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.
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.