Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Finally weighing in on the NYC soda ban


I’ve been finding the response to NYC’s recent ban on the sale of pop (soda to you Americans) in containers larger than 16 oz interesting, and telling. A recent poll in the States found that many citizens are opposed to government involvement in deciding what we eat. These respondents don’t want the government to restrict pop size, post calories, or limit fast food outlets. The notion that the government isn’t already deeply involved in determining our diets is a little naive. Why do you think that pop is so inexpensive anyway? Government subsidies to sugar producers, that’s why.

The main reasons people cite for not eating healthily are lack of time and affordability. Why do we lack time? Because our society has been constructed around the notion that putting in long hours at sedentary jobs is ideal. Why are healthy foods (at least perceived to be) less affordable than their unhealthy counterparts? Because ingredients that go into “junk” foods are often subsidized by the government, allowing the food industry to produce them cheaply and advertise them relentlessly.

The government decides how our cities are built, what developers are given permits to build. The government is already deeply involved in the lengthy process of determining what and when foods pass through your lips. These decisions may not be as obvious as bans on big gulp sodas, but in a way that makes them even more important because we’re not consciously aware of their impact on our lives. We live in an obesogenic environment. It’s currently far harder to be a healthy weight than is it be overweight or obese. This is not a matter of personal choice.

Banning large soda sales is a great step in the right direction. No one ever needs to have a pop as big as 16 oz, let along larger. Clearly we are unable to avoid the lure of “value” for our money. We need to government to step in and help us to help ourselves. As I said before, as long as we’re going to act like children we are in need of a so-called nanny state.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

2 thoughts on “Finally weighing in on the NYC soda ban

  1. I disagree,I believe in education but because you or anybody else thinks I’d be better off is frankly none of your business. I like to get a large diet soda because I can sip on it for most the day. A bad habit yes, my choice yes.

    I think your going down a slippery slope when you telling people what they can or can’t eat. I know this is an exaggeration but it’s fascist. Hitler had many laws banning books, music, and perhaps food. The point being he thought he was do what was in the best interest of the people in his country. It was good for them.

    Here is a better example, I’m a Jew and think that it’s wrong to eat non-kosher food, so say I ban sales of hot dogs at convenience stores, in a effort to discourage people from buying them. That they are bad for you, BECAUSE they go against what the Torah says. On the subject of hot dogs, they are bad for you, but I think you get the point. Why not ban fast food or high fructose corn syrup? Where does it stop?

    In principle this is the same thing, not as extreme of course but like I sad it’s a slippery slop and where does it end?


  2. Ps thank you for saying ” eat healthily” and not ” eat healthy”. That drives me nuts!

    Sent from my iPhone


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