UPDATE: New York to appeal ruling striking down drink ban

soft drinks
Posted at 5:15 PM, Mar 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-11 17:15:00-04

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City says it will appeal today's ruling from a judge who struck down the city's ban on large sugary drinks, just hours before the ban was supposed to take effect.

The judge said the measure is arbitrary, applying only to some sweet beverages and only to some of the places that sell them. He also said the city Board of Health, in approving the rule, had intruded on the authority of the City Council.

It's a defeat for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who promoted the ban in an effort to fight obesity, and a victory for the beverage industry and others who challenged the 16-ounce limit.

A lawyer for the city says he's confident that the ban will "ultimately be upheld." He says city officials believe that the Board of Health has "the legal authority -- and responsibility" -- to tackle the "leading causes" of obesity.

Officials say about 24 percent of new York adults are obese -- up from 18 percent in 2002 -- and they point to studies tying sugary drinks to weight gains.

Soda makers, theater owners and others argue, among other things, that the measure is too limited to have a meaningful effect on the waistlines of New Yorkers.