Mayor Bloomberg’s heart was in the right place when he sought to ban oversized soft drinks loaded with sugar. They are incredibly unhealthy. But in this instance, he went about trying to promote good health the wrong way.
That point was reiterated this week when the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division ruled that the lower court was correct to block implementation of the planned ban on unhealthy drinks over 16 ounces. A judge had earlier determined that the executive branch had no right to unilaterally prohibit such products, without action from the City Council. And, he said, the rule was arbitrary and capricious, because it would only apply to city-regulated stores, exempting state-regulated ones like 7-Eleven, with its iconic Big Gulps. That made it unfair to small businesses, and rather pointless.
The city intends to appeal to the state’s highest court. We’d rather it gave up and focused on health education and persuasion instead of coercion to improve the public’s drinking habits.