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New York City's ban on large fizzy drinks to take effect in six months

The ban had been expected and has been welcomed by the city’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

This 24-ounce drink at a fast-food restaurant in the Philippines is now banned in NYC.
This 24-ounce drink at a fast-food restaurant in the Philippines is now banned in NYC.
Image: Pat Roque/AP/Press Association Images

THE BAN ON the sale of large fizzy drinks in New York City will come into effect in six months time following a ruling by the city’s Board of Health today.

The city became the first in the United States to impose the ban on the sale of drinks which are bigger than 16 fluid ounces (around 473 millilitres) in restaurants and other venues like cinemas and sports stadiums.

An average soft-drink can has around 330 millilitres while a pint has around 568 millilitres.

While the ban – which was championed by the city’s mayor Michael Bloomberg – was hailed as “historic” by the city’s health commissioner, Thomas Farley, the head of the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices lobby group slammed the move.

“It’s sad that the board wants to limit our choices. We are smart enough to make our own decisions about what to eat and drink,” Liz Berman said in a statement.

Figures show that some 6,000 people in New York die each year from problems that are linked to obesity and that one-in-eight city residents has diabetes.

The ban does not stop people from buying as much fizzy drink or soda as they like by refilling a smaller container and it does not extend to supermarkets.

But champions of the ban hope that the disappearance of the super-size option in many places will make people more aware of what they are consuming.

- with reporting from AFP

Read: New York City set to ban large fizzy drinks

Read: Dentists call for public health warnings on soft drinks

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Hugh O'Connell

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