverages, which are labeled in three categories:


After a six-month grace period, city buildings will be required to phase out the sale of these so-called “red” beverages, like:

  • Non-diet sodas
  • Pre-sweetened ice teas
  • Refrigerated coffee drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Juice drinks with added sugar
  • Sports drinks

The promotion of these “red” beverages on City property will also be banned.


The order allows for the sale of “yellow” beverages, but advises consumers to drink them occasionally:

  • Diet sodas
  • Diet iced teas
  • 100 percent juices
  • Low-calorie sports drinks
  • Low-sugar sweetened beverages
  • Sweetened soymilk
  • Flavored, sweetened milk


These “green” beverages can continue to be sold:

  • Bottled water
  • Flavored and unflavored seltzer water
  • Low-fat milk
  • Unsweetened soymilk

The Boston Public Health Commission has developed a guide for City workers and visitors to help them make a healthier choice, along with the slogan: “Stop. Rethink Your Drink. Go on Green.”

  • jzsmith1965

    wow street venders won’t be able to sell soda from thier stands i can see it now someone on a 90 degree day standing in an alley saying to people walking by psss wanna buy a soda

    • yakofujimato

      It has nothing to do with street vendors. Did you read the article? It said “city property” meaning city hall, police stationns, ect! It won’t effect people with pushcarts selling soda!

      • me

        it absolutely affects street venders on city property, ie city hall plaza and the boston common

      • lou

        Really? Aren’t those push carts located on city sidewalks? Isn’t that city property?

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  • mike

    is it just me, or is this just going a bit too far…leave people alone

    • Roy Gould

      We obese people are obviously too fat because we have no impulse control.
      Thank you daddy Mumbles for helping us to help ourselves.

      • what

        roy you’re a total idiot and it shows

      • travis

        you obese people dont have any self control. you wanna eat mcdonalds 5 nights a week, fatten up your children and then sue because it made you fat.

  • toni

    Good way to put the street venders out of business. By the way it’s not like there aren’t any convenience stores near any public property where you can buy a soda. So now what, are they going to tell the convenience stores to stop selling soda too? Menino needs to get his head examined right after he joins weight watchers.

  • timma

    good. now for my 9th cup of coffee with extra sugar!!!! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

  • Paul

    well i can see it now wait till the fourth of July your going to have to walk across a bridge to get a drink

    • Doug

      Just bring alcohol. Anyway the mayor does not have the power to do this on his own. We are not ruled by kings. The courts will strike this down if challenged.

      • Capt America

        You are ruled by kings when you are governed by socialist liberals…. Hey Boston, you are stuck on stupid and I’m loving it.

      • Beau Deters

        No, courts will not overrule an executive order on these grounds because the ground, although disgusting, clearly demonstrate a clear and convincing public benefit, i.e. reduce access to fattening foods to reduce the incidences of obesity which is the leading risk factor for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, et. al.

        Agree or disagree we live in a military dictatorship-corportatocracy in which the CEO-the mayor, the governor, the president gives the orders, and the employees-the government workers & State/US citizens obey, PERIOD!

      • John

        I highly doubt that this would be struck down. Menino is the Mayor and there are many things that he can do without legislative or judicial approval. This is one of them.

      • capstateblue

        Doug, You have drunk the KoolAid! You look to the courts to fix everything. It’s not their job, like it isn’t the mayor’s job to set up a weight program. Unless and until the people offer these tin gods opportunities to work in the shrinking private sector, we can expect more of the same.

  • Joex51

    this is what Bostonians get for electing a elitist, that thinks you are TOO Stupid to make sound decisions for your self!!!

  • Meninostinks

    Mayor Menino has a city with high unemployment with many Boston residents losing their homes to foreclosure and he’s worried about the sale of soda on city property? Gimme a break! Get Menino out of there. He’s been in office for too long and this is the best he can do?

  • Streaming RadioGuide

    This will include orange juice right? Look at the calories on the nutriition label. and milk?

  • andyinsdca

    Sugary drinks? Does that mean he’ll ban the sales of fruit juices, too? There’s lots of sugar in orange juice.

    • Chili

      But there’s NO sugar in these “sugary” drinks. Aspertame in diet soda and High Fructose Corn Syrup in regular soda. Both are known poisons and carcinogens.
      “Oh, but they taste yummy and if I want to drink poison, that’s my right.”

  • Denise Ross Cranford

    I see prohibition all over again! Oh, BTW, does this include the sell of beer?

    • laura

      on city property they dont sell beer sweetie. this is on city property only, everyone needs to relax – and if you are on city property, walk your fat ass over to any of the 50,000 convenience stores/dunkin donuts and get your insulin high there.

      • tombstone15

        This whole issue is stupid! Anyone who does not find something wrong with being told what they can’t drink if it is not illegal need to get there heads checked. What’s next? If the mayor is that concerned with health care cost. He should mandate a limit per person on coverage.

  • Richard

    George Orwell predicted it. A Totalitarian State!

  • AnneP

    Ah, more choice from the choice party. And you all complain about the Republicans. This is what the democrats are all about – bossing people around because they know better than you do. Like it? ‘Cause there’s more on the way.

    • becca

      They only believe in choice when it comes to killing babies and gay marriage. They don’t like choice at all if you talking about where to send your kid to school or what you drive or eat.

