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.”

Comments (173)

    lmao , yea get rid of soda ,but sell mixed drinks at fenway, lmao , ummmmmmmmmmm drunks comming out of the ballpark but we can’t get a soda –WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Sean says:

    Government is a joke. Worry about yourself and how to bakance a budget and we can worry about what goes into our own bodies, I’m so sick and tired of the governemnt becoming our moms and dads!!!!

  3. emom says:


  4. J.c. Edmond says:

    There WILL come a day when some shady slug will standing in an alley saying: “Yo man! What you lookin’ for? I got coke, I got Mountain Dew, I got Dr. Pepper. I can hook you up!

    So much for the “war on drugs..”

  5. Connie S says:

    Does he think the diet stuff is good for you? Aspartame causes migraine headaches and the diet sodas disrupt the glycemic index as bad as the “sugary’ drinks but they’re “allowed”. Guess I won’t be in a hurry to visit Boston.

  6. Bob Roberts says:

    I lived in MA for half my life but never thought it would be a “Big Brother” state! As far as I am concerned MA (or Boston) is no longer part of our great, free country. I think that a person should not become “fat” but, my god it’s NOT the city or states right to control an other persons life!

  7. sue says:

    This is crazy, and to think people put nuts like this in office is mind numbing. I didn’t know we now had to worry that are elected officals would concern themselves with what is in the vending machine. My god the entire country is fallin apart, county, city and state governments are going broke and we are worried about what is in the damn coke machine. Talk about not being able to see the forest through the trees. Oh, what about McDonalds Happy Meal toys – some want to ban them too. Can’t we as Americans make out own decisions? Butt out of our business – If I want to buy a soda it’s not your right to tell me NO. Do what you were elected to do and butt out of the vending machines, refrigerators, restaruants, etc. I hope all the fat people in Boston revolt.

  8. rmsbl4 says:

    I thought Hitler dird back in the 40s.

  9. TiaMaria says:

    mumbles could care less, he’s getting a check from us…iced tea?

  10. TiaMaria says:

    I need a job .. CBS?…..whatever happpened to Groveman? He was such a nice guy….

  11. Fat NO says:

    I strongly suggest Coffee Shape,
    It’s natural and help you lose weight safely…Try it today!

  12. Isabella says:

    Let’s see : Liberals create corn subsidies in the 1980’s causing many sodas and foods to switch from sugar cane (and it’s byproducts) to corn (and it’s byproducts) to artificially inflate agricultural prices. Liberals complain when waist lines increase -due to an aging population partly- and demand *something* be done. “What about the children?!?” Liberals then demonize the very products they helped to create -anything containing HFCS- and outlaw it. It seems liberals create their own troubles and refuse to take responsibility for the matter.

  13. joni says:

    Boycott Boston

  14. Michael L. says:

    1. Perhaps Mayor Menino should lead by example. He isn’t exactly svelt himself.

    2. Banning sports drinks? Does the city own any sports facilities? The city government isn’t going to allow athletes using those facilities to purchase sports drinks? Talk about Grade A dumb.

    3. This makes sense for schools and municipal facilities that cater to children, but in municipal workplaces? Can’t adults choose for themselves? Perhaps healthy choices should start with the mayor himself.

  15. NoCAGal says:

    Nothing but lefties furthering their communist agenda in the U.S.! Stop it now before it’s too late, people!

  16. kajoja says:

    Really? You know what’s coming next …. they need to raise our taxes for the removal and policing of sugary drinks on city property. Once that’s accepted there will be a health insurance premium on anyone caught with a soda. I almost can’t take any more.

  17. John says:

    you hear the stats for Overweight and obesity… WHY not ban internet and video games…teach the kids how to MOVE off their overweight A$$es..

  18. JD says:

    Wow Boston is San Fran east, and that isn’t a compliment. A bunch of losers living in a Communist controlled nanny-state. Why do you ugly Libs need to government to tell you what to do, and when to pee and poop? Are you that much of a big city of losers? Apparently you are electing the trash that you do.

  19. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. My family is having our first real Turducken this Thanksgiving, a 2 days. I got so anxious I wanted to try to replicate something like your easter masterpiece. Unfortunately I couldn’t find most of the materials so I substituted and went for a winter snowman theme instead. I took many pictures: welcome

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    Young people tell us their sex knowledge is often too little, too late and too ‘biological’.

  21. Katie says:

    Mumbles looks like he may guzzle too much pizza… More calories in one slice of pizza than a can of coke or one beer. More calories in one beer than Coke. plus the arsenic.

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