NYC appeals to restore size limit on sugary drinks

6:14 PM, Mar 28, 2013   |    comments
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NEW YORK CITY (USA TODAY) -- New York City on Thursday appealed a judge's ruling that struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to limit the size of sugary beverages.

The ban was halted before it could go into effect by state Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling.

In his March 11 ruling, Tingling said the 16-ounce limit was arbitrary in terms of particular beverages and where they are sold. He also said the city's health board did not have the regulatory authority to limit or ban a legal product for purposes of "controlling a chronic disease." That power rests with the city council, he said.

The size limit pertained to sweetened bottled drinks and fountain beverages sold at restaurants, delis, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts. It covered drinks with more than 25 calories per 8 ounces, but exempted beverages with 100% juice or more than 50% milk.

In its appeal, which was expected, the city disputed Tingling's findings.

"The rule is designed to make consumption of large amounts of sugary drinks a conscious and informed choice by the consumer," it said. "Thus, although a consumer is free to consume more than 16 ounces by ordering a second drink, getting a refill, or going to another store, he or she will be making an informed choice."

The appeal also argued that the health board has the legislative authority to regulate beverage sales and and set public health standards.

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