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NYC Soda Ban Approved: No More Sugary Drinks Over 16 oz For New York City

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Sep 13, 2012 12:57 PM EDT

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Sodas are about to get a lot smaller in New York City as Bloomberg's soda ban was officially approved. Several businesses will not be allowed to sell sugary beverages over 16 oz soon.

On Thursday,New York City's Board of Health approved Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to ban large sugary drinks. The proposal was approved in a 8-0 vote. One member, Dr. Sixto Caro abstained from voting.

The unprecedented regulation, which was proposed in the spring, will apply to all restaurants, fast-food joints, delis, movie theaters, Broadway theaters, workplace cafeterias, sports stadium and food carts. All of these businesses will not be allowed to  sell sugary drinks including non-diet sodas, teas and even certain coffees that are larger than 16 oz.

This rule will not affect drinks sold in grocery stores, diet soda, drinks that contain more than 70 percent juice or alcoholic beverages.

Drinks that contain more than 50 percent milk will not be affected by this rule because of the nutritional value of milk, but this means bad news for those that have a Starbucks Frappuccino addiction as the sugary caffeinated beverages don't contain that much milk.

The New York Daily News claims that 7-Eleven slurpees and other beverages at the convenience store won't be affected as the restriction only applies to establishments that receive Health Department letter grades.

The rule was proposed as a way to fight obesity. More than half of New York City adults, or 58 percent are obese or overweight while 40 percent of public school students in the eighth grade or below are overweight, according to the city.

"This is the largest single driver of the obesity epidemic," New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley told Business Insider. "It is the largest source of added sugars to our diet."

Several New Yorkers are outraged by the regulation. Thousands signed a petition against it to voice their opinions when it was proposed.

Those in the beverage industry are also against the rule. 

"We're smart enough to make our own decisions about what to eat and drink," said New Yorker for Beverahe Choices Eliot Hoff said, adding that the ban goes "against the wishes of a majority of New Yorkers and we will not let that fact go unnoticed."

Some believe that the ban could affect tourism in New York City as tourists may be turned off by the restrictions. Samantha Levine, a Bloomberg spokeswoman, disagrees.

"Critics predicted the end of tourism and that businesses would sink when we banned smoking in bars and restaurants, yet we've grown tourism to record levels and the restaurant and bar industry continues to grow," she said, according to the Huffington Post.

The law is set to go into effect in March unless it is blocked by a judge. Businesses will be given a three month grace period to adapt the changes before they will start being fined by inspectors.



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