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NYC soda ban

US: NYC Health Board approves ban on large sugary drinks

Seeking to combat rising obesity rates, the New York City Board of Health has today approved a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, street carts and movie theaters, enacting the first restriction of its kind in the country.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who proposed the measure, celebrated its passage on Twitter.

“NYC’s new sugary drink policy is the single biggest step any gov’t has taken to curb #obesity,” he wrote. “It will help save lives.”

The measure, unless blocked by a judge, will take effect in six months. The health board vote was the only regulatory approval needed to become binding in the city, but the American soft-drink industry has strongly opposed the plan and vowed this week to try to fight the measure by other means, possibly in the courts.

“This is not the end,” Eliot Hoff, a spokesman for New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, an industry-financed group opposed to the soda sales restrictions, said in an e-mail moments after the vote. “We are exploring legal options, and all other avenues available to us.”

The plan is a marquee initiative of the Bloomberg administration, which is known for introducing ambitious – and, some say, overreaching – public health policies, including a ban on smoking in bars and the posting of calorie counts on chain restaurant menus.

The soda measure would bar the sale of sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces (473ml), smaller than the size of a common soda bottle. It would affect a range of popular sweetened beverages, including energy drinks, pre-sweetened iced teas and common brands of non-diet soda.

The restrictions would not affect fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; no-calorie diet sodas would not be affected, but establishments with self-service drink fountains, like many fast-food restaurants, would not be allowed to stock cups larger than 16 ounces…..

New York Times: Read the full article

Why Bloomberg’s war on soda will fail

It’s a big goodbye to the big soda in the Big Apple. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on large-sized sweetened beverages was approved today by a Board of Health vote.

Many have criticized the proposal as being impractical. But there’s a deeper problem: it’s philosophical underpinnings…..

Huffington Post: Read more

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