NYC's big-soda ban falls flat -- for now

Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks at a 64-ounce soda Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks at a 64-ounce soda cup that would have been banned had his effort to outlaw soft drinks larger than 16 ounces succeeded. The state appeals court announced Tuesday, July 30, 2013, that it struck down the ban. (March 12, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and ...

How much gulp is too much gulp?

Since a state appeals court took the fizz out of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's big-soda ban, beverage distributors, restaurant owners and movie-theater operators in the city have been high-fiving their constitutional right to dispense bathtub-sized Cokes, Pepsis and Slurpees. Libertarians, anarchists and men with very large guts have been smiling as well.

While the city's Board of Health has the power to ban "inherently harmful" foodstuffs, the Appellate Division judges ruled oversweetened beverages don't fall sufficiently into that category.

So here's a running tally from the save-your-life beat: City Hall has found a way to ban trans-fats, smoking in public places and most kind of guns. The city's gotten calories posted in chain restaurants and some cutbacks in salt.

All amid similar grumbling from the eat-what-I-want-to critics. And the adult obesity rate in the past 10 years has still gone up from 18 to 24 percent.

Bloomberg's promising to appeal the latest ruling, and you know he will. But eventually, city lawyers will find a way to cut the serving size of nondiet soft drinks.

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So drink up, OK?


INHERENTLY UNHEALTHY

1. Anthony Weiner Family-Defense League

2. Alex Rodriguez School for Healthy Sportsmanship

3. Edward Snowden Moscow Welcome Wagon

4. O.J. Simpson Early-Parole Society

5. Whitey Bulger Freedom Trail


ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Who will be the first North Shore-LIJ physician to be told "your fees aren't usual and customary" by the hospital's own North Shore-LIJ insurance company? Outside carriers used to be the ones complaining about that . . . Do Nassau County women really live four years longer than Nassau County men -- or does it just seem that way? . . . Why the recent rash of dolphin deaths in Long Beach? It's three and counting with no outward signs of trauma or injury . . . You mean two Old Westbury brothers-in-law rolled Montauk's Panoramic View Resort into a panoramic $96-million Ponzi scheme? Feds are saying "Brian Callahan," "Adam Manson" and "securities fraud." . . . Who was screaming louder at that Justin Bieber scream-off at Ulta in Commack? The pop heartthrob's teenage fans dreaming of free tickets to his Belieber Tour -- or their similarly smitten (and loud) moms? . . . What does "lights out at the Long Island Tech Mall" mean for LI's Silicon Island dreams? Was the problem scale, vision or too few Aeron chairs and cappuccinos at Hauppauge Industrial Park? . . . What does it take to get fired as a Nassau cop? Something more than drunkenly pointing a loaded service revolver at the head of bar manager? No one's disputing the facts, only the expected slap-on-the-wrist for Richard Hefferon.

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THE NEWS IN SONG: A candy bar for your lunch: Haley Bonar's "Bad for You," tinyurl.com/haleybad

LONG ISLANDER OF THE WEEK: GARY ROGERS

Dedicated animal activist, dog man of Massapequa -- now add Nassau County animal-cruelty prevention coordinator to Gary Rogers' inter-speciel resume. Gary helped to operate the county's emergency pet shelter in the crazy days after superstorm Sandy. He cared for search-and-rescue dogs after 9/11. In between, he never strayed from helping strays. In the new role, he's volunteering his services to the county free of charge.

Email Ellis@henican.com
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