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Board Of Health Approves Sugary Drink Ban

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The city Board of Health approved on Thursday Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to ban large sugary drinks.

The panel voted 8-0 with one abstention this morning in favor of the plan to prohibit restaurants, movie theaters, sports stadium and other city establishments from selling sugar-filled drinks larger than 16 ounces.

The mayor and Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley say the plan will cut down on obesity in the city, as it controls portion size.

"If you have something in front of you, you tend to eat all of it," Bloomberg said.

Opponents say the ban will hurt businesses and that they plan to continue the fight in court.

"This passed today as we expected and we're looking into every option including a lawsuit. For us, this is a mile marker in a marathon race. We're looking forward to March and looking to see what we can do between now and March to stop this from being implemented," said Eliot Hoff of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices.

Speaking to reporters at City Hall, Mayor Bloomberg blasted the use of the word "ban" and said the measure will only benefit the health of New Yorkers.

"Nobody's banning anything and that's why sometimes the polls are very misleading because you asked the question, 'How do you like a ban on sodas?' We're not banning anything . It's a little bit inconvenient perhaps to carry two sodas back and our hope is that you'll only carry one back. And that's the whole idea," Bloomberg said.

New Yorkers who spoke with NY1 were mixed on the measure's passing.

"There is overwhelming opposition to banning larger sized sugary drinks. New Yorkers feel that we're educated. We can make our own decisions and this will have no impact on obesity," said one New Yorker.

"That's my choice, isn't it, if I want a large soda or not?" said another New Yorker.

"Sugar-wise, you've got to look at diabetes. There's a big, big problem there. So, I think it's a good idea," said a third New Yorker.

Some New Yorkers wondered if the mayor would try to limit the size of hamburgers and fries or other food items, but at this point, it seems unlikely.

Bloomberg said about such a ban, "It really would be very impractical to do it."

The sugary drinks ban will take effect in March of next year.

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