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Not so sweet decision for Bloomberg

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
March 11, 2013 1:39:23 PM PDT
Would reducing the size of sugared drinks reduce the obesity rate in New York City? We will not soon find out.

Mayor Bloomberg's controversial ban on sugared drinks larger than 16 ounces was supposed to start tomorrow.

Not gonna happen.

A judge in New York late this afternoon ruling the Mayor's ban illegal, as well as "arbitrary and capricious."

It means the ban will not go into effect tomorrow. The Mayor's office announced it plans to appeal the decision, but that could take a long time - and Mr. Bloomberg will no longer be in office as of the new year.

Interestingly, the Mayor's office today released a dramatic and compelling study that argued obesity rates would decline if daily sugared drink consumption also declined. If the Health Dept. survey is valid, then clearly the higher the obesity rates, the higher the number of sugared drinks consumed. Is it just coincidence? The mayor clear doesn't think so.

Click here to see the chart.

A study by NYU last summer theorized that the ban would cut daily calories of a "typical" consumer by 63 calories. Of course, the more sugary drinks someone consumes - and then the more he or she reduces that consumption - then the more calories they wouldn't take in and the more weight they might lose.

Now, that study is just a study. The Mayor, however, is still arguing that obesity in New York City takes the lives of 5,000 people every year.

Tonight at 11, we'll have reaction to the decision from the people who were going to be affected - drinkers of sugared soda, sellers (many of whom argued it infringed on people's right to make their own choices), and Mayor Bloomberg himself.

Also at 11, Meteorologist Lee Goldberg is tracking another storm coming our way - this time in the form of rain.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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