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Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

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NEW YORK (AP) — Big sodas can stay on the menu in the Big Apple after New York state’s highest court refused Thursday to reinstate the city’s first-of-its-kind size limit on sugary drinks. But city officials suggested they might be willing to revisit the supersize-soda ban.

The Court of Appeals found that the city Board of Health overstepped its bounds by imposing a 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages sold in restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street carts. The appointed board tread on the policy-making turf of the elected City Council, the court said.

“By choosing among competing policy goals, without any legislative delegation or guidance, the board engaged in lawmaking,” the court wrote in a majority opinion. “… Its choices raise difficult, intricate and controversial issues of social policy.”

Indeed, debate over the soda size cap pitted health officials who called it an innovative anti-obesity tool against critics who considered it unfair to businesses and paternalistic toward consumers. Even a Court of Appeals judge, during arguments earlier this month, wondered aloud whether regulators would target triple-decker burgers next.

The American Beverage Association, which led the legal fight against the measure, welcomed Thursday’s ruling against a measure it said would have “limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.” Curbing obesity should start “with education – not laws and regulation,” spokesman Christopher Gindlesperger said.

But city leaders signaled they might not give up the fight. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was “actively reviewing all of its options to protect the health and well-being of our communities”; officials wouldn’t immediately specify what those might be. The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal, but the case doesn’t raise federal issues that would make it a likely choice for the Supreme Court.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement that the big-soda ban would get a hearing if it were brought up in the council. It’s unclear how any such measure might fare in a vote, as she and numerous other council members oppose it.

New Yorkers, meanwhile, greeted Thursday’s ruling with mixed feelings.

“I think it’s up to the individual” what size of soft drink to buy, said Constance Jong, a cashier in her 20s.

But Hazel Plunkett, a 51-year-old fundraiser for a public health group, was disappointed that the regulation remains blocked.

“I don’t mind the controversy over it. It’s got to get people’s attention,” she said.

Soda has been under fire for years from health advocates, who say the beverages are uniquely harmful because people don’t realize how much sugar they’re guzzling. A 21-ounce Coke, McDonald’s medium size, has 200 calories and 55 grams of sugar, for instance.

Amid the publicity, U.S. soda sales have dropped for nearly a decade. But consumption of other sugary beverages, such as sports drinks and energy drinks, has grown.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the soda ban a signal piece of his assertive public-health agenda.

“Due to today’s unfortunate ruling, more people in New York City will die from obesity-related impacts,” he said in a statement Thursday.

A trial court struck down the measure days before it was to take effect last year. Some eateries had already swapped out cups and adjusted menus to comply, and some proprietors decided to stick with the changes. But others were glad Thursday that they hadn’t.

“I thought it was ridiculous” – and unfair, said midtown Manhattan cafe manager Young Shin, 30. The measure would have applied to his workplace but not to bars and groceries under state regulation, including 7-Eleven, the home of the Big Gulp.

Lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years, but none has succeeded. A California measure that would have slapped warning labels on sodas was recently defeated.

Meanwhile, Coke and Pepsi have rolled out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces.

Klepper reported from Albany. Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Rachelle Blidner contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Big sodas can stay on the menu in the Big Apple after New York state’s highest court refused Thursday to reinstate the city’s first-of-its-kind size limit on sugary drinks. But city officials suggested they might be willing to revisit the supersize-soda ban.

The Court of Appeals found that the city Board of Health overstepped its bounds by imposing a 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages sold in restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street carts. The appointed board tread on the policy-making turf of the elected City Council, the court said.

“By choosing among competing policy goals, without any legislative delegation or guidance, the board engaged in lawmaking,” the court wrote in a majority opinion. “… Its choices raise difficult, intricate and controversial issues of social policy.”

Indeed, debate over the soda size cap pitted health officials who called it an innovative anti-obesity tool against critics who considered it unfair to businesses and paternalistic toward consumers. Even a Court of Appeals judge, during arguments earlier this month, wondered aloud whether regulators would target triple-decker burgers next.

