On Thursday, the New York City Board of Health approved Mayor Bloomberg’s “soda ban”, which prohibits the sale of soda and other sweetened drinks in any container over 16 ounces. The average soda bottle actually exceeds this size, according to the New York Times. Bloomberg’s desire to curb the city’s obesity epidemic fueled the measure, which also applies to energy drinks like Gatorade, and sweet iced teas. Over half of the city’s adults– and almost half of the city’s public school students–are overweight or obese, according to the Wall Street Journal. Not surprisingly, vendors of sugary drinks have united to challenge the ban, arguing that it infringes on consumer freedom. Many nutritionists support the measure, like the eminent Yale University epidemiologist Dr. Kelly Brownell, who told the New York Times, ““It completely makes more sense to make the environment healthier rather than to just do pure education.” While a New York Times‘ poll found that most New Yorkers were against the law, the Board of Health vote was almost unanimous, with one abstention. Then again, Bloomberg appointed each board member himself. The ban will take effect on March 12, but vendors who break the law will not be fined until mid-June.
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