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The end of super-sized sodas?

large sodaFrom towering skyscrapers to giant, flashy advertisements in Times Square, everything in New York City seems big. But starting in March, when you visit a movie theater or restaurant in the Big Apple and ask for an extra large soda, you’ll be told you can’t go that big here anymore. New York City has signed into law the first U.S. ban of oversized sugary drinks (those larger than 16 ounces) nearly everywhere except grocery and convenience stores. While it’s unclear whether other cities will follow New York’s lead, recent studies lend more evidence that sugary drinks contribute to obesity. Three recent studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine have determined that sugar-sweetened drinks may influence the development of obesity among children, adolescents and adults.

Critics have said the ban will hurt small businesses and is an infringement on personal freedom, while those in favor of the ban have heralded it as a bold step in the right direction to stem the growing obesity rate in the United States.

Whether you agree with the ban or not, limiting your consumption of sugary drinks can help you avoid unnecessary calories that can lead to weight gain and increase your risk of obesity-related illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes.