Skip to comments.Banning large sugar sweetened drinks is a start [The nanny statist speaks.]
Posted on 06/16/2012 11:39:59 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows
In an effort to combat obesity and all the health problems that are associated with it, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced a plan to ban the sale of sugar-sweetened drinks to 16 ounces or less. It also includes a $200 fine to vendors who violate it. If passed, the ban could take place as early as next March. The ban would not include diet drinks, juice-based drinks, or alcoholic beverages. It would also not include drinks sold at convenience or grocery stores.
So, my first reaction was, Um, whats the point? If I cant get a large soda at the movie theater or the drive-thru, whats stopping me from swinging by my local 7-Eleven to get my fill?
It didnt make sense to me. But the more I think about it, I applaud the effort. I mean, you have to start somewhere, right? And who needs 32 ounces of soda at the movie theater? It just disrupts the movie with bathroom breaks. Seriously, though, Mr. Bloomberg should be recognized for his public health efforts. He banned both smoking and trans fats at restaurants, in addition to requiring restaurants to post their health grades in their windows. For a city in which at least half of the people are overweight or obese, I think its a fair start.
The New York City Beverage Association is speaking out against the ban; its members feel that the beverage industry is being singled out. Beverage companies say that drinks alone are not the cause of the obesity problem in the US. Are they correct? Obesity is a huge problem (forgive the pun) in this country. Its outright scary. But its multi-factorial. People dont exercise enough. Physical education programs are being cut from school curricula. Fast food is cheap and convenient. Healthy food is more expensive and doesnt come from a drive-thru. And yes, portion sizes are huge. Think about a regular cheeseburger at McDonalds versus the size of a burger at your local sports bar. When was the last time you saw a burger on a menu that was made of less than 1/3 lb of beef? The size of a bagel has increased three fold in the last 20 years. Im also pretty sure that when I went to the movies as a kid, the small drink wasnt as big as my head.
Another common argument against such policies is in reference to personal freedom. Lets be honest people arent exactly making the best choices with their personal freedom these days. The obesity rate is rising at an alarming rate, and so is the percentage of Americans without insurance or depending on government programs for healthcare. It is clear that obesity leads to multiple health problems. Should we encourage personal freedoms that can, and do, exacerbate these conditions? Especially if our tax money is funding them?
Its a touchy area, I know. But as a taxpaying citizen and a physician who sees obesity and its consequences on a daily basis, I know that we have to start somewhere. And if it makes people a little angry, then so be it.
Mandy Huggins is a sports medicine physician who blogs on her self-titled site, Dr. Mandy Huggins.
The comments are interesting split between freedom-lovers and nanny-staters. John Stuart Mill is quoted.
THIS BIG DRINK IS MAKING ME FAT! MAKE THEM STOP SELLING IT!
Or, you know, buy a smaller drink, or don’t drink it, or whatever you do, don’t get six refills while you’re at the restaurant. Or even better, how about firing each and every stupid idiot who thinks that this is a power that the city or ANYONE should have?
Yeah, I remember when I was a kid, a bagel at the local deli was only as big as a Cheerio.
I like the song.
Dr Musso-Mandy is self-appointed, of course.
And you had to five miles in a blizzard to get it. Uphill! BOTH WAYS!
And that gets to the point of the matter, as Eric Blair 2084 has said. When the government is taking care of people's health, the taxpayers and government eventually see a duty to limit people's choices in order to save money.
Let's hope the Supremes overturn Obamacare.
Nanny State PING!
Do these bans apply to all the amnestied illegals, too, or to just us lowly citizens?
Anyone found not eating government prescribed food stuffs would face lengthy imprisonment and fines. Children of the offending families would be given to government agencies. The sentences would be issued by a special court of food and meal officers, and there would be no appeals. Sounds like a democratic process to me. (smirk)
And misunderstood. Mill goes to considerable length to point out that the argument of "harm to others" only applies if it is a specific quantifiable harm to identifiable individual(s) not a amorphous general society.
Also one quite pertinent statement
The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited: He must not make himself a nuisance to other people - JS MillSociety reformers take note
I lost my taste for soda when I was in my 40’s, don’t drink coffee anymore and i just drink tea most of the time.
You’re either free or you are not. It is always the liberals that want to enslave you, and voting them in will always invite them to put chains on you.
However, I would severely limit what food stamp recipients could buy. I get disgusted watching overweight people buy crap on my dime.
And the winner will be....the retailers selling soda in 15-ounce cups, or smaller, for the same, or higher, price.
“The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog is.” —G. K. Chesterton
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