The American Beverage Association, which led the legal fight against the measure, welcomed Thursday’s ruling against a measure it said would have “limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.” Curbing obesity should start “with education – not laws and regulation,” spokesman Christopher Gindlesperger said.

But city leaders signaled they might not give up the fight. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was “actively reviewing all of its options to protect the health and well-being of our communities”; officials wouldn’t immediately specify what those might be. The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal, but the case doesn’t raise federal issues that would make it a likely choice for the Supreme Court.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement that the big-soda ban would get a hearing if it were brought up in the council. It’s unclear how any such measure might fare in a vote, as she and numerous other council members oppose it.

New Yorkers, meanwhile, greeted Thursday’s ruling with mixed feelings.

“I think it’s up to the individual” what size of soft drink to buy, said Constance Jong, a cashier in her 20s.

But Hazel Plunkett, a 51-year-old fundraiser for a public health group, was disappointed that the regulation remains blocked.

“I don’t mind the controversy over it. It’s got to get people’s attention,” she said.

Soda has been under fire for years from health advocates, who say the beverages are uniquely harmful because people don’t realize how much sugar they’re guzzling. A 21-ounce Coke, McDonald’s medium size, has 200 calories and 55 grams of sugar, for instance.

Amid the publicity, U.S. soda sales have dropped for nearly a decade. But consumption of other sugary beverages, such as sports drinks and energy drinks, has grown.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the soda ban a signal piece of his assertive public-health agenda.

“Due to today’s unfortunate ruling, more people in New York City will die from obesity-related impacts,” he said in a statement Thursday.

A trial court struck down the measure days before it was to take effect last year. Some eateries had already swapped out cups and adjusted menus to comply, and some proprietors decided to stick with the changes. But others were glad Thursday that they hadn’t.

“I thought it was ridiculous” – and unfair, said midtown Manhattan cafe manager Young Shin, 30. The measure would have applied to his workplace but not to bars and groceries under state regulation, including 7-Eleven, the home of the Big Gulp.

Lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years, but none has succeeded. A California measure that would have slapped warning labels on sodas was recently defeated.

Meanwhile, Coke and Pepsi have rolled out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces.

Klepper reported from Albany. Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Rachelle Blidner contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Big sodas can stay on the menu in the Big Apple after New York state’s highest court refused Thursday to reinstate the city’s first-of-its-kind size limit on sugary drinks. But city officials suggested they might be willing to revisit the supersize-soda ban.

The Court of Appeals found that the city Board of Health overstepped its bounds by imposing a 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages sold in restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street carts. The appointed board tread on the policy-making turf of the elected City Council, the court said.

“By choosing among competing policy goals, without any legislative delegation or guidance, the board engaged in lawmaking,” the court wrote in a majority opinion. “… Its choices raise difficult, intricate and controversial issues of social policy.”

Indeed, debate over the soda size cap pitted health officials who called it an innovative anti-obesity tool against critics who considered it unfair to businesses and paternalistic toward consumers. Even a Court of Appeals judge, during arguments earlier this month, wondered aloud whether regulators would target triple-decker burgers next.

The American Beverage Association, which led the legal fight against the measure, welcomed Thursday’s ruling against a measure it said would have “limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.” Curbing obesity should start “with education – not laws and regulation,” spokesman Christopher Gindlesperger said.

But city leaders signaled they might not give up the fight. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was “actively reviewing all of its options to protect the health and well-being of our communities”; officials wouldn’t immediately specify what those might be. The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal, but the case doesn’t raise federal issues that would make it a likely choice for the Supreme Court.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement that the big-soda ban would get a hearing if it were brought up in the council. It’s unclear how any such measure might fare in a vote, as she and numerous other council members oppose it.

New Yorkers, meanwhile, greeted Thursday’s ruling with mixed feelings.

“I think it’s up to the individual” what size of soft drink to buy, said Constance Jong, a cashier in her 20s.

But Hazel Plunkett, a 51-year-old fundraiser for a public health group, was disappointed that the regulation remains blocked.

“I don’t mind the controversy over it. It’s got to get people’s attention,” she said.

