A state judge in New York strikes down a ban on large-sized sugary beverages
March 13, 2013
By Alice Park for TIME with AP reporting
TIMOTHY A. CLARY—AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Grocery and convenience stores like 7-Eleven were never included in New York City's ban because they are not regulated by the city.
On Monday, State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling struck down New York City’s ban on big sugary drinks just hours before it was supposed to take effect. The law would have banned the sale of sugared beverages larger than 16 oz. at New York restaurants, mobile food carts, sports arenas and movie theaters.
Tingling said the ban would have left people with many other ways to consume sugary drinks. “The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of this rule,” he wrote.
Although the ban was widely supported by health professionals, it was not popular with food retailers or many city residents. They asked, why single out sugared sodas, when there are many reasons why people are overweight? And if sugared beverages are being targeted, why not take stronger measures against other sources of sugar, such as candy and other sweets?
The American Beverage Association (ABA) and other opponents of the rule supported the judge's decision. “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 unpopular ban,” an ABA spokesperson said.
Health in the Big Apple
Montefiore Hospital President and CEO Steven Safyer (left) talks about the reversal of the soda ban at a press conference with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg led the ban on large drinks. He aimed to cut obesity rates in the U.S., where at least two-thirds of American adults are considered overweight. Bloomberg says the city will appeal the judge’s decision. “We believe the judge is totally in error in how he interpreted the law, and we are confident we will win on appeal,” Bloomberg said.
More than half of New York City adults and nearly 40 percent of the city’s public elementary and middle school students are considered overweight.
New York City’s Board of Health members believe that banning mega-sized drinks is an important step toward helping consumers not only to drink fewer calories, but may also encourage people to make other healthy changes to their diet. The board reviewed data showing that sugared drinks make up 43 percent of the added sugar in the average American diet. Now, with big drinks back on store shelves, New Yorkers will make their own choices about how to stay healthy.
What do you think? Should the government ban large sugary drinks to help consumers make healthier choices? Or should people be allowed make their own choices about beverage size?
Large sugary drinks flow in NYC as officials appeal ruling
By Leigh Remizowski, CNN updated 4:10 PM EDT, Tue March 12, 2013
New York (CNN) -- New York City restaurant owners were back to business as usual on Tuesday, selling pitchers of soda and other super-sized drinks that would have been banned without a judge's 11th-hour intervention.
A citywide ban on the sale of sugary drinks in containers holding more than 16 ounces was set to go into effect Tuesday before state Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling blocked the city's restrictions on Monday, calling them "arbitrary and capricious."
"It's no harm, no foul for us," said Josh Lebowitz, owner of Brother Jimmy's BBQ in Manhattan. "We'll go back to our old way of doing business."
Anger over big, sugary soda ban in NYC In preparation for the expected ban on large sugary drinks at restaurants, fast-food eateries, movie theaters and stadiums in New York City, Lebowitz purchased 1,000 16-ounce cups to replace the 24-ounce ones used to serve soda at his five restaurants.
But after Monday's ruling, Lebowitz says those 16-ounce cups will remain in their boxes.
"We'll hold onto