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NYC bans big, sugary drinks at restaurants

NEW YORK — New York City cracked down on supersize sodas and other sugary drinks Thursday in what was celebrated as a groundbreaking attempt to curb obesity but condemned as a blatant intrusion into people’s lives by a busybody mayor.

Barring any court action, the measure takes effect in March. The regulations apply to any establishment with a food-service license, including concession stands at Yankee Stadium and pizzerias in Little Italy. They will be barred from serving sugary beverages in cups or bottles larger than 16 ounces. No other US city has gone that far.

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‘‘We cannot continue to have our kids come down with diabetes at age 6,’’ said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He rejected suggestions the rule assaults liberty. ‘‘Nobody is banning anything,’’ he said, noting that customers can still buy as much soda as they want, but in multiple containers.

A New York Times poll last month showed six in 10 New Yorkers opposed such restrictions, which do not apply to supermarkets or most convenience stores.

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