New York city's groundbreaking limit on the size of sugary drinks has been struck down by a judge, shortly before it was set to take effect.

The restriction was supposed to start tomorrow.

Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling said that loopholes "effectively defeat the stated purpose" of the rule.

The rule prohibits selling non-diet soda and some other sugary beverages in containers bigger than 16 ounces (473ml).

It applies at places ranging from pizzerias to sports stadiums, though not at supermarkets or convenience stores.

City officials said the limit will curb obesity by making it easy for people to stop at 16 ounces of high-calorie drinks.

The beverage industry and other opponents said it was a nanny-type measure that would hurt businesses.