- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Some opponents of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s move to ban large, sugary drinks have started making the argument that it just may be a racial infringement.

Proponents of the law say the ban is necessary because of the obesity epidemic, but the New York branch of the NAACP and the Hispanic Federation have joined in a lawsuit to try to stop the rule from taking effect March 12.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that obesity rates are higher than average among blacks and Hispanics. The groups say in court papers that the soda rule will harm minority businesses and “freedom of choice in low-income communities.”

The opposing groups say delis and corner stores owned by minorities will suffer a disadvantage compared with big grocery chains. Supermarkets and many convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven, aren’t subject to the new rules.

“This sweeping regulation will no doubt burden and disproportionally impact minority-owned businesses at a time when these businesses can least afford it,” they said in court papers.

Mr. Bloomberg’s New York has successfully instated mandatory calorie counts in chain restaurants and banned trans fats in efforts to curb obesity.

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