"Limiting the sale of beverages to consumers will do nothing more than force small-business franchise restaurant owners to raise prices on other items to account for the loss in sales, or worse yet, consider laying off workers, and neither option is a good option," Judith Thorman, IFA's senior vice president of government relations and public policy, said in a letter to the board.
Restaurant owners also would be forced to purchase additional equipment or spend money on remodeling — operating costs that "will be significant and borne by thousands of businesses," Thorman said.
The rule, she added, is "draconian."
The IFA, part of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, a coalition opposed to the ban, says franchise businesses support more than 784,000 jobs and $46 billion in economic output in New York State.
Arguments over the issue were aired at a public hearing Tuesday, with Brooklyn Borough Chief Marty Markowitz saying it was his overindulgence in pasta, pastrami, bagels and other foods — not sugary drinks — that made him overweight.
Health advocates link sodas and other sugary drinks to obesity, which is tied to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and considered a cause of psychosocial problems.
The Los Angeles Timesreported recently that more than 100 health organizations and city health departments and more than two dozen scientists made those points in a letter asking the U.S. surgeon general to report on sugar-sweetened drinks.
The New York board is scheduled to vote on the proposal in September. If approved, it would take effect six months later.