Boston Mayor Thomas Menino KOs Soda, OKs Alcohol

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has banned soda, sports drinks and sweetened ice teas from city property, according to a recent government press release.

In an attempt to reduce the city’s rising obesity rates, Menino has banned all sugary drinks from city vending machines, cafeterias and concession stands, just one day after reaching an agreement with the Boston Red Sox that allows the team to sell mixed drinks at its ballpark.

“I want to create a civic environment that makes the healthier choice the easier choice in people’s lives, whether it’s schools, work sites, or other places in the community," said Menino in the press release issued last week about the soda ban.

According to the release, city buildings and departments have a six-month grace period before they’ll be required to phase out the sale of beverages loaded with sugar, such as non-diet sodas, pre-sweetened ice teas, refrigerated coffee drinks, energy drinks, juice drinks with added sugar and sports drinks. The order allows for the sale of beverages such as diet sodas, diet iced teas, 100 percent juices, low-calorie sports drinks, low-sugar sweetened beverages, sweetened soy milk and flavored, sweetened milk. Beverages such as bottled water, flavored and unflavored seltzer water, low-fat milk, and unsweetened soy milk can continue to be sold.

Meanwhile, Menino has signed off on a proposal that will allow Fenway Park to sell mixed drinks during baseball games, according to The Boston Globe.

Menino made the announcement last week following a tour of Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox, to see the annual renovations to the 99-year-old ballpark.

According to the plan, liquor would only be served in five areas of the ballpark, and liquor sales will stop two hours after the game begins (beer will continue to be sold for another half-hour beyond that).

The agreement still needs the approval of the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, which could take another month, according to the Globe.

Click to read Boston Mayor Menino’s press release about the ban on sugary drinks