New York Citys Board of Health has endorsed a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, theaters and other locations.
The initiative has been pushed by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has championed restrictions on tobacco use and called for calorie counts to be posted on menus in chain restaurants.
Mr. Bloombergs public health initiatives are often controversial, but have inspired similar legislation in other cities. The soda ban is the first of its kind, but other cities may follow suit.
The measure, which forbids sale of sweetened drinks in containers that exceed 16 ounces, will take effect on March 12, barring court action.
The ban is in response to high obesity rates among New Yorkers and Americans in general. The hope behind the measure is that overweight New Yorkers, particularly young people, will adopt a healthier lifestyle. Cutting down on soft drinks would be a start, health advocates say.
Only certain businesses will be affected. Convenience stores, for example, are exempt.
Though well-meaning, this initiative represents government overreaching in the private sector. People should be able to choose for themselves what size soft drink they want. What else will consumers be denied in the Big Apple?