Weight Watchers is on board with Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on large-sized sodas, which the city Board of Health is scheduled to vote on next week.

Queens resident and Weight Watchers dieter Rachelle Conley told reporters yesterday she lost 91 pounds in about three years – mostly after shunning sugary drinks.

Before her dramatic slimming, Conley said that every morning, she drank 48 ounces of fruit-flavored drinks and coffee with 25 packets – “yes, 25,” she said – of sugar.

The mother of three banished sugary beverages, pairing her personal ban with exercising near Flushing Meadows Corona Park to lose the nearly 100 pounds.


Weight Watchers President Dave Burwick joined Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley yesterday to voice approval.

Critics have said the kibosh on sugary drinks topping 16 ounces would be too intrusive and would take away New Yorker's right to choose their own drinks.

But Bloomberg responds they can still buy two, and that it simply controls portion size.

“As the size of sugary drinks has grown, so have our waistlines, and so have diabetes and heart disease,” the mayor said yesterday.

“In a city with large sizes of high-calorie snack foods and beverages at your fingertips around the clock, it is no wonder many New Yorkers struggle to maintain a healthy weight,” Farley added.

The Board of Health is scheduled to vote on the ban on Thursday, Sept. 13, and is expected to approve the proposal. It would go into effect six months after, on March 13.

Other diet companies supporting suppressing soda included the South Beach Diet, Jenny Craig and Bob Greene of The Best Life Diet.

What would the new restriction do?

The proposal would ban sugary drinks that are 16 ounces or more at restaurants, food carts, delis and movie theaters, stadiums and arenas. It would not, however, apply to grocery and convenience stores, so you could still get, for example, a Big Gulp at 7-11.

Weight statistics for New York

60 Percent of NYC adults are overweight or obese

40 Percent of NYC children are overweight or obese

1 in 8 New Yorkers has diabetes

5,800 New Yorkers die every year as a result of obesity

20 In New York City, 20.7 percent children grades kindergarten through eight grade are obese.

Overweight and obesity rates

69.7 percent in the Bronx

61.8 percent in Staten Island

60.3 percent in Brooklyn

57.2 percent in Queens

47.4 percent in Manhattan

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