According to the Associated Press, New York City’s Board of Health has passed a rule banning sales of big sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, concession stands, and other eateries. The regulation, which was proposed in the spring by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and approved by panel of health experts after several months of review, puts a 16-oz size limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas, and other calorie-packed beverages. The ban will apply in fast-food joints, movie houses and Broadway theaters, workplace cafeterias, and most other places selling prepared food. It doesn’t cover beverages sold in supermarkets or most convenience stores. It also wouldn’t apply to lower-calorie drinks, alcoholic beverages, or drinks that are more than half milk or 70% unsweetened juice.
The restaurant and beverage industries are up in arms against the plan. In addition, some New Yorkers have also ridiculed the rule as a gross government intrusion and tens of thousands signed a petition, circulated by the industry, voicing their opposition. Meanwhile, Bloomberg and other advocates for the soda plan see it as another pioneering step for public health.
A soft-drink industry sponsored group called New Yorkers for Beverage Choices is considering a lawsuit and exploring legislative options for challenging the plan. “This is not the end,” Eliot Hoff, a spokesman for the group, said in a written statement. “We will continue to voice our opposition to this ban and fight for the right of New Yorkers to make their own choices. And we will stand with the business owners who will be hurt by these arbitrary limitations.”
New Yorkers for Beverage Choices statement