It's a sweet win for the soda industry. The "Sugary Drinks Portion Cap Rule" has been shot down by New York's highest court.
The ban had already been declared unconstitutional by two lower courts, making this New York City's final appeal. (Via Flickr / Matt Green)
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg enacted the rule in 2012 in an attempt to take on the obesity epidemic. The New York Board of Health backed the reinstatement of the large-soda ban. If reinstated, the ban would have restricted vendors from selling sugary drinks in containers greater than 16 ounces. (Via Time Warner Cable News)
The portion cap rule stirred up quite a bit of controversy. The New York Times reports a majority of the city's residents opposed the rule, and the loss could bring the power of the Board of Health into question.
Court documents declared the board does not have legislative authority and that it "exceeded the scope of its regulatory authority by adopting the Portion Cap Rule."
Many felt the rule violated rights. The National Review argued there were far more important problems for the city to focus on — like crime.
When the case was in court last year, Stefan Friedman, a spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association, told The New York Times, "These zealous proposals just distract from the hard work that needs to be done on this front."
On the other hand, public health advocates were thrilled that attention was finally being focused on the obesity problem. Amidst the debate, CNN reported 60 percent of the city residents were overweight, citing large portions as part of the problem.
While there is little doubt soda contributes to health issues, the ruling is final — the Board of Health doesn't have the power to enforce the regulation. Since the portion cap rule has officially fallen flat, soda lovers in New York City are now free to purchase whatever size soda they choose.