Mayor Bloomberg and Soda Ban: Protecting The People From Themselves

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cbsnews.com

New York City Mayor Bloomberg is concerned about obesity in America. So concerned is the health conscious mayor that he has recently proposed a city-wide ban on the sale of large-sized, sugary drinks of 16 ounces or more at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts. “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 last week, “New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something. I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”

Maybe most people agree with the mayor. And I won’t make the case that it is healthy to consume sugary drinks. The question is, though, is the idea to impose a ban on sodas or any item that is legal to purchase going too far?

For Mayor Bloomberg, the bans didn’t start with sodas. Initially the focus was on smoking. In 2002, the mayor signed a ban of smoking in NYC bars and restaurants. Last year Bloomberg signed into law a ban on smoking in New York City’s parks, beaches, public plazas and boardwalks. CNN Anchor Randi Kaye explained her support of this ban, “When I go for a run in Central  Park, I like to smell the fresh flowers and the fall foliage when the  leaves turn, not people’s second-hand smoke. Central Park is a park. It is not the city’s ash tray.”

The rationale behind the smoking bans is to limit 2nd hand smoke, which has often been cited as hazardous to health in adults and children. The smoking bans did not make smoking illegal, people who wanted to smoke could still smoke, but they were limited as to where they could smoke. I agree with Kaye and other supporters of the indoor and outdoor smoking bans; smoking around others can adversely affect others.

A ban on sodas, however, is an example of extreme government overreach. Why is the mayor of NYC only focusing on soda? Why not a ban on burgers, fries, pizza, ice cream, cake, (etc.)? Throughout his time as mayor, Bloomberg has used government to protect people from themselves. The bans on where people can legally smoke are defensible because of the adverse health effects of 2nd hand smoke, but drinking excessive amounts of soda is legal and does not hurt others. It only hurts the person doing the drinking, and that is a choice a person should be allowed to make without government intervention.

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  1. Kathy Mitro We are slowly but surely having all freedom of choice and our individual liberties eroded away. The fact that this descent is now slow does not negate a quantum leap into an Oligarchic Government. Democratic government is to protect you from harming others . It was never intended to protect you from your own choices. When a government limits our choices because they feel they are so superior to the common man in choosing the correct choice to make, they have set themselves up as an oligarchy. There is not a man alive that I trust to make the correct decision for me, more than myself.
  2. Jeanette J. Brooks I'm so glad we live in the land of the free... with all the problems in government... a larger soda... it's going to really make a huge difference... for the true obese they are going to buy the 2 liter..... maybe they should think about that 1...
  3. Donald Lanham The side of personal responsibility.
  4. William Harris The Mayor had best hope that no one proposes a ban on stupidity. His days would be numbered!
  5. Mary Wurtz Thrasher It's a matter of choice, people. So now they'll just order two! Leave us alone, Liberals! Go and try to ply your beliefs on someone who cares! You don't say or propose anything I want to hear!
  6. David Stoll That's the Liberals for you! If they are against something, they want it banned for EVERYONE!
  7. Jodi Ehrlich Stop subsidizing corn with taxpayer money -I don't drink soda, I don't think other people should drink soda BUT I am TOTALLY AGAINST more govt - more nanny state- just label all foods and show the sugar and HFCS
  8. Joseph P Campbell The govt needs to completely stay out of what, I, as a private citizen can put into my own body. There are other methods, such as insurance companies charging more for coverage for smokers, they should apply to people who use alcohol, and obese humans as well. But I understand the devil is in the details, what is considered obese, etc.
  9. Andrew Vickers Stop subsidizing corn with taxpayer money and then taxing cheap food to "help us get healthy". It's even more insidious than digging ditches and filling them up again.
  10. Ted Edwards if we get ride of sodas were gonna have to get rid of spoons to just look at michael moore im sure them spoons did it ;)))) LOL LOL
28 comments
Kathy Mitro
Kathy Mitro

We are slowly but surely having all freedom of choice and our individual liberties eroded away. The fact that this descent is now slow does not negate a quantum leap into an Oligarchic Government.

Democratic government is to protect you from harming others . It was never intended to protect you from your own choices.

When a government limits our choices because they feel they are so superior to the common man in choosing the correct choice to make, they have set themselves up as an oligarchy. There is not a man alive that I trust to make the correct decision for me, more than myself.

Jeanette J. Brooks
Jeanette J. Brooks

I'm so glad we live in the land of the free... with all the problems in government... a larger soda... it's going to really make a huge difference... for the true obese they are going to buy the 2 liter..... maybe they should think about that 1...

William Harris
William Harris

The Mayor had best hope that no one proposes a ban on stupidity. His days would be numbered!

Mary Wurtz Thrasher
Mary Wurtz Thrasher

It's a matter of choice, people. So now they'll just order two! Leave us alone, Liberals! Go and try to ply your beliefs on someone who cares! You don't say or propose anything I want to hear!

David Stoll
David Stoll

That's the Liberals for you! If they are against something, they want it banned for EVERYONE!

