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Massachusetts Medical Society




When a judge struck down the New York City Board of Health's partial ban on selling “sugary drinks” in containers of more than 16 fluid ounces, the reaction was swift. The Portion Cap Rule was widely viewed as a signature accomplishment of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's third term as the “public health mayor,” and he vowed to appeal, saying, “I've got to defend my children, and yours, and do what's right to save lives. Obesity kills.” But the question before the judge was not about the health risks posed by obesity or even the relationship between obesity and access to large cups of sugary drinks; it was whether the city's Board of Health (part of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) had the legal authority to restrict the serving size of such drinks.


From The New England Journal of Medicine, Wendy K. Mariner and George J. Annas, Limiting “Sugary Drinks” to Reduce Obesity — Who Decides?, Volume 368, Page 1763 Copyright © (2013) Massachusetts Medical Society. Reprinted with permission.



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