Okay Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, we get it, obesity is a problem in your city and you want to do something about it. But is banning super sized soft drinks really the answer? Is that really going to fix the problem? Because aren’t we after fixing the problem rather than issuing bans that will just be worked around by smart, lazy Americans? And I mean that with all due respect.
I really loved your Tweet:
“More than half of NYC adults (58%) are overweight or obese,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg tweeted Thursday. “We’re doing something about it.”
So, the best idea you and your staff came up with is to ban the sale of soft drinks larger than 16 ounces in restaurants, food carts and any other place that gets a “letter grade” for food service. Which means, grocery stores go exempt.
Hmmm … I guess none of your staff thought about people actually ordering TWO or even THREE 16 ounce drinks to make up for the ban … or even having a non-drinking friend order one for them. People will get around this “ban” quite easily, and the reason they will is the price and their addiction are the same.
Fifty years ago about half the country smoked. Why doesn’t half the country smoke today? It isn’t all about the health reasons, it’s because it’s too darn expensive to smoke – and that’s because of the high taxes imposed on cigarettes. In Bloomberg’s state of New York, they impose a hefty $4.35 tax per PACK of cigarettes, which makes an average pack $11.90. That will keep most teens from even wanting to start. Compare that to just 30 cent tax per pack in Virginia and you can see how New York took care of the smoking problem in their state – jacking taxes.
Why not do the same Bloomberg? If a Coke suddenly cost double tomorrow what it does today, there would be fewer Cokes bought. The extra tax revenue can go help the growing cost of health care in your city, but we know it wouldn’t really make it there, but it is a good thought.
But for some reason, Bloomberg thinks that banning something isn’t taking away people’s rights to make their own choices.
“We’re not taking away anybody’s right to do something; we’re simply making it different for them in how they do it.” He said he hoped the move will help lead to different behaviors. The city spends $4 billion a year on medical care for overweight people,” he said.
Bloomberg, by instating a ban, you are absolutely taking away people’s rights to choose, and this country was based on freedom of choice. However, there are consequences in making poor choices, and adding a hefty tax to those drinks will put a major dent in that $4B health care bill you claim the city is saddled with.
While I completely agree that sugar is one of the leading factors in the rise in obesity, sugar is not just in drinks, it is in literally everything. Restaurants are even putting massive amounts of sugar into the crust of kid meal pizzas. This is a widespread problem and forcing store owners and wait staff to be your “soda police” is going to cause more harm than good.
The solution is simple. A tax across the board on all soft drinks and sugary drinks, fast food and processed foods. Those foods are detrimental to a person’s health and a tax would force those foods to be more expensive, thus will bring more demand for whole foods and with more farmers producing whole foods, the cost of whole foods will come down and we can finally have good, nutrition food that is affordable to all.
And didn’t we learn before that prohibition doesn’t work?