Jodi Ehrlich
Jodi Ehrlich

Stop subsidizing corn with taxpayer money -I don't drink soda, I don't think other people should drink soda BUT I am TOTALLY AGAINST more govt - more nanny state- just label all foods and show the sugar and HFCS

Joseph P Campbell
Joseph P Campbell

The govt needs to completely stay out of what, I, as a private citizen can put into my own body. There are other methods, such as insurance companies charging more for coverage for smokers, they should apply to people who use alcohol, and obese humans as well.

But I understand the devil is in the details, what is considered obese, etc.

Andrew Vickers
Andrew Vickers

Stop subsidizing corn with taxpayer money and then taxing cheap food to "help us get healthy". It's even more insidious than digging ditches and filling them up again.

Ted Edwards
Ted Edwards

if we get ride of sodas were gonna have to get rid of spoons to just look at michael moore im sure them spoons did it ;)))) LOL LOL

Mike Harrison
Mike Harrison

But who is protecting the people from the Bloombergs ?????

Mzter Adhikari
Mzter Adhikari

people should make the choice themselves wtf seriosly were does the government get off telling people how much soda to consume effin nuts if u ask me

David Stoll
David Stoll

It is OBVIOUSLY an example of extreme government overreach. Barry and others have made excellent points. Anyone who believe this will have any impact on obesity should have their head examined! Ray and Daniel should wear helmets!

Michael Sullivan
Michael Sullivan

If I want to save money and split a 20-24-or 32oz soda with my wife, thats my choice. I should not have to be told, or forced to buy two 16oz sodas.

John Vasilakis
John Vasilakis

Are you serious Ray? You honestly feel government has the constitutional right to tell people what they should eat and drink? It's people like you that have enabled the government to take away our liberties at an ever increasing rate.

Marcy Bauer
Marcy Bauer

I don't drink soda, I don't think other people should drink soda (it's a health bomb and people should really scale way back on it and even stop completely if they can), but this is absolutely the craziest thing I've heard in a long long time (even keeping in mind this is NOT a soda ban as the title suggests, but rather a ban sale of large sizes of soda). Can't believe it knocked around in his head and found it's way out of his mouth, and onto national airwaves no less. It's ridiculous.

Christopher Benavidez
Christopher Benavidez

Just buy two, this is the US, next time I get to NY I will buy three, lol! He's got bigger fish to fry than try to monitor how much soda people can purchase, how assanine!

Mark Barrette
Mark Barrette

We need less .gov in our lives - not more. Those who agree with banning large soda, adding taxes, etc, are sheep minding their shepherds. Free society, free people - do not need the government making choices for them... Where will it end? It doesn't...

Daniel Laude-Artist
Daniel Laude-Artist

I APPLAUD BLOOMBERG FOR MAKING AN EFFORT, RESPONSIBLE/CONCERNING EFFORTS AT THAT......IF ALL IS LEFT TO THE JUNK FOOD INDUSTRY TO MEASURE AND DECIDE WHAT TO PUT IN IN THE FOODS, MOST OF US WOULD PAY A HEALTHY PRICE!!!..MY OPINION OF-COURSE!!!

Dottie Maletto
Dottie Maletto

Is he CRAZY or what?? I sure he has good intentions but you can't tell the stores not to sell it or people what they can buy...Yes that is extreme gov. Will never pass

Richard Imhoff
Richard Imhoff

Yes its an example of a government that doesn't no its place. Government need to go back to protecting life, liberty, property and thats all.

Barry Short
Barry Short

Sounds like a ridiculously expensive exercise in futility. Will the restaurant be fined for providing refills? Will customers be barred from buying two? What about going next door and buying a second? Will people be barred from buying a 6pack at a grocery store and drinking it at home? This attempt to legislate consumption will be completely ineffective - but NY will have to hire 2000 to 3000 new inspectors to have even the slightest chance of enforcing it, with taxpayers on the hook for their salaries and benefits.

Danielle Wilbur
Danielle Wilbur

Put it all back on the shelves, take all that soft drink money, and put it toward education. People don't even know how to feed themselves anymore, so obviously somewhere there's a problem with what we're teaching...

Janet Lynn
Janet Lynn

How about just taking food off the market then. All food can make people overweight Ray. You should join the Dictator Bloomberg's staff and Bloomberg should be focusing on REAL problems and leave the people alonel

Tom Deaver
Tom Deaver

Leave us alone government!!! If people want to be fat, that is their choice not yours to make for them.

Ray Davis
Ray Davis

i say take it off the market completely if its creating a health problem

Leslie Shaw Klinger
Leslie Shaw Klinger

It is an example of government's war on small business. Bloomberg's idea is ridiculous, overreaching and an example of Mommy Government.

lucaseaves
lucaseaves

Because Obesity results in enormous costs for society: increase need for medical care, loss of worker's productivity, it is the role of the government to fight against it. And because people do not change their bad habits exept if they are force to do so, it is the role of the government to be the bad guy, for the greater good. In France, refills do not exist in fast-food restaurants and there is only 10% of obese people compared to 35% in the US. It is not the only reason but i certainly contributes to it. Give it a try and you will see that in 10 years, everybody will be used to have smaller drinks.