Foodservice Equipment Reports

Court Upholds Ruling Against NYC Supersized Drink Ban

Last week saw a state appellate court uphold the New York Supreme Court’s ruling striking down New York City’s ban on restaurants selling sugar-sweetened beverages of more than 16 ounces.

The decision that the New York Board of Health and Mental Hygiene “violated the state principle of separation of powers” is a significant blow against the city’s efforts to prohibit restaurant and foodservice establishments from selling larger-sized sugary drinks. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who ordered the ban in an attempt to address childhood obesity, said the city would appeal the latest ruling.

After the ban was enacted late last year, the National Restaurant Association, American Beverage Association and other groups filed a legal challenge, arguing that the decision was arbitrary, as it subjected restaurateurs to a standard that their competitors, including grocery and c-stores, didn't have to meet.

In March, a day before the ban was to take effect, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that the ban was arbitrary because it applied to “some, but not all food establishments in the city”; excluded other beverages with much higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories; and contained loopholes, including no limitations on beverage refills, which would defeat the rule’s purpose.