September 18, 2012
NYC Soda Ban
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, has proposed a ban on the sale of large-sized sugar-sweetened beverages in restaurants, delis, sports arena vendors, movie theaters and food carts. This proposed ban would stop these establishments from selling sugary beverages such as sodas, sweetened teas, coffees, energy drinks and fruit drinks in sizes larger than 16 oz, with fines for failing to downsize being as high as $200. All establishments that sell bottled as well as fountain drinks would have to remove 20-oz. soft drink bottles from their shelves, and delis and restaurants that offer self-service fountains wouldn’t be able to give customers cups larger than 16 oz. The ban would not affect convenience stores or grocery stores and would not apply to diet drinks, fruit juices, and dairy-based drinks like milkshakes or alcoholic beverages. “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 told the New York Times. “New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something.” In defense of its products, The Coca-Cola Company stated that their beverages contain calorie information. The company also released a statement saying, “The people of New York City are much smarter than the New York City Health Department believes; we are transparent with our consumers. They can see exactly how many calories are in every beverage we serve…New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase.”
I believe both parties make good arguments so it’s a little hard for me to pick a side. I don’t think what Mayor Bloomberg is trying to do is inappropriate because he is looking out for the health of those in New York City. I do believe however, that as Americans everybody should be free to choose for themselves how much or how little...