NEW YORK, N.Y. (WKOW) -- New York City's Board of Health on Thursday took the city's battle with obesity a step further, passing a rule banning the sale of big sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, concession stands and other eateries.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed the regulation in the spring. It puts a 16-ounce size limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas and other calorie-packed beverages.
The ban will apply to fast-food restaurants, movie houses and Broadway theaters, workplace cafeterias and most other places selling prepared food.
It doesn't cover beverages sold in supermarkets or most convenience stores.
The restaurant and beverage industries have said New York officials are exaggerating the role sugary beverages have played in making Americans fat.
Eight of the nine Board of health members voted "yes" to approve the regulation. The other abstained.
This is just the latest ambitious health move during Bloomberg's time as mayor. Under his watch, New York City helped set the trend of requiring chain restaurants to post calorie counts prominently on their menus. New York City also has barred artificial trans fats from restaurant food and taken aggressive steps to discourage smoking.
ABC News reports that after Thursday's vote, Bloomberg's official Twitter feed tweeted: "NYC's new sugary drink policy is the single biggest step any gov't has taken to curb (hash)obesity. It will help save lives."
A typical 16-ounce container of clear soda contains 200 calories, as opposed to 240 in the 20-ounce size. For someone who drinks a soda a day, the difference amounts to 14,600 calories a year, which some health experts say is enough to add about four pounds of fat to a person's body.
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