Bloomberg Sugary Drink Ban

This has been the topic of discussion for a week now and with it making a showing on Feed52, it seemed like a good time to ask the food52 community about their thoughts on the ban. I'll say that I support the ban. I think that as long as taxpayers are in any small way contributing to the health expenses of those who are obese, the government should limit those things that are at the root of the problem. Now, I realize many are going to say that embracing Bloomberg's proposal is a slippery slope. But the slippery slope argument is never a good one. ALmost everything one does, if you pushed beyond comfortable bounds, can become a slippery slope. The goal always is to a draw a line in the right place, so that you don't get to the bottom of the slope.

  • Posted by: ATG117
  • June 9, 2012


Dianemwj June 10, 2012
In my opinion this ban is asinine and unenforcable. What's to prevent someone who wants 32 oz of sugared soda from simply buying two? Or buying one at one outlet and another somewhere else? This brings to mind a short story by F. Paul Wilson, a science fiction/horror writer, entitled "Lipidleggin'" in which the government outlaws butter and eggs due to their high cholesterol and saturated fat content. The ban on these items results in a booming black market and a government law enforcement agency is created to track down these "lipidleggers". Science fiction? Not so much any more. That's where the "slippery slope" comes in. If people willing give up their freedom to make bad nutritional choices, will it end with just soda?
jmburns June 9, 2012
With all the problems with just about everything we consume this ban is stupid. Why not tax the drinks an extra $5 per soda. It has worked so well for cigarettes. Or maybe an extra $7 like alcohol drinks prohibition worked so well. You will never regulate people into good health and trying to is absurd.
Linn June 9, 2012
My greatest concern is that the ban on oversized drinks will not work -- just one more expensive inconvenience to the people who do not need a reminder and one more restriction to be ignored or circumvented by the people who really do need to cut back. Personally I tend to fall on the "personal responsibility" side of the debate. But thanks to the person who opened up the discussion because no matter how this one plays out, the issue is not going away any time soon.
inpatskitchen June 9, 2012
I'm still trying to figure out whatever happened to "personal responsibility"? The onslaught of the "nanny state" makes my blood boil!
healthierkitchen June 9, 2012
I was wondering about limiting the ban to children - i.e. requiring ID to purchase a super large soda as you do with cigarettes or alcohol.
drbabs June 9, 2012
OK, I'll bite. I've been thinking about this a lot, and I have really mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I admire what Mayor Bloomberg has accomplished in the name of health--banning smoking, building bike lanes. And who needs 32 ounces of sugared drink? Especially every day? So I understand the limitation. And I support it in practice.

Yet, even though I'm not a nanny-stater, I feel uncomfortable with the ban. What's next? Cupcakes? Foie gras? At the same time, I think that if the largest size of soda of any type were 16 ounces instead of 32, no harm would be done, and maybe it would have a small effect on the obesity crisis. And who knows what else? Maybe fewer restroom lines?

I work with someone for whom the notion that the government would limit anything we do is totally frightening. He thinks that the marketplace will determine what is and isn't marketable. Of course it has, and now we're in the situation we're in -- a nation of obese sugar addicts. But I respect him, and can see his point--if only we as a nation were better at distinguishing what's good for us vs. what's easy or tasty.

Can you tell I'm confused? I hate that our health care costs are spiraling out of control, partly because of people's bad habits. And I hate that there are industries whose success depends on appealing to our drives and addictive nature. And I wish, as my friend says, that companies that make those products would dry up and blow away because no one buys them. Unfortunately, the opposite is true--addictive products like caffeine and sugar laden sodas are as popular as ever.

So I guess I do support the ban even if only because it gets the country talking about it. We can't change if we don't know what we're doing. So I applaud Mayor Bloomberg for getting us to look at ourselves and our choices.
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