updated - May 19, 2013 Sunday EDT
New York City's Board of Health voted to approve the "soda ban" on Thursday which limits the sale of large sugary drinks within the city.
The regulation, which was proposed in the spring by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, puts a 16-ounce size limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas, and other calorie-packed beverages. The limit does not apply to grocery stores and other venues or to dairy-based drinks such as milkshakes.
One board member, Dr. Sixto R. Caro, abstained from voting. The other eight board members voted yes.
"I am still skeptical. . This is not comprehensive enough," said Caro, a doctor of internal medicine who practices in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
However, experts say it remains to be seen whether the city will actually be healthier. Critics have pointed out that people could just buy two 16-ounce drinks rather than a 32-ounce drink.
One recent study attempting to look at what effect the law might have showed that the new measure could reduce New Yorker's average calorie consumption, but only if at least 40 percent of people make changes in their drink consumption.
However, if only 30 percent of consumers switched, no decrease in the average calories consumed per meal would occur, the researchers said. The magic number needed to see any effect was 40 percent - if that percentage of consumers switched to a single 16-ounce beverage, then overall calorie consumption would decrease by close to 10 calories, according to the study, which was published in July in the New England Journal of Medicine.
A study published this week in the journal Pediatrics showed that, in fact, overweight and obese teenagers consume fewer calories on average than their healthy-weight peers.
"For older children and teenagers, increasing involvement in physical activity may be more important to weight and health than is their child's diet," said study researcher Asheley Cockrell Skinner, an assistant professor of health policy and pediatrics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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