Soda has been under fire for years from health advocates, who say the beverages are uniquely harmful because people don’t realize how much sugar they’re guzzling. A 21-ounce Coke, McDonald’s medium size, has 200 calories and 55 grams of sugar, for instance.

Amid the publicity, U.S. soda sales have dropped for nearly a decade. But consumption of other sugary beverages, such as sports drinks and energy drinks, has grown.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the soda ban a signal piece of his assertive public-health agenda.

“Due to today’s unfortunate ruling, more people in New York City will die from obesity-related impacts,” he said in a statement Thursday.

A trial court struck down the measure days before it was to take effect last year. Some eateries had already swapped out cups and adjusted menus to comply, and some proprietors decided to stick with the changes. But others were glad Thursday that they hadn’t.

“I thought it was ridiculous” – and unfair, said midtown Manhattan cafe manager Young Shin, 30. The measure would have applied to his workplace but not to bars and groceries under state regulation, including 7-Eleven, the home of the Big Gulp.

Lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years, but none has succeeded. A California measure that would have slapped warning labels on sodas was recently defeated.

Meanwhile, Coke and Pepsi have rolled out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces.

Klepper reported from Albany. Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Rachelle Blidner contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

NEW YORK (AP) — Big sodas can stay on the menu in the Big Apple after New York state’s highest court refused Thursday to reinstate the city’s first-of-its-kind size limit on sugary drinks. But city officials suggested they might be willing to revisit the supersize-soda ban.

The Court of Appeals found that the city Board of Health overstepped its bounds by imposing a 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages sold in restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street carts. The appointed board tread on the policy-making turf of the elected City Council, the court said.

“By choosing among competing policy goals, without any legislative delegation or guidance, the board engaged in lawmaking,” the court wrote in a majority opinion. “… Its choices raise difficult, intricate and controversial issues of social policy.”

Indeed, debate over the soda size cap pitted health officials who called it an innovative anti-obesity tool against critics who considered it unfair to businesses and paternalistic toward consumers. Even a Court of Appeals judge, during arguments earlier this month, wondered aloud whether regulators would target triple-decker burgers next.

The American Beverage Association, which led the legal fight against the measure, welcomed Thursday’s ruling against a measure it said would have “limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.” Curbing obesity should start “with education – not laws and regulation,” spokesman Christopher Gindlesperger said.

But city leaders signaled they might not give up the fight. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was “actively reviewing all of its options to protect the health and well-being of our communities”; officials wouldn’t immediately specify what those might be. The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal, but the case doesn’t raise federal issues that would make it a likely choice for the Supreme Court.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement that the big-soda ban would get a hearing if it were brought up in the council. It’s unclear how any such measure might fare in a vote, as she and numerous other council members oppose it.

New Yorkers, meanwhile, greeted Thursday’s ruling with mixed feelings.

“I think it’s up to the individual” what size of soft drink to buy, said Constance Jong, a cashier in her 20s.

But Hazel Plunkett, a 51-year-old fundraiser for a public health group, was disappointed that the regulation remains blocked.

“I don’t mind the controversy over it. It’s got to get people’s attention,” she said.

Soda has been under fire for years from health advocates, who say the beverages are uniquely harmful because people don’t realize how much sugar they’re guzzling. A 21-ounce Coke, McDonald’s medium size, has 200 calories and 55 grams of sugar, for instance.

Amid the publicity, U.S. soda sales have dropped for nearly a decade. But consumption of other sugary beverages, such as sports drinks and energy drinks, has grown.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the soda ban a signal piece of his assertive public-health agenda.

“Due to today’s unfortunate ruling, more people in New York City will die from obesity-related impacts,” he said in a statement Thursday.

A trial court struck down the measure days before it was to take effect last year. Some eateries had already swapped out cups and adjusted menus to comply, and some proprietors decided to stick with the changes. But others were glad Thursday that they hadn’t.

“I thought it was ridiculous” – and unfair, said midtown Manhattan cafe manager Young Shin, 30. The measure would have applied to his workplace but not to bars and groceries under state regulation, including 7-Eleven, the home of the Big Gulp.

Lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years, but none has succeeded. A California measure that would have slapped warning labels on sodas was recently defeated.

Meanwhile, Coke and Pepsi have rolled out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces.

Klepper reported from Albany. Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Rachelle Blidner contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Guzzlers prevailed Thursday as New York’s highest court refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the city’s health department overstepped its bounds when approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.

The court largely ignored the merits of the ban in the 20-page ruling, but determined the city’s Board of Health engaged in policy-making, and not simply health regulations, when it imposed the restrictions on restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street cart vendors.

“The Board of Health engaged in law-making beyond its regulatory authority,” the opinion reads. “… It is clear that the Board of Health wrote the Portion Cap Rule without benefit of legislative guidance.”

The city had hoped Thursday’s ruling would overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked the restrictions after restaurants, theater owners, beverage companies and small stores sued.

“We are pleased that the lower courts’ decisions were upheld,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement after the decision was handed down. The restrictions, if reinstated, “would have created an uneven playing field for thousands of small businesses in the city and limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.”

City Health Commission Mary T. Bassett said the administration of current Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to look for ways “to limit the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing of sugary drinks and unhealthy foods.”

“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic, and we will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Bassett said.

The case was decided 4-2, with the majority opinion written by Judge Eugene Piggott Jr. Piggott wrote that city health regulators appeared to carefully weigh the economic, social and health implications of the ban – a policy function that Piggott wrote was not the health board’s to exercise. The two dissenting judges wrote that they believe the Board of Health was within its rights to impose the ban, and that the judiciary shouldn’t “step into the middle of a debate over public health policy.”

The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal. But it’s unlikely that an appeal to the Supreme Court would be accepted because the case centers on local government authority and legislation, not federal issues.

Soda has been under fire for years, with health advocates saying the sugary beverages are unique in their harmfulness because people don’t realize how much high-fructose corn syrup they’re guzzling. The bad publicity has helped lead to a steady decline in U.S. soda sales for nearly a decade. But other sugary drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks have been growing.

To help curb consumption, lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years. None have succeeded, however, in part because of heavy campaigning and lobbying from the beverage industry. In California, a measure that would have slapped a warning label on sodas was recently defeated.

In the meantime, Coke and Pepsi have also been rolling out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces. The idea is that people would be more willing to drink soda if they could control the portion sizes. The smaller sizes are also more profitable for companies.

Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Guzzlers prevailed Thursday as New York’s highest court refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the city’s health department overstepped its bounds when approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.

The court largely ignored the merits of the ban in the 20-page ruling, but determined the city’s Board of Health engaged in policy-making, and not simply health regulations, when it imposed the restrictions on restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street cart vendors.

“The Board of Health engaged in law-making beyond its regulatory authority,” the opinion reads. “… It is clear that the Board of Health wrote the Portion Cap Rule without benefit of legislative guidance.”

The city had hoped Thursday’s ruling would overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked the restrictions after restaurants, theater owners, beverage companies and small stores sued.

“We are pleased that the lower courts’ decisions were upheld,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement after the decision was handed down. The restrictions, if reinstated, “would have created an uneven playing field for thousands of small businesses in the city and limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.”

City Health Commission Mary T. Bassett said the administration of current Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to look for ways “to limit the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing of sugary drinks and unhealthy foods.”

“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic, and we will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Bassett said.

The case was decided 4-2, with the majority opinion written by Judge Eugene Piggott Jr. Piggott wrote that city health regulators appeared to carefully weigh the economic, social and health implications of the ban – a policy function that Piggott wrote was not the health board’s to exercise. The two dissenting judges wrote that they believe the Board of Health was within its rights to impose the ban, and that the judiciary shouldn’t “step into the middle of a debate over public health policy.”

The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal. But it’s unlikely that an appeal to the Supreme Court would be accepted because the case centers on local government authority and legislation, not federal issues.

