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US: New York mayor floats ban on 16oz soft drinks

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New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban on high-sugar soft drinks bigger than 16oz (47.3cl) in restaurants and other service sectors, according to reports yesterday (30 May).

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The ban would cover everything from energy drinks and regular soda to sweetened teas but not fruit juices, dairy products or alcohol, according to the New York Times.  Drinks with less than 25 calories per 8oz serving would also be unaffected.

Grocery and convenience stores and vending machines would still be able to sell sugary drinks larger than 16oz, the Times said, while restaurants with soda fountains would be required to supply drinks containers 16oz or smaller.

The ban, which is intended to combat rising obesity levels in New York, could be in place by next March.

The New York City Beverage Association attacked the proposal.

In a statement obtained by CBS it said: “The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda, because soda is not driving the obesity rates. The overall American diet is.”

Bloomberg's plan requires approval from New York's Board of Health. Approval is considered likely because the members are all appointed by the mayor, and because the board’s chairman, the city’s health commissioner, supported the measure, according to reports. 

Bloomberg has targeted the soft-drinks industry before in his fight against New York's rising obesity levels.

Last year, a proposal to tax sugary drinks was dropped and the mayor unsuccessfully requested permission from the US government to ban New Yorkers from using food stamps to buy soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages. 

In January,  the New York City Health Department launched a poster campaign that linked Type 2 diabetes to leg amputations.


Sectors: Soft drinks

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