New York Soda Ban Hearing Gets Heated

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on sugary drinks still has residents of the Big Apple up in arms.

The Public Health Commission and medical experts defended the ban on large-sized soft drinks at a public hearing Tuesday night as a way to protect public health.
    
They argued that sodas and other sweet drinks are a leading cause of the health problems that kill thousands of New Yorkers every year.
    
But critics call the ban an attack on personal freedom.
    
Councilman Oliver Koppel called it "a clear overreaching of government into people's everyday lives."
    
Another councilman asked, "What will they be telling me next? What time I should go to bed? How many potato chips I can eat? How big my steak should be?"

But some health experts suggest the ban is justified.

"Soda in large amounts is metabolically toxic," The Christian Science Monitor quoted Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and a professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "Soda is indeed the right target,"

The New York City Board of Health is scheduled to vote on the proposed ban Sept. 13.

A recent study released by the city showed a trans fat ban in New York has been widely successful in getting residents to eat healthier.

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