Soda has been under fire for years, with health advocates saying the sugary beverages are unique in their harmfulness because people don’t realize how much high-fructose corn syrup they’re guzzling. The bad publicity has helped lead to a steady decline in U.S. soda sales for nearly a decade. But other sugary drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks have been growing.

To help curb consumption, lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years. None have succeeded, however, in part because of heavy campaigning and lobbying from the beverage industry. In California, a measure that would have slapped a warning label on sodas was recently defeated.

In the meantime, Coke and Pepsi have also been rolling out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces. The idea is that people would be more willing to drink soda if they could control the portion sizes. The smaller sizes are also more profitable for companies.

Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Guzzlers prevailed Thursday as New York’s highest court refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the city’s health department overstepped its bounds when approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.

The court largely ignored the merits of the ban in the 20-page ruling, but determined the city’s Board of Health engaged in policy-making, and not simply health regulations, when it imposed the restrictions on restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street cart vendors.

“The Board of Health engaged in law-making beyond its regulatory authority,” the opinion reads. “… It is clear that the Board of Health wrote the Portion Cap Rule without benefit of legislative guidance.”

The city had hoped Thursday’s ruling would overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked the restrictions after restaurants, theater owners, beverage companies and small stores sued.

“We are pleased that the lower courts’ decisions were upheld,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement after the decision was handed down. The restrictions, if reinstated, “would have created an uneven playing field for thousands of small businesses in the city and limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.”

City Health Commission Mary T. Bassett said the administration of current Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to look for ways “to limit the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing of sugary drinks and unhealthy foods.”

“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic, and we will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Bassett said.

The case was decided 4-2, with the majority opinion written by Judge Eugene Piggott Jr. Piggott wrote that city health regulators appeared to carefully weigh the economic, social and health implications of the ban – a policy function that Piggott wrote was not the health board’s to exercise. The two dissenting judges wrote that they believe the Board of Health was within its rights to impose the ban, and that the judiciary shouldn’t “step into the middle of a debate over public health policy.”

The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal. But it’s unlikely that an appeal to the Supreme Court would be accepted because the case centers on local government authority and legislation, not federal issues.

Soda has been under fire for years, with health advocates saying the sugary beverages are unique in their harmfulness because people don’t realize how much high-fructose corn syrup they’re guzzling. The bad publicity has helped lead to a steady decline in U.S. soda sales for nearly a decade. But other sugary drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks have been growing.

To help curb consumption, lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years. None have succeeded, however, in part because of heavy campaigning and lobbying from the beverage industry. In California, a measure that would have slapped a warning label on sodas was recently defeated.

In the meantime, Coke and Pepsi have also been rolling out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces. The idea is that people would be more willing to drink soda if they could control the portion sizes. The smaller sizes are also more profitable for companies.

Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Guzzlers prevailed Thursday as New York’s highest court refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the city’s health department overstepped its bounds when approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.

The court largely ignored the merits of the ban in the 20-page ruling, but determined the city’s Board of Health engaged in policy-making, and not simply health regulations, when it imposed the restrictions on restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street cart vendors.

“The Board of Health engaged in law-making beyond its regulatory authority,” the opinion reads. “… It is clear that the Board of Health wrote the Portion Cap Rule without benefit of legislative guidance.”

The city had hoped Thursday’s ruling would overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked the restrictions after restaurants, theater owners, beverage companies and small stores sued.

“We are pleased that the lower courts’ decisions were upheld,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement after the decision was handed down. The restrictions, if reinstated, “would have created an uneven playing field for thousands of small businesses in the city and limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.”

City Health Commission Mary T. Bassett said the administration of current Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to look for ways “to limit the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing of sugary drinks and unhealthy foods.”

“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic, and we will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Bassett said.

The case was decided 4-2, with the majority opinion written by Judge Eugene Piggott Jr. Piggott wrote that city health regulators appeared to carefully weigh the economic, social and health implications of the ban – a policy function that Piggott wrote was not the health board’s to exercise. The two dissenting judges wrote that they believe the Board of Health was within its rights to impose the ban, and that the judiciary shouldn’t “step into the middle of a debate over public health policy.”

