New York City Soda Limit OverruledTue 12 Mar 2013
Story by The Food Revolution Team
Last September, the New York Board of Health passed a proposal to ban the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces in a historic move to help curb the obesity epidemic. Yesterday that ban was overruled.
Just a day before the sugary drinks portion cap was to come into play, it was declared invalid by a New York State Supreme Court Judge.
However, this may just be a temporary set-back for New York City as it continues to pave the way for public health initiatives.
"We plan to appeal the decision as soon as possible, and we are confident the Board of Health’s decision will ultimately be upheld. This measure is part of the City’s multi-pronged effort to combat the growing obesity epidemic, which takes the lives of more than 5,000 New Yorkers every year, and we believe the Board of Health has the legal authority – and responsibility – to tackle its leading causes."
- Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel, NYC Law Department.
New data published yesterday from the New York City Community Healthy Survey shows the strong relationship between sugary drink consumption and obesity, and strongly suggests that sugary drinks may be responsible for differing obesity rates among city neighborhoods.
The New York Board of Health has been a pioneer in public health, banning the use of artificial trans-fats in foods and requiring that calorie counts be posted at chain restaurants throughout the city. Over 50% of adults in New York are overweight or obese (1) and this sugary drinks limit was another bold step to improve health, educate the public on portion sizes and start a conversation which could begin to change attitudes towards food and drink in order to reverse this statistic.
Following his support for this proposal last year, Jamie Oliver today responded:
"It's really disappointing to see the New York City soda portion limit being overruled by the State Supreme Court. Banning super-sized drinks isn't the total solution – but removing the option to over-consume sugar was a huge step in the right direction. In my eyes, Mayor Bloomberg and his team are pioneering what governments can do to slow down the obesity crisis and help heal their communities. I am hopeful that the New York City Board of Health will win their appeal."
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