Have you seen the movie Super Size Me? Not only does this movie explore the negative health and emotional effects of fast food, but portion size is also a premise. Why do we need super size of anything? I don’t think I could even eat a super size salad!
Given new studies finding high sugar consumption makes us dumb, and the United States Food and Drug Administration’s rejection of the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup to Corn Sugar, limiting consumption of sweet sodas is wise. Given the public health cost of obesity, governments are getting involved where individual will power has failed. I can’t help but remember Frog and Toad‘s conversation about will power when they feed the cookies to the birds.
According to the New York Times:
New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.
The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.
Grocery stores and convenience stores would be exempt. I can understand the grocery store exemption, but convenience stores are where people buy their Big Gulps.
This proposed new regulation brings up the age old argument of personal freedom versus government. Typically, I choose personal freedom in most battles, but when the standard American diet has gotten so far off course from fresh foods and juices, something has to be done. Anyone that tries to eat mostly raw, organic, fresh food knows the challenge it is traveling to find such whole foods outside of your own community. It is certainly easier in some communities, like the Bay Area, than in other parts of the country, like the Deep South.
Mayor Bloomberg explains:
“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Wednesday in City Hall’s sprawling Governor’s Room.
“New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,” he said. “I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”
As expected, the soda industry is up in arms about the proposed action feeling soda is being unfairly targeted by the New York City Health Department. I am tired of big business running our health and diet choices.
What do you think? Should NYC ban super size sodas? Is this an infringement on personal freedom?
I suppose my reaction is based on if such a ban would impose on my own personal freedom, and the answer is no. I don’t drink sodas, except perhaps an organic one in a cocktail on occasion. I don’t feel this is a freedom we need to protect. If you want to gorge yourself on sweet foods, then bake a cake.
I definitely don’t have the same reaction when I see someone with a super size water bottle as I do a super size soda.