The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal. But it’s unlikely that an appeal to the Supreme Court would be accepted because the case centers on local government authority and legislation, not federal issues.

Soda has been under fire for years, with health advocates saying the sugary beverages are unique in their harmfulness because people don’t realize how much high-fructose corn syrup they’re guzzling. The bad publicity has helped lead to a steady decline in U.S. soda sales for nearly a decade. But other sugary drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks have been growing.

To help curb consumption, lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years. None have succeeded, however, in part because of heavy campaigning and lobbying from the beverage industry. In California, a measure that would have slapped a warning label on sodas was recently defeated.

In the meantime, Coke and Pepsi have also been rolling out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces. The idea is that people would be more willing to drink soda if they could control the portion sizes. The smaller sizes are also more profitable for companies.

Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Guzzlers prevailed Thursday as New York’s highest court refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the city’s health department overstepped its bounds when approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.

The court largely ignored the merits of the ban in the 20-page ruling, but determined the city’s Board of Health engaged in policy-making, and not simply health regulations, when it imposed the restrictions on restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street cart vendors.

“The Board of Health engaged in law-making beyond its regulatory authority,” the opinion reads. “… It is clear that the Board of Health wrote the Portion Cap Rule without benefit of legislative guidance.”

The city had hoped Thursday’s ruling would overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked the restrictions after restaurants, theater owners, beverage companies and small stores sued.

“We are pleased that the lower courts’ decisions were upheld,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement after the decision was handed down. The restrictions, if reinstated, “would have created an uneven playing field for thousands of small businesses in the city and limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.”

City Health Commission Mary T. Bassett said the administration of current Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to look for ways “to limit the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing of sugary drinks and unhealthy foods.”

“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic, and we will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Bassett said.

The case was decided 4-2, with the majority opinion written by Judge Eugene Piggott Jr. Piggott wrote that city health regulators appeared to carefully weigh the economic, social and health implications of the ban – a policy function that Piggott wrote was not the health board’s to exercise. The two dissenting judges wrote that they believe the Board of Health was within its rights to impose the ban, and that the judiciary shouldn’t “step into the middle of a debate over public health policy.”

The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal. But it’s unlikely that an appeal to the Supreme Court would be accepted because the case centers on local government authority and legislation, not federal issues.

Soda has been under fire for years, with health advocates saying the sugary beverages are unique in their harmfulness because people don’t realize how much high-fructose corn syrup they’re guzzling. The bad publicity has helped lead to a steady decline in U.S. soda sales for nearly a decade. But other sugary drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks have been growing.

To help curb consumption, lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years. None have succeeded, however, in part because of heavy campaigning and lobbying from the beverage industry. In California, a measure that would have slapped a warning label on sodas was recently defeated.

In the meantime, Coke and Pepsi have also been rolling out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces. The idea is that people would be more willing to drink soda if they could control the portion sizes. The smaller sizes are also more profitable for companies.

Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Guzzlers prevailed Thursday as New York’s highest court refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the city’s health department overstepped its bounds when approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.

The court largely ignored the merits of the ban in the 20-page ruling, but determined the city’s Board of Health engaged in policy-making, and not simply health regulations, when it imposed the restrictions on restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street cart vendors.

“The Board of Health engaged in law-making beyond its regulatory authority,” the opinion reads. “… It is clear that the Board of Health wrote the Portion Cap Rule without benefit of legislative guidance.”

The city had hoped Thursday’s ruling would overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked the restrictions after restaurants, theater owners, beverage companies and small stores sued.

“We are pleased that the lower courts’ decisions were upheld,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement after the decision was handed down. The restrictions, if reinstated, “would have created an uneven playing field for thousands of small businesses in the city and limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.”

City Health Commission Mary T. Bassett said the administration of current Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to look for ways “to limit the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing of sugary drinks and unhealthy foods.”

“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic, and we will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Bassett said.

