New York City's Board of Health voted yesterday to ban the sale of sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces in restaurants and other venues, in a move meant to combat obesity and encourage residents to live healthier lifestyles. As widely expected, the board voted eight in favor, with one abstention. "It's time to face the facts: obesity is one of America's most deadliest problems, and sugary beverages are a leading cause of it," Bloomberg said in a statement earlier this month. "As the size of sugary drinks has grown, so have our waistlines — and so have diabetes and heart disease."
The "big soda ban" will go into effect six months from now and will no doubt affect a range of popular sweetened beverages, including energy drinks, pre-sweetened iced teas, and common brands of non-diet soda. The ban will not apply to fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages. Convenience stores such as 7-Eleven are exempt from the measure's gulp reducing restriction. The soft drink industry is strongly opposed to the measure, arguing that the instructed limitations will be bad for business. The ban has also been widely panned by many NYC residents.