NYC Demands Reinstatement of Supersized Soda Ban

Concession Stand Movie Theater - H 2013
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Concession Stand Movie Theater - H 2013

Attorneys for New York City were back in court on Tuesday arguing that a ban on supersized sugary drinks should be reinstated.

In March, a state judge halted the ban by ruling that the city's health department had overstepped its authority to enact a regulation that puts a cap on the size of such drinks at 16 oz.

The matter is now before a state appeals court where a panel of judges is reviewing the March decision that held that the way that Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration had put the ban into effect without legislative approval was "more troubling than sugar-sweetened beverages."

The city has portrayed obesity as a "chronic disease" with huge healthcare costs that necessitated action, and on Tuesday, Fay Ng, senior counsel for the city, argued that the health agency's move was reasonable given the benefits of reducing the size of the “default portions” of sugary beverages.

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The ban is opposed by a wide diversity of businesses and labor coalitions, which argue that they will be impacted by the regulation. Among the litigants is the National Association of Theatre Owners of New York State, who in March, said they were "elated" when a judge halted the ban and "that serious problems like obesity cannot be addressed by the imposition of an arbitrary and porous mayoral fiat."

The ban is also regarded as a threat to theater revenue. Concessions are said to make up to 40 percent of theater owner's profits.

The Chamber of Commerce has posted legal briefs by the parties involved in the case. See here.

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