Nothing speaks louder to the infantilization of America than NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent proposal to ban large-sized sugary soft drinks within the city.
Last week, the Board of Health in the city voted unanimously to approve Bloomberg’s ban on drinks greater than 16 ounces. While the endocrinologists stood up and cheered, John and Jane Q. Public were not amused, with polls showing that over 60% of individuals opposed the ban.
So how big is too big and how much is too much? When McDonald’s first introduced Coke with meals in 1955, the size was a mere 7 oz. Today a kiddie sized drink at Mick-dick’s is 12 oz. And while the current largest drink at McDonald’s tops out at 32 oz. other fine establishments offer beverage sizes that are more than twice that large, contain over half a pound of sugar and provide nearly half the entire daily caloric intake for an adult woman. Does this sound like the type of thing you really need to swill into yourself on your lunch break or after the big game? Half a pound of sugar!
|"Start spreading the news..my pancreas is leaving today!"|
I’ve consumed a few 7-11 Double Big Gulps in my time. It was never done to quench an insatiable thirst, however, but more of a consequence of unbridled teenage swagger; the same type of brash behavior that might compel a newly minted adult to quaff down 10 beers on a Friday evening. While the danger of this practice is certainly more pronounced with alcohol, the negative implications of overdoing it on the soda are definitely evident. Childhood obesity is a phrase that has only entered our lexicon over the last generation and I’m willing to bet that the level of this obesity has risen in direct proportion with increases in super-sized drinks and other mega-portioned fast food choices. Will Bloomberg’s ban fix all of this? Of course not, but it’s a step in the right direction and puts the root of problem in the crosshairs, exactly where it belongs.
Yes, we need to preserve the right of an individual to make their own choices, but when those choices can cause harm, there is no reason why government intervention should be unwelcome. If you must, think of the soda ban as a “speed limit” on your sugar intake.
Like it or not, the ban is a good idea and perhaps the only shame here is that 60% of adults need a government nanny to make these decisions for them.