      • wayne

        becca i’m not gay but i have a question for you , are you ? if not then why do you care if a gay couple gets married , and by the way we don’t vote on civil rights , um the comstitution says lif liberty and the persuite of happiness, dosent say unless your’re gay!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeff

    You’re going to have to ban Orangjuice…’s loaded!!!!

  • disgruntled

    I already have a daddy and don’t need another one.

    Mind you’re own F’n business, Mr. Mayor!

  • AeroJack7

    Wow…you liberals eat this kind of stuff up. You love for someone to take care of you. You can’t think for yourselves or can be trusted to make decisions regarding your own health. You need government to replace mommy and daddy. In the mean time, pot holes go unfilled, bridges deteriorate, basic government services falter. But they have time to make laws to stop you from buying a soda.

  • Oh Nanny! - Southern Maryland Community Forums

    […] […]

  • karen o

    Mad as hell yet and not gonna take it? Or are you just going to roll over and have more freedoms taken away by the government? What kind of people elect dangerous people like this? Scary stuff.

    • Becca


  • Sam

    What ever happened to personal responsibility?

    • karen o

      Sam, I am sorry to say this but asking that kind of a question almost assumes in the question itself that if people won’t be be personally responsible then the government will and ought to force them to be. Again, that is frightening sheep talk. Please look at what is happening to YOUR personal freedoms and rights as a citizen.

      • Sam

        I think you misunderstood my point. I ask the question because it seems like our elected officials are the ones who don’t believe in citizens taking personal responsibility for their lives anymore – which is what is frightening. The idea of personal responsibility seems to be disappearing in this country, and can’t be allowed to. More and more often people are turning to government to solve all of their problems, and more and more of our elected officials believe that they know what’s best for us. You don’t need to tell me to look at what’s happening to my personal freedoms; it worries me just as much as it worries you.

      • i'mlovin'it

        it’s the entitlement society, they’re entitled to everything but cannot be held responsible. You know, certain inalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the right to have anything I want without having to lift a finger for it, and if you don’t give it to me you’re an insensitive bigot…..or something like that.

    • i'mlovin'it

      this is what happens when you get people to vote for folks that promise handouts. they get entrenched, and the people who elected them want to know how the elected official is going to help them. I deserve to drive a new car, the rich people up the street do. I deserve to eat at McDonalds every day, but it’s not my fault I’m fat, those evil people at McDonalds make their food too appetizing…I think they put crack in it or something. Hey elected guy, why don’t you protect me from myself; I mean, I was dumb enough to elect you in the first place so I OBVIOUSLY NEED HELP!!!!

    • mike228

      that’s been banned, too.

  • Peter

    What an idiotic proposal. Doesn’t that idiot know that juices contain sugar as well? Is he going to ban sugar packets for coffee and tea? Is he going to ban fruits that contain natural sugar? The idiocy of liberals is just astounding. But not as much as the voters who put people like him into office.

  • John poland

    This is Or should be illegal! Government should not be the arbitor on Who can and can’t succeed in business by saying who can sell Anything. Sugary drinks are a Minor Health concern compared to Smoking..Will government stop sales of smoking products…NO because the get 20 times the revinue from them than Big tobacco does in taxes. Minor despots like Bloomberg and this Blowhard should be removed from office and subjected to public floggings for their attempts to deny rights, ruin companies profit margins and trying to replace parenting choices with Govenment regulations. Limited Government is an evil Overreaching Invasive government Is Pure evil and should be torn down !!!

    • Sasha

      A lot of people actually saw this coming when everyone went nuts about banning smoking. What amazes me is that there are peopel, most of them actually, that are surprised by a move as this mayor is making. It was simply a matter of time. Did you honestly think “they” would stop at smoking? Really? They opened the door back then with the “new religion”, science, and now they are using that to get all other stuff controlled. Just wait and see. This is only the beginning.

  • Go $ox

    Get this hack outta City Hall

  • Slim

    Thanks fat people for ruining it for the rest of us!!

    • John Galt

      Fat people? Have seen that tub of lard Menino. He certainly could follow his own advise but with liberals, it is do as I say not as I do.

      • outta there

        Yep, especially the elites – like Gore, Pelosi, Obama, Soros, the Baldwin gang, etc, etc, etc, etc……………………………..

    • spaz

      another idiot , boston seems to be full of em

  • Luis

    Although I would prefer no forced restrictions they should go after real health threats like artificial sweeteners and chemicals.

    • karen o

      Funny Luis. Then you won’t be able to by real Coca Cola OR artificially sweetened Coke. And yes, the poster who pointed out the high sugar content of orange juice is right. Once you are on the slippery slope, its over!

    • Joe Doakes

      You would “prefer” no restrictions?? Don’t you get it? This isn’t a “preference” choice. This is the boots of the state stomping on you and your rights. Wake UP!

    • Sam

      They shouldn’t be able to legislate good health to begin with. It’s not their job to keep us healthy; responsibility lies with the individual. Soon enough they’ll be making us eat government approved meals if we let them start down this path.

      • Michael

        They’re not even “legislating” in this case. It’s mayoral decree.

  • Becca

    Everytime I see a story like this one, I’m reminded of how thankful I am that I live in Texas where politicians aren’t nannies.

    • outta there

      Me too……

      • caroline

        Texas rocks… they would have a hard time doing that here!!

  • Tarantula

    Indians6 Red Sox 4

    • Doug

      go tribe, red sox, pats,and bruins all suck cleveland balls.

      • mike228

        oh, do you mean the cavs and browns? yeah, 2 teams that exemplify winning

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