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At a press conference today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked about an upcoming march in protest of his proposed soda ban. The Mayor made it clear that he was less than amused. 

"If you want to kill yourself, I guess you have a right to do it," he said. "We're trying to do something about that...In New York City alone we're going to spend $4 billion dollars of your money to treat obesity related diseases. If somebody wants to have a march, I suppose it's funny but it's so tragic that the humor escapes me."

To provide evidence of this tragedy, Bloomberg name-checked a story in today's New York Post that said city hospitals are being forced to increase the size and strength of their gurneys to support an increasing number of obese patients. According to The Post:

So many grossly overweight patients are showing up at the city’s municipal hospitals that administrators have been forced to buy heavy-duty equipment that can safely hold them — from $5,500 wide-body motorized wheelchairs to a $650,000 X-ray machine for New York’s XXXL-size customers.

Even commodes have been upgraded. Jacobi Medical Center in The Bronx boasts that it now has 40 new toilets “specifically designed to support up to 500 pounds.”

This protest in question took place this evening. Dubbed the "Million Big Gulp March," it was organized by the Group NYC Liberty HQ, which self-describes as "the only grassroots effort & workspace assembling Republicans & conservatives in support of liberty in NYC," on their Twitter page. 

The march was expected to bring out at least 500 protestors to City Park Hall, according to CBS News. According to NY1's Inside City Hall, that number was much higher than reality. Roughly 50 people actually showed up, a pretty pitiful turnout for a march with the words "million" and "big" in its name. We're sure that Bloomberg was at least amused by that.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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