Banning super-sized soft drinks may see people consuming more not less, according to new research out of the US.

The University of California, San Diego researchers offered 100 undergraduates sample menus with the choice of buying large soft drinks or a set-price bundle of smaller drinks. Most opted for two 12oz or 16oz drinks, rather than one 12oz, 16oz or 23oz serving.

The findings appear to debunk the claim that forbidding sales of drinks larger than 16oz – proposed last year by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – would decrease obesity.

The report concluded a ban “may have the unintended consequence of increasing…rather than decreasing” consumption.

Mayor Bloomberg's proposal is currently parked, after a judge at New York State's Supreme Court deemed the move “arbitrary and capricious” last month.