KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Judge Blocks NYC’s Big Gulp Ban, Bloomberg Vows Appeal

A New York state judge blocked New York City's limit on big sugary drinks Monday, just a day before the law was set to take effect, calling the limits "arbitrary and capricious." And in a preemptive strike, Mississippi lawmakers have sent legislation to the governor's desk which would bar counties and towns from enacting rules that require calorie counts to be posted, cap portion sizes, or keep toys out of kids’ meals. 

The New York Times: Judge Blocks New York City's Limits On Big Sugary Drinks
In an unusually critical opinion, Justice Milton A. Tingling Jr. of State Supreme Court in Manhattan called the limits "arbitrary and capricious," echoing the complaints of city business owners and consumers who had deemed the rules unworkable and unenforceable, with confusing loopholes and voluminous exemptions (Grynbaum, 3/11).

NPR: Judge Overturns New York City Ban On Big Sugary Sodas
A New York state judge has knocked down New York City's landmark new ban on big, sugary drinks, just one day before it was set to take effect. Calling them "arbitrary and capricious," state Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling on Monday invalidated regulations that would have banned New York City restaurants, movie theaters and other food service establishments from serving sugary drinks in sizes bigger than 16 ounces. The ban would have covered not just sodas but a wide array of other sugar-sweetened drinks, from smoothies to coffee (Godoy and Aubrey, 3/11).

The Wall Street Journal: Judge Cans Soda Ban
At a late afternoon news conference, Mr. Bloomberg and the city's top lawyer, Michael Cardozo, said they believed the judge erred in his ruling and vowed to appeal. The decision was both lauded and criticized by city officials and others. … New York state Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling declared invalid Mr. Bloomberg's plan to prohibit restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas from selling sugary drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces. The ban was set to begin Tuesday (Saul, 3/11).

Reuters: Judge Blocks New York City Large-Soda Ban, Mayor Bloomberg Vows Fight
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed on Monday to appeal a judge's ruling that struck down his pioneering ban on large sugary drinks sold by the city's restaurants, movie theaters and other food service businesses just a day before it was to take effect. The judge called the ban "arbitrary and capricious" in an 11th-hour decision that dealt a serious blow to Bloomberg, who has made public health a cornerstone of his administration, with laws prohibiting smoking in restaurants, bars and parks; banning trans fats; and requiring chain restaurants to post calorie counts (Ax, 3/12).

Medpage Today: ‘Nanny State’ Soda Ban Shot Down By Court
A ban on sugary beverages sold in New York City has been ruled unconstitutional by a state Supreme Court judge, but as the city mulls its next move, other jurisdictions are already implementing their own restrictions on unhealthy behaviors. Judge Milton Tingling wrote in his decision that the regulations, set to go into effect Tuesday, were "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences." "The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule," Judge Tingling said. The controversial soda ban aims to prohibit the sale of sugared beverages in quantities larger than 16 ounces in places regulated by the city health department, including national chains such as Dunkin' Donuts and Subway sandwich shops (Struck, 3/12).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Mississippi Legislature Passes 'Anti-Bloomberg' Bill
Mayor Mike and his public health edicts are having a rough ride. On Monday, a state judge in Manhattan knocked down the rule capping soda sizes that Mayor Michael Bloomberg championed. Lawmakers in Mississippi are taking things one step further. A bill on the governor’s desk would bar counties and towns from enacting rules that require calorie counts to be posted, that cap portion sizes, or that keep toys out of kids’ meals (Hess, 3/11).

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