The idea's spread to other cities underscores New York's role as a testbed.
Taking a page out of Michael Bloomberg's playbook, one city in Massachusetts has announced its own plans to pursue a version of New York's controversial soft drink ban:
Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis proposed the idea at the City Council's meeting Monday night, saying she brought the idea forward because of the health risks posed by consuming too much soda.
Davis has ordered health officials to come up with recommendations on how such a ban might be implemented. For its part, New York's draft proposal prohibits most "food service establishments" from selling sugary sodas in quantities larger than 16 ounces, and some reports suggest Cambridge may toe the same line.
Bloomberg's pitch, of course, has met with fierce debate since it was unveiled late last month, so expect to see some of the same battles being waged further north in coming weeks. Some Cambridge lawmakers are challenging Davis' move, saying the city should wait and see what happens to New York before moving ahead.
But that's exactly the kind of thinking that could wind up killing the proposal. As Brian Wansink recently argued, the failure of a New York soda ban -- whatever its deficiencies on the merits -- "poisons the water" for future government attempts at fighting obesity. He was talking about New York, but there's every reason to believe other cities would look to the Big Apple's botched example as a reason not to pursue anti-obesity regulation any further. On the flip side, the more its proponents can legitimize the measure, the better its chances of survival. And one way they can do that, indirectly, is to inspire other local governments to pick up the cause.