(PCM) NYC has officially become the first city in the United States to put a ban on soda.
The New York City Board of Health on Thursday voted to ban restaurant sales of supersized sugary drinks in an effort to reduce and slow the rate of obesity, both in adults and children. According to the CDC, nearly two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, with another 17 percent of children classified as obese – a rate that has tripled in just the past decade. Being obese or overweight can put people at an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer; in fact, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that obesity costs the city about $4 billion a year.
The “soda ban” prohibits all city restaurants, delis, sports facilities, movie theaters, and street vendors from selling soda and other sweetened beverages in servings larger than 16 ounces. Convenience stores and groceries, however, are not included. Bloomberg’s ban will take effect within the next six months.
“This is the single biggest step any city, I think, has ever taken to curb obesity,” Bloomberg said shortly after the vote. “It’s certainly not the last step that lots of cities are going to take, and we believe that it will help save lives.”
Meanwhile, the beverage industry has promised to challenge the ruling in court.
“This is not the end,” vowed Eliot Hoff, a spokesman for New Yorkers for Beverage Choices.