“It is arbitrary and capricious because it applies to some but not all food establishments in the city, it excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories on suspect grounds, and the loopholes inherent in the rule ... serve to gut the purpose of the rule,” he wrote.
Bloomberg disagreed. "We think the judge is totally in error in the way he interpreted the law," he said after the ruling was issued Monday. "Being the first to do something is never easy. When we began this, we knew we would face lawsuits.... We’re confident today’s decision will ultimately be reversed."
Indeed, the Mayor’s Office said it plans to appeal the ruling.
“We plan to appeal the decision as soon as possible, and we are confident the Board of Health’s decision will ultimately be upheld,” Michael Cardozo, New York City's corporation counsel, said in a statement. "This measure is part of the City’s multi-pronged effort to combat the growing obesity epidemic, which takes the lives of more than 5,000 New Yorkers every year, and we believe the Board of Health has the legal authority – and responsibility – to tackle its leading causes.”
Bloomberg promoted the soda ban as a means to fight New York’s overweight and obesity rate, which currently stands at 58 percent, as well as rein in the city’s health-care costs. According to the New York City Department of Health, the city spends an estimated $4.7 billion each year on medical care for overweight and obese people. A New York City Community Health Survey released Monday linked consumption of sugary beverages to high rates of obesity.