In Brief

NYC Soda Ban Struck Down Again

A glass of soda with ice in it.
(Image credit: Soda photo via Shutterstock)

New York City stores still have free reign to sell large sugary drinks.

Today, a state appeals court ruled that the proposed ban on large sugary drinks in New York City is invalid. Specifically, the court said that the city's Board of Health did not have the legal authority to implement the ban, which would have prohibited the sale of some drinks larger than 16 ounces.

The decision upholds a previous New York Supreme Court ruling, which blocked the ban from taking effect in March.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg saw the measure as an opportunity to make the city healthier, citing sugary drinks and large portion sizes as culprits in the obesity epidemic.

But critics say that the ban contains egregious loopholes. For instance, large drinks that contain more than 50 percent milk were not prohibited, meaning customers could still purchase large milkshakes. The ban also did not apply to all establishments — convenience stores such as 7-Eleven, home of the Big Gulp, were exempt.

The appeals court agreed. "The selective restrictions enacted by the Board of Health reveal that the health of the residents of New York City was not its sole concern," Justice Dianne Renwick was quoted as saying.

In a statement, Bloomberg said the city plans to appeal the decision again.

Rachael Rettner

Rachael is a Live Science contributor, and was a former channel editor and senior writer for Live Science between 2010 and 2022. She has a master's degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has appeared in Scienceline, The Washington Post and Scientific American.