New York City argues appeal of decision invalidating its ban on large sugary drinks

by Brian Wolfman

We posted in March when a state trial court in New York threw out New York City's ban on the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. We have posted many times on the ban, including here, here, here, and here.

On Tuesday, New York's appeal was argued in the New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division (First Department). At the same time, the New York City Department of Health released two items worth reading: a "fact vs. fiction" flyer, which debunks myths about the ban, and a history of significant public health measures taken over the years by the city's health department, which helps put the large sugary drink ban in perspective.

In addition, New York City Health Commissioner, Thomas Farley, has penned this op-ed for Forbes. Here's an excerpt:

There’s been a lot of discussion about the nation’s epidemic of obesity,
but not enough about a second epidemic riding its wake: diabetes. Like
obesity, Type 2 diabetes is preventable. Here in New York City we are
trying to fight this epidemic, and we hope the court system will allow
us to do so. Diabetes is twice as common in those who are obese. In 2011, nearly
650,000 adult New Yorkers reported having diabetes; that’s 200,000 more
than 10 years ago. Most of us know someone with diabetes, and many can
attest to its painful, debilitating effects. In 2011, there were 5,695
deaths in New York City in which diabetes was either the main cause or a
contributing cause – twice the number of deaths as from HIV, overdose,
and homicide combined. Diabetes is also one of the largest drivers of
increasing health care costs. One of the key factors leading to the epidemic of diabetes sits right in
front of us: giant servings of sugary drinks like soda, fruit-flavored
drinks, and so-called energy drinks. These drinks can pack loads of
sugar per serving and are often served in mega-portions. One 64-ounce
regular soda can have more than 200 grams of added sugar, over eight
times the total daily amount the American Heart Association recommends for women. Sugary drink consumption can bring on obesity and
diabetes, and drinking just one sugary drink per day increases a
person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

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