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No ban for sugary drinks in US

Posted by: Laurence Simons 26/03/13

Everything is bigger in America - their cars, their houses, their mountains and especially their portions. Possibly it's a psychological reaction to living in such an expansive country. What's more, the population will defend their right to burgers the size of small horses and drinks they could bathe in to their dying breath. It's practically the 28th amendment!

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has discovered this through his attempts to ban the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks in the city's restaurants, delis and movie theatres. In-house lawyers at major food corporations will be glad to learn, however, that the measure has been overturned in court after protests from New York residents and business pressure groups.

Stefan Friedman, a spokesman for the completely impartial New York City Beverage Association, said: "The New York City Health Department's unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top. The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates," only pausing to down two litres of Fanta Orange.

While Bloomberg has pledged to appeal the decision, it appears the policy will need to be tightened up if it is to be in any way effective.

Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling in Manhattan focused on several problematic loopholes in the current bill, noting it would only have applied to businesses that are under the purview of the health department, like restaurants, and would allow sweetened milk-based drinks like milkshakes.

He described it as "arbitrary and capricious", and expressed concern about giving such a degree of power to the health board, before kicking back and relaxing with a 32-ounce bottle of Coca Cola.