Sunday, June 3, 2012
Bloomberg's Soda Ban - Nanny State Plan to Ban Sweetened Drinks
Libertarian Lady Today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City proposed to "ban the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks," reported by the New York Times. If his proposal is passed, by March 2013, people will not be able to buy any cup or bottle of sweetened drink -- ranging from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas -- larger than 16 fluid ounces. According to Dr. Thomas Farley, NY Health Commissioner, over 50% of New York City adults are obese or overweight and over half of the increase in obesity rates over the last 30 years is due to sweetened drinks. The Mayor's ban would apply to those selling bottled as well as fountain drinks; retailers would have to remove 20-oz. soft drink bottles from their shelves, and delis and restaurants offering self-service fountains wouldn't be able to give customers cups larger than 16 oz. The ban wouldn't affect convenience stores or grocery stores and wouldn't apply to diet drinks, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes or alcoholic beverages. The Mayor is a proponent of the Nanny State. This is not the first time Mayor Bloomberg has stepped into the realm of playing Doctor with NY City Residents. In 2002, Bloomberg banned public smoking in the city's bars and restaurants. In 2005, New York became the first city to force restaurants and other food vendors to phase out the use of artificial trans fats. Next on the agenda is salt- the Mayor wants a packaged food makers and restaurant to reduce sodium by 25% in an effort to lower blood pressure and heart disease. I am all for healthy living. I don't smoke and rarely drink soda. However, if I want a 20-ounce soda, I don't feel that the government should be able to decide whether or not I can have it. A government that puts restrictions on my dietary choices is a government too big for me. When did soda become a banned substance? A person has a right to eat and drink what the please. People must be convinced to eat a healthy diet, not required by government to do so. The Government can't dictate health. I am an adult and fully capable of making my own dietary choices. If I want to eat healthy, I eat healthy....if I want to binge on pizza and chocolate then I binge. This is my body and my choice. The government should play no role in how I eat, what I eat and what is available for me to buy to eat. While obesity may be a problem - governing a person into being healthy means the government has control over an individual's body and that's downright scary. The implications of Mayor Bloomberg's proposal are widespread and will set a precedent that other states may follow. The next thing you know there will be a limit on the amount of pizza slices one can buy. Davis was the Independent-Libertarian candidate for New York Governor in 2010. She is best known as the Manhattan Madam. Her client list included former NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer.