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Lawsuit Challenges New York Sugary Drink Ban 642

Posted by Soulskill
from the fattening-in-the-first-degree dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Soda makers, along with other trade organizations, filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the New York soda ban that is about to be implemented in the city. 'Last month, the board voted eight to zero, with one abstention, to ban restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums and arenas from selling sugary drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces. The ban, designed to reduce obesity, is slated to begin March 12. ... The lawsuit also claims that new regulations are “arbitrary and capricious,” violating a section of the New York Civil Laws and Rules. Opponents have specifically said it’s unfair that convenience stores, including 7-Eleven and its famous Big Gulp drink, would be exempt.'"
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Lawsuit Challenges New York Sugary Drink Ban

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  • Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wmbetts (1306001) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @04:57PM (#41644035)

    The law is ridiculous hopefully it gets over turned.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by K. S. Kyosuke (729550)
      Ridiculous laws for ridiculous people? Mind you, many things got regulated precisely because a bunch of idiots started destroying their lives with them.
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

        by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @05:13PM (#41644167)
        Oh, one thing comes to my mind: They could allow for large servings under the condition that the glass/cup will have multiple mandatory photos of repulsively obese people on it. Just like with cigarettes and the warning labels on them.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          How about the same for the background of every website you visit?
        • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

          by whatthef*ck (215929) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:36PM (#41645327) Homepage

          Oh, one thing comes to my mind: They could allow for large servings under the condition that the glass/cup will have multiple mandatory photos of repulsively obese people on it. Just like with cigarettes and the warning labels on them.

          Do the busybodies who are convinced they're smarter than everyone else, and hence, entitled to manage their lives, ever rest?

          • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Dr Damage I (692789) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @07:56PM (#41645463) Journal
            "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis
            • This.

              If they get away with it, next will be pornography, then any art that anybody even thinks somehow resembles pornography (they have done this to historical works in D.C. already), then condoms, then public speech at local government meetings, then...

              First they came for the socialists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.

              Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

              Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

              Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak.

              -- pastor Martin NiemÃller (1892â"1984)

              Slippery Slope is only a fallacy when it's used inappropriately.

          • Re:Good (Score:5, Funny)

            by rHBa (976986) on Sunday October 14, 2012 @05:08AM (#41647915)
            How about narrower door ways, I know the cat flap was quite good at keeping my cats weight down.
        • by russotto (537200)

          Oh, one thing comes to my mind: They could allow for large servings under the condition that the glass/cup will have multiple mandatory photos of repulsively obese people on it.

          "Yeah, I'll have two Fat Albert's, an Alfred Hitchcock, and a William Howard Taft to go."

      • by jcr (53032)

        Do you believe that it's appropriate to put a gun to someone's head because you think they're drinking too much soda?

        Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force.

        -jcr

    • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @05:12PM (#41644151)

      Agree. Instead of one 24-ounce soda they get two 16 ounce ones. This is soooo much healthier.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @05:16PM (#41644181)

      Drinks used to be served in smaller containers, and society survived just fine. Restaurants started using larger containers to exploit flaws in human psychology, allowing them to trick customers into buying more than they want or need. This is done to make more money, and to hell with the health of the general public.

      Your free will isn't as all-powerful as you think it is. There are a great many people spending billions of dollars every year on cutting edge science to control your purchasing decisions, and you don't stand a snowflake's chance in hell against them. Only as a group can we fight back.

      • Politicians do it better than anyone--let's ban them. And cosmetics, too.

        I don't stand a snowballs chance? I cut soda out of my diet completely. Hmm.

        • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

          by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @05:29PM (#41644305)

          Advertisers spend half a trillion dollars every year to control you. Any one individual might be able to resist, but on the balance, advertising works. They wouldn't spend so much money on it if it didn't.

          • Governments spend trillions of dollars on guns to control you. Between clever advertising and armed thugs empowered to dictate my choices to me, guess which one I'm choosing
      • I don't think so. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:12PM (#41644659)

        Your free will isn't as all-powerful as you think it is.

        I seem to be able to decide for myself which products I buy. I can't recall the last time I bought something and later regretted it, but then again I don't buy much. I don't have some superhuman form of free-will. I just take the time to think about what I'm doing before I do it. Just because some people don't do this doesn't mean that everyone lacks self-control. If you were to legislate to the lowest common denominator, you'd have to legally prescribe every action a person can take to make sure they were all safe.

        On the other hand, I do seem to be incapable of resisting the government. The threat of imprisonment is enough to compel me to pay my taxes and conform to federal rules and regulations. So you can see why I'd be concerned by frivolous government interventions such as this ban. Every one of them has the potential to harm me.

        There's nothing wrong with enlisting the support of others to stop abuse, but there are other ways of doing that which don't have so much collateral damage.

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:40PM (#41644923)

        Drinks used to be served in smaller containers, and society survived just fine. Restaurants started using larger containers to exploit flaws in human psychology, allowing them to trick customers into buying more than they want or need. This is done to make more money, and to hell with the health of the general public.

        Or public health officials have been tricked into thinking it's more important for people to be healthy than to eat satisfying junk food and are exploiting flaws in human psychology regarding the correlation between physical appearance and mental state (we are biased towards believing that attractive people are happier).

        That's the problem with the "people are stupid" line of argumentation that's prevalent in the nanny state -- it doesn't really explain why we should prefer moving decision-making from one group of stupid people to another group of stupid people.

      • You're right! The big evil restaurants have put soda in larger containers and now I'm helpless!!! OMG THERE'S A SODA ON MY DESK I CAN'T STOP DRINKING IT HELLLLLLP!!!!

        In all seriousness though, this is the dumbest thing I've read this month.
      • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jdavidb (449077) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:07PM (#41645965) Homepage Journal

        Only as a group can we fight back.

        But I don't want to do that. I've heard your arguments, and I don't want to participate. Should I be forced to participate anyway, for my own good?

      • by mdmkolbe (944892)

        Restaurants started using larger containers to ... trick customers into buying more than they want or need.

        Methinks your theory has a hole. If I'm getting free refills, then the restaurant doesn't benefit from me drinking more. They benefit from me drinking less (i.e. same revenue at lower cost to them). Even if they charged for refills, they would make more money with smaller cups as that means more refills (i.e. more revenue at the same cost to them).

        (An important factor here is that two 8oz cups of soda are prices to cost more than one 16oz cup.)

      • by khallow (566160)

        Your free will isn't as all-powerful as you think it is. There are a great many people spending billions of dollars every year on cutting edge science to control your purchasing decisions, and you don't stand a snowflake's chance in hell against them. Only as a group can we fight back.

        Bullshit. How come "fighting as a group" means some bunch of knuckleheaded bureaucrats get to tell me how to act and what I can buy? There's not even the illusion of freedom there.

    • by hutsell (1228828)

      The law is ridiculous hopefully it gets over turned.

      Going further: Didn't we try this before with alcohol -- ban alcohol and we'll eliminate alcoholism? Instead of creating a potential for a smaller version of that black market and the associated criminal activity with increasing costs in enforcement that went with it, a campaign to educate (which I'm not a big fan of as being an alternative) might be a useful way of redirecting those costs. Would something blunt, such as: "Hey, New Yorkers. Tired of the rep for being an unhealthy Fat F***; drink a diet cola

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Fuzion (261632) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:03PM (#41644555)

        No one's banning anything. The only thing being limited it the size of a single container. You can buy a hundred 16-oz containers of any sugary drink if you wanted to.

        It's very unlikely that a black market rise because I don't see anyone willing to pay any significant amount for a single 32-oz container instead of two 16-oz containers.

  • Silliness (Score:4, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @04:59PM (#41644047)
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57506856-10391704/nyc-school-lunches-fall-below-minimum-calorie-requirement/ [cbsnews.com]

    Frankly, New York City can do more to improve its citizens' health than banning certain sizes of HFCS drinks (because calling them "sugary" simply ignores the fact that soda can be made using real sugar).
    • by Nyder (754090)

      Frankly, New York City can do more to improve its citizens' health than banning certain sizes of HFCS drinks (because calling them "sugary" simply ignores the fact that soda can be made using real sugar).

      While soda can and used to be made using real sugar, they haven't from the big corps in quite awhile. And seeing that you can only go Pepsi Products or Coke Products, you are stuck with soda made with HFCS instead of sugar.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Kickasso (210195)

        Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi do make real cane sugar drinks. You just need to know where and when to look for them.

      • Re:Silliness (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Rockoon (1252108) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:09PM (#41644621)

        While soda can and used to be made using real sugar, they haven't from the big corps in quite awhile.

        Early 1980's, import tariffs, import limits, and a mandatory price floor even for sugar produced locally were established by our "its for your own good" government. The upshot of all this is that Americans need to spend 3 to 4 times as much for sugar as the rest of the world does.

        The only solution is to make it illegal to try to legislate new victim-less crimes into existence, because unlike the "crimes" they are trying to prevent.. these legislations arent victim-less.

    • by Raenex (947668)

      Frankly, New York City can do more to improve its citizens' health than banning certain sizes of HFCS drinks (because calling them "sugary" simply ignores the fact that soda can be made using real sugar).

      What's silly is your assumption that HFCS is a problem and not cane sugar, or the idea that cane sugar is a good nutrient to pad calories with. "Sugary" is meant to cover both cane sugar and HFCS.

      Here's some quotes from the ban:

      "(1) Sugary drink means [..] (B) is sweetened by the manufacturer or establishment with sugar or another caloric sweetener;"

      "Americans consume 200-300 more calories daily than 30 years ago, with the largest single increase due to sugary drinks.10 Sugary drinks are also the largest so

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @05:04PM (#41644085)

    The daily reference intake for sugar states that added sugar should nto exceed 25% of calories.
    For a 2000 Cal intake that is 500 Cal. The 7-eleven shitty "super gulps" and whatever exceed this
    in a single serving.

    If you ask me they should just go and make a law that a single serving cannot contain more than
    50% of the reference intake. That way you can sell those stupid 5 pint "drinks". You just would not
    be allowed to have half a pound of sugar in them.

  • I don't have that big a problem with the law itself, but the size they chose. Having a hard limit of 16oz is very small for a cold drink. It should have been set at 20oz or something more reasonable.

    • Hahaha, I'm scared of the fact that you think anything about this is reasonable. I'm guessing you're not "pro-choice?"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      16oz is HUGE. You know that soft drinks used to be sold in 6 (yes, SIX) oz bottles, and that was considered a reasonable serving size? People would drink the 6 oz soft drink and be quite content with that.

      You live in a world that has gone mad, and your idea of what is "normal" has been formed in that mad world. It's why over 80% of the population in many areas is considered either overweight or obese. It's why childhood obesity used to be nearly unheard of, and is now common. It's why diabetes is impac

      • by Aryden (1872756)
        Or people could drink any size soda they wished and GET OFF THE FUCKING COUCH AND DO SOME PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. For fuck's sake. You're raving about a solution to a problem that isn't a solution, it's not even a stop-gap. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY is the ONLY real counter-measure to obesity.
      • by sjames (1099)

        A '16' oz drink will often be mostly ice. It might contain as much as 6 oz of soda, I suppose.

    • by chrismcb (983081)
      I like how you consider 16oz small, but 20oz is ok. Actually the thing is MOST fast food restaurants have 20oz sizes, some don't have a smaller size. So a 20oz size makes sense (only in that is a common size today, not because actual value means anything)
      But the law itself doesn't make sense. What it DOES do is encourage more trash (Mr Major said himself "you can always buy 2") And of course for people who want more and buy two, it means more money for the company.
      Just stop trying to legislate everythin
    • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:28PM (#41644821) Homepage
      500ml bottles are common in the industry and correspond to a 16.9oz beverage. My conclusion is: this policy is a secret attack on the metric system.
  • A liberal city. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @05:13PM (#41644169)

    I'm not conservative... But I have to say, I recall a LOT of liberals flaming conservatives for implying that laws such as these would ever be passed in health care related arguments... Looks like the right was on the money about that for once.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      We're just looking out for you health since you obviously aren't as smart as we are. By the way, we've noticed you haven't been exercising enough. Time for your mandatory 5 mile hike.

  • by jamesl (106902) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @05:26PM (#41644267)

    OJ has about 15 calories per ounce.
    Coca Cola has about 12 calories per ounce.
    In each case it is pretty much all from sugar but there's nothing in the law prohibiting large servings of orange juice.

    Morons.

  • You know, while I fundamentally disagree with the law as being unconstitutional, at least it seemed well intentioned. Now I find they exempted all kinds of places from it. WTF? It's okay to stop by the convenience store and grab a 96 ounce coke for my drive home but I can't have one at the Cinema? You gotta be kidding me. What the hell makes it okay to indulge at 7-eleven but not at the Movies? jeez!

  • by jayrtfm (148260) <jslash AT sophont DOT com> on Saturday October 13, 2012 @05:48PM (#41644431) Homepage Journal

    Bloomberg has cited a study as evidence that the ban is needed. Too bad that the scientists who did the study say that he totally missed the point. [theatlantic.com]

    • *Mod parent up!*

      Good points from the article for the lazy:
      -People who feel like they've been "good" for one meal will simply compensate by eating worse for the rest of the day
      -A construction worker who buys one large drink and nurses it all day would be impacted. (I would include tourists and shoppers in this as well).

      And the best one:
      -If this fails, no one will try anything like it anywhere in the US for a *very long time*, preventing any actual worthwhile legislation from being passed.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:44PM (#41644959)
    You'd think people would just order another pop. "I'd like to order another pop please. " Subway employee,"Sorry sir, you look visibly hydrated. I can't serve you more beverage."
  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Saturday October 13, 2012 @06:47PM (#41644979) Journal

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM [youtube.com]

    I've been reading and reading and reading about sugar for the last couple of months and that video is really something everyone should watch. The stuff is quite genuinely addictive, I'm sure in very very low quantities it's quite FUN to eat but it does nothing for you, the problem is what it does to your body - I'm quite horribly addicted to the stuff.

    Watch that video and get educated on the stuff.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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