Opponents of NYC Soda Size Limit Feel It Is Racially Unfair

The New York state NAACP and Hispanic Federation are trying to stop the soda size ban from taking effect March 12.

Posted: 01/23/2013 10:17 AM EST

The debate on the New York City soda size limit is heating up. Opponents of the ban, including the NAACP New York state branch and the Hispanic Federation, are joining beverage makers and sellers to stop it from taking effect on March 12.

Critics say it will violate "freedom of choice in low-income communities" and threaten business at minority-owned delis and corner stores.

"This sweeping regulation will no doubt burden and disproportionally impact minority-owned businesses at a time when these businesses can least afford it," they said in court papers obtained by the Associated Press.

In September 2012, Mayor Michael Bloomberg implemented the ban to stop consumers from purchasing soda larger than 16 ounces at eateries. Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown consumption of high calorie drinks is linked to weight gain.

The NAACP and Hispanic Federation are aware of the health crisis in their communities. But they feel it is unfair that the ban will not apply to supermarkets and convenience stores like 7-Eleven. 

7-Eleven carries the Big Gulp, containers as large as 64 fluid ounces, which is well above the soda limit.

The American Beverage Association, movie theater owners and other groups have sued. The groups argue that the restriction should have gone before the elected city council before being approved by the health board.

The lawsuit is being heard this morning.

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(Photo: AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

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