New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban on the sale of large fizzy drinks and other sugary beverages in the hopes of combating obesity.
City officials said they believe it will ultimately prove popular with New Yorkers and push other US authorities towards adopting similar rules.
Mr Bloomberg said in a TV interview: "The percentage of the population that is obese is skyrocketing. We've got to do something."
The plan -- expected to take effect as soon as March -- is the latest health effort by his administration to spark accusations that city officials are meddling in matters that should be left to individuals.
Coca-Cola hit out at the move, saying: "New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase."
The proposal would impose a 16oz (almost half a litre) limit on sugary drinks sold at restaurants, cinemas, sports venues and street vendor carts.
Under Bloomberg, New York has outlawed trans fats in restaurant food and forced restaurants to post calorie counts on menus.