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Sen. Lautenberg wants national sugar-drink ban studied

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A senator from New Jersey said Thursday he’ll try to make the government study a link between sugary drinks and obesity, elevating the recent debate in New York City to the federal level.

Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, a Democrat, said he will try to attach an amendment to the pending farm bill, which also covers many of the government’s nutritional programs, that would have the government study whether drink bans could improve national health.

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg proposed a ban on large drinks with high sugar content, sparking a pushback from those who said he was trying to control their behavior and constrain their choices.

But Mr. Lautenberg said there’s a reason to think the ban could help public health.

“We owe it to our kids and our country to learn more about what is causing this plague. We need to know what impact sugary drinks have on obesity and if proposals that encourage Americans to drink fewer high-sugar drinks will reduce obesity.”

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