The case was decided 4-2, with the majority opinion written by Judge Eugene Piggott Jr. Piggott wrote that city health regulators appeared to carefully weigh the economic, social and health implications of the ban – a policy function that Piggott wrote was not the health board’s to exercise. The two dissenting judges wrote that they believe the Board of Health was within its rights to impose the ban, and that the judiciary shouldn’t “step into the middle of a debate over public health policy.”

The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal. But it’s unlikely that an appeal to the Supreme Court would be accepted because the case centers on local government authority and legislation, not federal issues.

Soda has been under fire for years, with health advocates saying the sugary beverages are unique in their harmfulness because people don’t realize how much high-fructose corn syrup they’re guzzling. The bad publicity has helped lead to a steady decline in U.S. soda sales for nearly a decade. But other sugary drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks have been growing.

To help curb consumption, lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years. None have succeeded, however, in part because of heavy campaigning and lobbying from the beverage industry. In California, a measure that would have slapped a warning label on sodas was recently defeated.

In the meantime, Coke and Pepsi have also been rolling out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces. The idea is that people would be more willing to drink soda if they could control the portion sizes. The smaller sizes are also more profitable for companies.

Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Guzzlers prevailed Thursday as New York’s highest court refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the city’s health department overstepped its bounds when approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.

The court largely ignored the merits of the ban in the 20-page ruling, but determined the city’s Board of Health engaged in policy-making, and not simply health regulations, when it imposed the restrictions on restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street cart vendors.

“The Board of Health engaged in law-making beyond its regulatory authority,” the opinion reads. “… It is clear that the Board of Health wrote the Portion Cap Rule without benefit of legislative guidance.”

The city had hoped Thursday’s ruling would overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked the restrictions after restaurants, theater owners, beverage companies and small stores sued.

“We are pleased that the lower courts’ decisions were upheld,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement after the decision was handed down. The restrictions, if reinstated, “would have created an uneven playing field for thousands of small businesses in the city and limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.”

City Health Commission Mary T. Bassett said the administration of current Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to look for ways “to limit the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing of sugary drinks and unhealthy foods.”

“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic, and we will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Bassett said.

The case was decided 4-2, with the majority opinion written by Judge Eugene Piggott Jr. Piggott wrote that city health regulators appeared to carefully weigh the economic, social and health implications of the ban – a policy function that Piggott wrote was not the health board’s to exercise. The two dissenting judges wrote that they believe the Board of Health was within its rights to impose the ban, and that the judiciary shouldn’t “step into the middle of a debate over public health policy.”

The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal. But it’s unlikely that an appeal to the Supreme Court would be accepted because the case centers on local government authority and legislation, not federal issues.

Soda has been under fire for years, with health advocates saying the sugary beverages are unique in their harmfulness because people don’t realize how much high-fructose corn syrup they’re guzzling. The bad publicity has helped lead to a steady decline in U.S. soda sales for nearly a decade. But other sugary drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks have been growing.

To help curb consumption, lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years. None have succeeded, however, in part because of heavy campaigning and lobbying from the beverage industry. In California, a measure that would have slapped a warning label on sodas was recently defeated.

In the meantime, Coke and Pepsi have also been rolling out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces. The idea is that people would be more willing to drink soda if they could control the portion sizes. The smaller sizes are also more profitable for companies.

Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Guzzlers prevailed Thursday as New York’s highest court refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the city’s health department overstepped its bounds when approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.

The court largely ignored the merits of the ban in the 20-page ruling, but determined the city’s Board of Health engaged in policy-making, and not simply health regulations, when it imposed the restrictions on restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street cart vendors.

“The Board of Health engaged in law-making beyond its regulatory authority,” the opinion reads. “… It is clear that the Board of Health wrote the Portion Cap Rule without benefit of legislative guidance.”

The city had hoped Thursday’s ruling would overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked the restrictions after restaurants, theater owners, beverage companies and small stores sued.

“We are pleased that the lower courts’ decisions were upheld,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement after the decision was handed down. The restrictions, if reinstated, “would have created an uneven playing field for thousands of small businesses in the city and limited New Yorkers’ freedom of choice.”

