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Bloomberg's Soda Ban Approved in New York City

Backing Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial plan, the New York City Board of Health approved a the nation's first ban on the sale of sugary drinks over a certain size.

Backing Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial plan, the New York City Board of Health approved the nation's first ban on the sale of sugary drinks over a certain size, the New York Times reports.

The ban will take effect in six months and businesses subject to public health inspections -- including restaurants, movie theatres and street carts -- will be required to comply. The policy bans businesses from selling any sweetened drinks, including soda and energy drinks, larger than 16 ounces. Fruit-based, dairy and alcoholic beverages will be exempt as will convenience stores and vending machines, according to the Times.

As the newspaper previously reported, the soda industry launched a public-relations campaign against the policy, spending up to $1 million in opposition, and has said they would consider taking the city to court. A recent Times poll found that 60 percent of New Yorkers thought that the policy was a bad idea.

Despite the policy's opposition, every member of the board voted in favor of it.

The soda ban is part of Bloomberg's larger goal of reducing obesity rates in the city where more than half of the city's population is overweight or obese.

At least one other city -- Cambridge, Mass. -- has considered adopting a similar policy since Bloomberg introduced his plan in May.

Dylan Scott is a GOVERNING staff writer.
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