NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Board of Health has unanimously approved to hold a series of public hearings on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on super-sized sugary drinks.

Bloomberg officially proposed the ban to the Board of Health on Tuesday.

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“The department’s view is that the sugary drinks are the item that is most closely associated with the gross of this epidemic and so we drew a proposal as narrow as possible that addressed this largest single driver of the epidemic,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

The proposal would put a 16-ounce limit of sugary drinks sold at city restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts and would apply to both bottled and fountain drinks.

It would not include grocery or convenience stores that don’t serve prepared food and wouldn’t apply to diet soda, other calorie-free drinks or anything that has at least 50 percent milk or milk substitute.

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1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reports

On Monday, several groups in favor of the proposed ban rallied on the steps of City Hall to show their support for Bloomberg. But others, including some city lawmakers and companies like Coco-Cola, have called the plan “pointless” and “arbitrary.”

“If we set a precedent about portion sizes, what’s to say that we won’t limit people to 16 French fries or one hot dog a day,” said New York State Restaurant Association spokesman Andrew Moesel.

The proposal would need approval by the Board of Health and could take effect as soon as next March if passed.

The first of three public hearings is set for July 24.

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