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NYC Lawyers Argue to Bring Back Bloomberg’s Soda Ban

by , 06/12/13
filed under: Food,Health,Manhattan

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Apparently, Mayor Bloomberg isn’t quite ready to give up his fight against sugary sodas. City lawyers approached the appellate courts on Tuesday in an attempt to reinstate the soda ban (which was overturned by courts nearly three months ago) once again citing the negative health impacts of excessive soda consumption. With only six months left in his term, Bloomberg doesn’t have much time, but it looks like there is still a glimmer of hope that the proposed health regulation could still be reconsidered as a measure to battle NYC’s increasing diabetes and obesity rates.

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A report released by the Health Department revealed that diabetes killed 5,695 NYC residents in 2011 alone. Subsequently, the number of New Yorkers living with diabetes has increased by 44 percent since 2002, with around 650,000 residents managing the disease. The highest obesity rates and diabetes-related deaths were largely found in poor and minority neighborhoods that coincidentally also maintain the highest levels of soda consumption in the city.

“Sugary drinks are the highest contributor of sugar in the diet, about 40 percent,” said the city’s lawyer, Fay Ng, as reported by the Chicago Tribune, arguing the ban was a lawful effort to address an obesity epidemic.

But four court judges are questioning whether the 16-ounce size limit was scientifically arbitrary. The city’s argument, the judges challenge, is based on liquid volume rather than a measure of how much sugar is actually in a beverage, leaving room for error since some drinks with high amounts of sugar would be allowed, while others with less sweetener would be banned. No ruling was issued on Tuesday. For now, we’ll just do our best to avoid sipping on a Big Gulp.

Via The NY Times

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