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New York to appeal ruling striking down drink ban

Monday - 3/11/2013, 6:00pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City says it will appeal today's ruling from a judge who struck down the city's ban on large sugary drinks, just hours before the ban was supposed to take effect.

The judge said the measure is arbitrary, applying only to some sweet beverages and only to some of the places that sell them. He also said the city Board of Health, in approving the rule, had intruded on the authority of the City Council.

It's a defeat for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who promoted the ban in an effort to fight obesity, and a victory for the beverage industry and others who challenged the 16-ounce limit.

A lawyer for the city says he's confident that the ban will "ultimately be upheld." He says city officials believe that the Board of Health has "the legal authority -- and responsibility" -- to tackle the "leading causes" of obesity.

Officials say about 24 percent of new York adults are obese -- up from 18 percent in 2002 -- and they point to studies tying sugary drinks to weight gains.

Soda makers, theater owners and others argue, among other things, that the measure is too limited to have a meaningful effect on the waistlines of New Yorkers.

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232-v-32-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent)--A state judge has struck down New York City's planned new restrictions on large sugary sodas. AP correspondent Warren Levinson reports. (11 Mar 2013)

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APPHOTO NYR102: FILE - In this March 8, 2013 file photo, a Coca-Cola poster about the city's anticipated beverage ban is displayed at a pizza shop at New York's Penn Station. New York City's groundbreaking limit on the size of sugar-laden drinks has been struck down by a judge shortly before it was set to take effect. The restriction was supposed to start Tuesday, March 12, 2013. The rule prohibits selling non-diet soda and some other sugary beverages in containers bigger than 16 ounces. It applies at places ranging from pizzerias to sports stadiums, though not at supermarkets or convenience stores. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) (8 Mar 2013)

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APPHOTO NY124: FILE - This May 31, 2012 file photo shows a display of various size cups and sugar cubes at a news conference at New York's City Hall. A judge struck down New York City's groundbreaking limit on the size of sugar-laden drinks Monday, March 11, 2013 shortly before it was set to take effect, agreeing with the beverage industry and other opponents that the rule is arbitrary in applying to only some sweet beverages and some places that sell them. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) (31 May 2012)

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