UPDATE: Judge Strikes Down NYC Sugary-Drinks Size Rule
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City's groundbreaking limit on the size of sugar-laden drinks has been struck down by a judge shortly before it was set to take effect.
The restriction was supposed to start Tuesday.
Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling writes that loopholes "effectively defeat the stated purpose" of the rule.
The rule prohibits selling non-diet soda and some other sugary beverages in containers bigger than 16 ounces. It applies at places ranging from pizzerias to sports stadiums, though not at supermarkets or convenience stores.
City officials say the limit will curb obesity by making it easy for people to stop at 16 ounces of high-calorie drinks.
The beverage industry and other opponents say it's a nannyish measure that will hurt businesses.
YAHOO.COM - Michael Bloomberg's large, sugary drink ban will start in NYC this week!
But Bloomberg is facing some intense opposition from corporate giant Starbucks. The coffee chain said it would continue to offer 20-ounce "venti" drinks because of the milk content.
Bloomberg told television show Face The Nation that Starbucks' plan was "ridiculous."
"Starbucks knows how to market things, knows how to package things," Bloomberg said. "They can change instantly when it's in their interest to do so."
The new mandate limits sugary drinks sold at restaurants, movie theaters, street carts, and more to 16 ounces.
A Starbucks spokeswoman told NBC on Thursday that it was not making any immediate changes to its menu as a result of the ban.
The coffee giant "doesn't think its drinks are subject to the new regulations because many of the company's signature drinks are milk-based, and most are highly customizable," NBC reported.
Starbucks competitor Dunkin' Donuts is taking the mandate more seriously.
At Dunkin', customers will have to add your own sugar to large and extra-large hot beverage and medium and large iced beverages. Same for flavors (like mocha or vanilla syrup).
The company also announced that sweet beverages like hot chocolate will only be available in small and medium sizes.
Bloomberg's ban, which only affects restaurants and places that sell prepared foods, is meant to combat obesity.
But critics of the ban say it will be difficult to enforce and will make business less efficient.
For example, instead of a Dunkin' Donuts employee adding sugar to a drink and handing it off, customers will have to line up to add their own sugar.
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