NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban bolstered by study on obese

Just as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban is winding through State Appeals court, now comes a study that could actually bolster its chances of surviving constitutional challenge.

“Our study shows that the soda ban would not hit the poor people, but rather overweight children and adults,” said Dr. Claire Wang, a lead author of the report through the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, Crain’s New York Business Magazine reported.

Mr. Bloomberg had pushed through a ban on supersize sodas served at restaurants, sports bar and other public venues. It was shot down on March 11 by the Manhattan Supreme Court, and called “arbitrary and capricious” by one justice. City officials filed an appeal on June 11, asking for its reinstatement.

This new study could help the city’s argument that the ban was aimed at helping the obese — and did not unfairly target or discriminate against poor people.

The authors analyzed nutrition surveys filed by more than 19,000 children and adults around the nation between the years of 2007 and 2010, and found that more than 7 percent who bought large-size sodas and sugary drinks actually purchased them at restaurants and other public venues — rather than grocery stores. And that the super-size sodas were more frequently purchased by overweight people than those of normal weight, Crain’s reported.

“The new study shows that our portion cap rule will likely lead to a decrease in calories consumed, especially among the people who need the help the most — obese and overweight youth,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner, in the Crain report.

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