The New York City Board of Health voted Thursday to approve Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s – despite outrage from soda manufacturers – in an effort to curb city obesity rates.
Starting on March 12, sales of sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces will be banned at restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas, according to the Wall Street Journal. The city will begin fining sellers $200 for violating the ban in mid-June.
The proposal passed by a vote of eight to zero, with one abstention, one absence and one vacancy on the board, the paper reports.
As expected, beverage manufacturers quickly fired back at the mayor. Advocacy group New Yorkers for Beverage Choices released a statement saying that they are “exploring all avenues to challenge the board’s ruling, including in court.”
“The fix was in from the beginning, and the Mayor’s handpicked board followed their orders by passing this discriminatory ban, but it has not passed with the support of New Yorkers,” said Liz Berman, business owner and chairwoman of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices. “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.”
And though the proposal to ban large sodas , an August poll found that .
Backers of the proposal pointed to the fact that 58 percent of New York City adults are overweight or obese, as well as 20 percent of public school children (grades kingergarten through eighth).