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Sugary-drinks fight isn’t over yet in NYC

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he will appeal a ruling that blocked a ban on large sugary drinks.

ALLISON JOYCE/GETTY IMAGES

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he will appeal a ruling that blocked a ban on large sugary drinks.

NEW YORK — Businesses got a last-minute reprieve from the nation’s first ban on big sugary drinks. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging them to shrink their cups and bottles anyway.

A judge struck down New York’s 16-ounce limit for soda and some other sweet drinks as arbitrary and outside the purview of city health regulators, but Bloomberg defended it Tuesday as a groundbreaking anti-obesity effort.

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‘‘The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose,’’ wrote the judge, Milton Tingling.

‘‘I don’t think there’s any doubt that momentum is moving­ in our direction,’’ Bloomberg said at a Manhattan diner that is voluntarily complying with the policy.

A few hours later, the city filed formal notice of its plan to appeal. The American Beverage Association and other business groups that sued said they were ‘‘confident in the ruling’’ by the judge.

For now, though, the ruling means the ax did not fall on supersize sodas, sweetened teas, and other high-sugar beverages.

On the ‘‘Late Show with David Letterman’’ Monday night, Bloomberg defended the ban, but he also joked about his own ‘‘addiction.’’

‘‘As long as you don’t ban Cheez-Its,’’ he said. ‘‘Cheez-Its are OK. That’s my addiction.’’

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