back to top

Appeals Court Rules NYC "Big Gulp Ban" Unconstitutional

New York Ctiy Mayor Michael Bloomberg vows to appeal the decision.

Posted on

New Yorkers will still be able to consume large sugary drinks, thanks to a ruling from a state appeals court Thursday.

Judges unanimously upheld a lower court's ruling in March that the New York City Board of Health's attempt to ban unhealthy soft drinks larger than 16 ounces was unconstitutional.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who's led the charge against big unhealthy drinks, said he will appeal the court's decision.

"Since New York City's ground-breaking limit on the portion size of sugary beverages was prevented from going into effect on March 12th, more than 2,000 New Yorkers have died from the effects of diabetes," Bloomberg said in a statement. "Also during that time, the American Medical Association determined that obesity is a disease and the New England Journal of Medicine released a study showing the deadly, and irreversible, health impacts of obesity and Type 2 diabetes – both of which are disproportionately linked to sugary drink consumption."

The city's law department echoed Bloomberg's vow to appeal the decision.

"We firmly disagree with the court's reasoning and will seek to appeal to the Court of Appeals as quickly as possible," Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo said. "There is broad precedent for the Board of Health to adopt significant measures to protect New Yorkers' public health."

Bloomberg's efforts have been met with heavy resistance from the beverage industry and others, who say the ban would be ineffective and unfair.

Jacob Fischler is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C.

Contact Jacob Fischler at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.