Court Halts NYC's 'Capricious' Sugary Drink Ban

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New York City's ban on large sugary drinks will not begin today after a state Supreme Court judge Milton Tingling struck down the measure Monday, calling it "arbitrary and capricious."

Restaurant owners in the Big Apple call the decision a victory, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it's just the end of round one in his personal fight against obesity.

"In the end, the courts will recognize the Board of Health's authority to regulate the sale of beverages that have virtually no nutritional value, and which, consumed in large quantities, are leading to disease and death for thousands of people every year," the mayor said.

Bloomberg said the city will appeal the court's decision to strike down his ban on big sugary drinks.

The ban would have prohibited some New York City businesses from selling more than 16 ounces of soda and other high calorie drinks.

But Justice Milton Tingling, who made the ruling, noted the ban only applied to some establishments and excluded some beverages with significantly higher concentrations of sugar. Those loopholes defeat the purpose of the ruling.

The last-minute ruling is a relief to thousands of small business owners in Manhattan who were scrambling to comply with the law, which they said was hurting their bottom line.

"It cost us, of course, extra glassware. Of course, it cost us extra labor. We had to sit down and think. We had to reprint menus," Bowling Lounge manager Ayman Kamel said.

For now, those super-sized drinks are still available in the Big Apple for anyone who wants them. Many New Yorkers say that's the way it should stay.

"I think they really did go too far. People should be allowed to drink and eat what they want to drink," NYC resident Janell Moton said. "Asking the government to protect us from large Cokes I think goes beyond what the government should do."

"The education needs to get out there about what soda does to you. I think that's more important than taking peoples right away," she added.

In his ruling, Tingling also said the city's Board of Health intruded on the City Council's authority when it imposed the rule.

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