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NYC health panel gives nod to big-drink ban

The New York City Board of Health voted 8-0 on Thursday to approve the proposed ban on sales of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, arenas and street carts. The ban, proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and hotly contested by the soft drink industry, will go into effect March 12 unless a judge blocks it before then. New York State Restaurant Association spokesman Andrew Moesel said, "Proposals like the soda ban discourage new business and hurt our reputation as the dining capital of the world," and anti-soda-ban group New Yorkers for Beverage Choices said it will continue to oppose the measure.