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NYC Sugary Drink Ban Faces Twin Challenges
December 5, 2012

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New York City's proposed ban on large-size sugary drinks is up for a legal challenge already, and now restaurants and others who sell the products say the ban will pose a logistical challenge as well.

The ban is set to take effect in March 2013. A legal challenge has reached the Manhattan Supreme Court, and plaintiffs are calling for oral arguments to begin soon.

But the need to change operations, down to even the size of the cups stocked will pose a significant challenge, according to such industry giants as Subway and Coca-Cola. Subway, for example, offers a 21-ounce-size cup, which is 5 ounces over the ban's limit. Coca-Cola faces a similar challenge with bottles of some products that at a metric-system-standard size of 500 milliliters comes in at 16.9 ounces, which is .9 of an ounce too big. Such sizes would be legitimate everywhere but New York City, which is just one market but a big one at that.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asserted that the ban is intended to help curb obesity. Representatives of the restaurant and beverage industries have claimed that the ban restricts personal freedom.

The ban was approved by the mayor and the city's health board but not the city council.

New York is at the forefront of targeting obesity. Recently, New York hospitals announced plans to crack down on junk food in hospital vending machines and a few years required restaurants to include calorie counts on their menus.

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