Hey guys! I’m sure you read about it, because it was freakin’ everywhere today, but NYC Mayor Bloomberg has proposed that NYC prohibit the sale of big ass sodas. Or, to put it more delicately (& truthfully), the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as sodas, sweetened teas and coffees, energy drinks and fruit drinks, over 16 oz.
As the NY Times reports: “If approved, the proposal, which is slated to take effect as early as next March, would prohibit restaurants, delis, sports arena vendors, movie theaters and food carts regulated by the city health department from selling sugary beverages in sizes larger than 16 oz. Fines for failing to downsize could be as high as $200.
The ban would apply to food service establishments selling bottled as well as fountain drinks; retailers would have to remove 20-oz. soft drink bottles from their shelves, and delis and restaurants offering self-service fountains wouldn’t be able to give customers cups larger than 16 oz. The ban wouldn’t affect convenience stores or grocery stores and wouldn’t apply to diet drinks, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes or alcoholic beverages.”
I asked you guys on Facebook if you were for it or against it and 6 of you voted “yes” in support and 3 of you voted “no” in opposition. Clearly, I made the question extremely compelling and used my huge reach across the blogosphere to get a large sampling of votes. heh.
Here are two of the best comments:
“While I am NOT a supporter of drinking sugary sodas, I don’t think the Mayor or anyone else should tell anyone how much they can eat or drink. What’s next? Are they going to limit the number of toilet paper sheets you can use? (Oh wait…I think Sheryl Crow tried that already…”
“yet i could walk out of the same store with a carton of cigarettes? thats beyond ridiculous, it isnt the government’s job/role to try and be my mother or my conscience.”
This would be prohibited, in case you’re wondering…
What do I think? I’m so glad you “asked”!
I think it’s like putting a band-aid on a wound. I get the intention. I don’t drink sodas myself (not even diet) and don’t recommend that anyone drink them. But prohibiting a big-ass soda cup (and still letting people buy multiple servings of sugar-filled-drank in 16-oz-or-less cups) doesn’t really do much of anything except annoy people who are going to drink soda anyway.
Plus, I’m over legally-sanctioned moralization of food. It does leave us all scratching our heads thinking about how a big soda is banned, but that we may buy as much alcohol as we want, cigarettes, Twinkies, etc. Plus these sorts of things get people accustomed to thinking the government is the one to decide what foods are “good” and “bad.” It doesn’t educate people; it doesn’t make healthful foods more accessible; and it doesn’t address more complex factors dictating why too many of us have poor health.
But, what we all think is pretty pointless. As the WSJ Times reports, “The ban, which is expected to start next March, would be in effect for less than a year before Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s successor assumes office. Three potential mayoral candidates weren’t fully supportive of the effort and, if elected, could revisit the issue of selling sugary beverages in containers larger than 16 ounces.”
So, there you have it.
The Cranky One