City Health Commission Mary T. Bassett said the administration of current Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to look for ways “to limit the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing of sugary drinks and unhealthy foods.”

“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic, and we will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes,” Bassett said.

The case was decided 4-2, with the majority opinion written by Judge Eugene Piggott Jr. Piggott wrote that city health regulators appeared to carefully weigh the economic, social and health implications of the ban – a policy function that Piggott wrote was not the health board’s to exercise. The two dissenting judges wrote that they believe the Board of Health was within its rights to impose the ban, and that the judiciary shouldn’t “step into the middle of a debate over public health policy.”

The city hasn’t said whether it plans to try to appeal. But it’s unlikely that an appeal to the Supreme Court would be accepted because the case centers on local government authority and legislation, not federal issues.

Soda has been under fire for years, with health advocates saying the sugary beverages are unique in their harmfulness because people don’t realize how much high-fructose corn syrup they’re guzzling. The bad publicity has helped lead to a steady decline in U.S. soda sales for nearly a decade. But other sugary drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks have been growing.

To help curb consumption, lawmakers and health advocates around the country have proposed soda taxes in recent years. None have succeeded, however, in part because of heavy campaigning and lobbying from the beverage industry. In California, a measure that would have slapped a warning label on sodas was recently defeated.

In the meantime, Coke and Pepsi have also been rolling out smaller cans and bottles, some as small as 7.5 ounces. The idea is that people would be more willing to drink soda if they could control the portion sizes. The smaller sizes are also more profitable for companies.

Associated Press writers Candice Choi and Jennifer Peltz in New York City contributed to this report.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Guzzlers prevailed Thursday as New York’s highest court refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the city’s health department overstepped its bounds when approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.

The court largely ignored the merits of the ban in the 20-page ruling but determined the city’s Board of Health engaged in policy-making, and not simply health regulations, when it imposed the restrictions on restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street cart vendors.

“The Board of Health engaged in law-making beyond its regulatory authority,” the opinion reads. “… It is clear that the Board of Health wrote the Portion Cap Rule without benefit of legislative guidance.”

The city had hoped Thursday’s ruling would overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked the restrictions after restaurants, theater owners, beverage companies and small stores sued.

In oral arguments earlier this month, attorneys for the city argued that sugary drinks are the largest source of added sugar in the American diet. They argued the restrictions were based on science, and weren’t a true ban, only a limit on cup size.

Several judges on the Court of Appeals questioned where the board would draw the line.

Judge Eugene Piggott Jr. asked whether triple-decker burgers would be next. Judge Victoria Graffeo questioned the limit in light of exclusions like mixed coffee drinks loaded with more than 800 calories.

According to the American Beverage Association, New York City is the only jurisdiction attempting such a restriction, though several others around the country have tried and failed to impose special taxes on sugary drinks.

Court won’t reinstate New York City’s big-soda ban

KDWN

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Guzzlers prevailed Thursday as New York’s highest court refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the city’s health department overstepped its bounds when approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.

The court largely ignored the merits of the ban in the 20-page ruling but determined the city’s Board of Health engaged in policy-making, and not simply health regulations, when it imposed the restrictions on restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street cart vendors.

“The Board of Health engaged in law-making beyond its regulatory authority,” the opinion reads. “… It is clear that the Board of Health wrote the Portion Cap Rule without benefit of legislative guidance.”

The city had hoped Thursday’s ruling would overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked the restrictions after restaurants, theater owners, beverage companies and small stores sued.

In oral arguments earlier this month, attorneys for the city argued that sugary drinks are the largest source of added sugar in the American diet. They argued the restrictions were based on science, and weren’t a true ban, only a limit on cup size.

Several judges on the Court of Appeals questioned where the board would draw the line.

Judge Eugene Piggott Jr. asked whether triple-decker burgers would be next. Judge Victoria Graffeo questioned the limit in light of exclusions like mixed coffee drinks loaded with more than 800 calories.

According to the American Beverage Association, New York City is the only jurisdiction attempting such a restriction, though several others around the country have tried and failed to impose special taxes on sugary drinks.