Court hears arguments on NYC's big soda ban

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A state appeals court panel had few sweet words Tuesday for a city health regulation that would fight diabetes and obesity by setting a size limit on sugary beverages sold in restaurants.

The four justices peppered a city lawyer with tough questions during a Manhattan court session aimed at determining whether health officials exceeded their authority in placing a 16-ounce limit on most sweetened beverages at city-licensed eateries.

The regulation would apply to thousands of fast food joints, fine restaurants and sports stadiums, but not to supermarkets or most convenience stores. It was struck down in March by a lower-court judge, who found that the rules had too many loopholes that would undermine the health benefits while arbitrarily applying to some businesses but not others. The city appealed.

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