New York City large-soda ban blocked by judge


Michael Bloomberg: "We're confident that today's decision will be reversed"

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A court has blocked a ban on the sale of large sugary drinks - including soda - from restaurants in New York City, a day before the law was to take effect.

Judge Milton Tingling ruled that the measure was "arbitrary and capricious", after industry groups sued the city.

The law would forbid the sale of drinks larger than 16 ounces (473ml) in food-service establishments.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the judge was "totally in error" and has vowed to appeal against Monday's ruling.

He has touted the ban as a way to reduce obesity. Research suggests that 58% of adults in New York are obese or overweight.

'Sigh of relief'

In his ruling, Judge Tingling wrote that loopholes in the law "effectively defeat the stated purpose".

The American Beverage Association, which is leading the fight against the ban, welcomed the decision.

New York resident: "I feel it should be up to the individual and not the mayor to dictate something like this"

"The court ruling provides a sigh of relief to New Yorkers and thousands of small businesses in New York City that would have been harmed by this arbitrary and unpopular ban," it said.

The law would apply to places serving food, ranging from pizzerias to sports stadiums and cinemas, though not at supermarkets or stores.

The measure was approved in September by the city Board of Health to come into force on 12 March, with fines of $200 (£134) not to be levied until June.

The judge ruled that the Bloomberg-appointed board had strayed into legislative territory that should belong to the elected City Council.

Mayor Bloomberg responded to the ruling by telling a news conference: "We think the judge is totally in error in the way he interpreted the law and we are very confident that we will win on appeal.

"One of the cases we will make is that people are dying every day. This is not a joke. Five thousand people die of obesity every day in America," he added.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 432.

    Ultimately, individuals have social and civic responsibilities. By opting to consume things that make them unhealthy, they are putting a strain on the healthcare system. Perhaps, manufacturers of sugary soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and other things detrimental to health should be obliged to carry health warnings on their products.

  • rate this

    Comment number 410.

    Governments in Britain,US & everywhere possible should subsidise the more healthier foods like fruit & veg, fish & lean beef, poultry, etc. & carry out an educational blitz in telling people the dangers from eating a high sugar & fat diet especially re; the transfats that manufacturers & restauranteurs use because it is dirt cheap compared to the more healthier choice. That would b many £ wiser!

  • rate this

    Comment number 393.

    I do believe soda is in part responsible for obesity and diabetes

    However, even banning large size sodas in public places
    would not change the fact that people could still drink as much as they wanted at home

    What it comes down to is lifestyle choice
    +that is really up to every individual

    I will say fruit juice+healthier alternatives are much more expensive than soda

  • rate this

    Comment number 338.

    This kind of legislation is a complete waste of time. People who drink large amounts of fizzy pop are not going to be deterred by smaller drink portions, they'll just buy more. It's up to people to manage their own weight and be aware of what they consume. Trying to keep the population healthy should not be the Government's resposibility.

  • rate this

    Comment number 287.

    Restuarants in NY (and US in general) tend to offer free refils for fizzy drinks. This is probably a bigger issue that the size of the container they come in. The issue here though is about personal responsibility. It shouldn't be the states job to stop you getting fat!


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