Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity
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Rudd Radar

New York Court of Appeals Fails to Reinstate Sugary Drink Size Limit

June 26, 2014

The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that New York City’s health department “exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority” when it adopted the Sugary Drink Portion Cap Rule, an initiative aimed to limit the sales of soda and other “sugary drinks” in sizes larger than 16 ounces.

"The research is clear: sugary drinks lead to diabetes, and skyrocketing rates of diabetes are going to bankrupt our healthcare system,” according to Marlene Schwartz, PhD, Rudd Center Director.  “The government and private industry must continue to do everything possible to educate the public and decrease consumption of these harmful beverages.  This decision is disappointing, but those of us who care about the public’s health will continue our efforts to help people stop drinking so much sugar."

“Today’s ruling does not change the fact that sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic, and we will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes by seeking to limit the pernicious effects of aggressive and predatory marketing of sugary drinks and unhealthy foods,” said Health Commissioner Mary T. Basset, MD, MPH in a statement.

The CDC reports that the average soda is six times larger today than it was in the 1950s, and that Americans are on average 26 pounds heavier than they were in the ‘50s. The Rudd Center's Sugary Drink FACTS report documents that these beverages are the greatest source of added sugars in the American diet and the number one source of calories in teens' diets.