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New York City adopts drink size restriction, McDonald’s to list calories

In a blow for the soft drink industry and a win for anti-obesity advocates, the New York City Board of Health voted today to restrict sales of sweetened soft drinks to no more than 16 ounces a cup in restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas. The vote was 8 to 0, with one abstension.

“This is the single biggest step any city has ever taken to curb obesity, certainly not the last step that lots of cities are going to take,” Mayor Michgael Bloomberg said at a City Hall news conference after the vote, Bloomberg Business Week reported. “We believe it will save many lives.”

Soft drink companies had opposed the restriction on the grounds of freedom of choice.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s announced this week that its restaurants across the country will post calories on inside and drive-through menus beginning Monday. McDonald’s is taking the action ahead of implementation of a federal regulation that will require major chains to post the information.

Bloomberg said today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today that he viewed the McDonald’s announcement as a sign of success in the anti-obesity campaign because the restaurant had threatened to sue the city over menu labeling requirements.