City's fight against 'supersized' drinks moves forward
New York City took its battle against obesity further yesterday, moving forward with a ban on sales of “supersized” sugary drinks that many in the beverage industry have called misguided.
The city’s board of health voted to approve a proposal announced in May by Michael Bloomberg, New York’s mayor. The decision, which was widely expected, means restaurants, theatres and stadiums will be unable to sell sugary drinks in portions bigger than 16 ounces (475ml).
Diet sodas or drinks containing milk will be exempt, and restaurants can still offer free refills.
Mr Bloomberg called the policy the “single biggest step any government has taken to curb obesity” yesterday and said that the city would be a healthier place in six months when the rule takes effect.
The policy has won the backing of weight loss companies such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, but the soft drinks industry has hit out against the plan as an imposition on personal freedom. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are fearful that Mr Bloomberg’s plan will be adopted by other US cities, following the same path as New York’s regulations on menu labelling and smoking. – (The Financial Times Limited)