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The Associated Press reports that "the American Beverage Association, the National Restaurant Association, a soft drink workers union and groups representing interests ranging from movie theater owners to Korean-American grocers" have banded together to sue New York City in an effort to block new rules that would restrict the sale of jumbo, sugary soft drinks in certain venues.

The rules were put into place by the city's Department of Health, and will take effect in March 2013. The city says that by putting limits on drink sizes, it can affect the rising obesity rates that plague the metropolitan area.

"For the first time, they're telling New Yorkers how much of certain safe and lawful beverages they can drink. … It's unfair, it's inequitable and it's illegal," said Caroline Starke, a spokeswoman for the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs say that the new rules will hurt small businesses and are reflective of a nanny state that has gone too far.

A spokesman for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who initiated the new rules, responded that "this predictable, yet baseless, lawsuit fortunately will help put an even greater spotlight on the obesity epidemic."

The Mayor's spokesman also noted that the city already has "won fights over outlawing smoking in bars and offices and forcing fast-food restaurants to list calorie counts on their menus."
KC's View:
The real issue for the beverage companies is the real possibility that the NYC regulations could be a template for a lot of other communities dealign with obesity issues. Think about it - just a few years ago, NYC was being sued for forcing fast food companies to post their calorie counts, and now McDonald's is doing it nationwide of its own accord. The game changed, and NYC led the way.

I'm against the jumbo soft drink regulations - I think they are a bridge too far in terms of regulation - but this debate is not just about NYC.