Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

The right to drink soda

7 Comments

I have to admit I was pretty disappointed when the news came out the other day that a New York judge had overturned Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on sales of cups of pop larger than 16 oz just hours before it was to come into effect. Reading Jennifer Sygo’s take on the subject was interesting. Even more interesting though, was reading the comments below her article. Sometimes I’m glad that my blog isn’t widely enough read to garner so many comments.

It blows my mind that people think it’s unreasonable to be limited to purchasing pop in increments of 16 oz. How dare the government interfere in our freedom to drink vast quantities of nutritionally void bubbly sugar-water! It seems that (most) everyone agrees that obesity and malnutrition are top contributors to illness and mortality in North America. The solution is not as simple as to “eat less and move more”. If there was a simple solution do you really think that the majority of North Americans would be overweight? The causes and solutions are much deeper than that. Without systematic efforts, from a number of directions, we’re not going to see improvements to our health as a population.

As many have pointed out, many retailers had already started implementing the restrictions on cup sizes. I hope that these retailers will take the initiative to carry on doing this even without the legislation being in effect.

I certainly don’t think that a ban on massive sodas is going to end the obesity “epidemic” but I think that it’s one piece of a complicated puzzle.

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

7 thoughts on “The right to drink soda

  1. Hi Diana,
    This whole argument of ‘the government isn’t going to tell me what to eat and how to eat it’ drives me crazy. People want the freedom to be able to do whatever they want and they don’t want government ‘wasting their tax dollars’ on policies that prohibit the sale of unhealthy foods but they do want the government to continue to foot the bill for our ever-growing healthcare needs.
    I know sodas aren’t the same as cigarettes and I can understand the public’s anger with what they perceive as nanny-state policies. Unfortunately, because North Americans see sodas as part of a normal diet, they are blinded by how bad they actually are for them.
    As you said, putting restrictions on soda isn’t going to solve the obesity problem but it is one step in the right direction.

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  2. As dietitians, we need to do a better job of persuading, informing and inspiring Americans to eat healthier…If we do our job, the government shouldn’t have to mandate. “Pro-Choice” needs to be consistent across the spectrum. I find “pro-choice” people are first in line to take away choice when it comes to what we eat and drink. In America, the government really does not have the right to mandate to a free people what they can eat and drink.

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  3. The problems isn’t that soda is terrible for your health it is, The problem is who gets to decide how I treat my body? Some people think praying in school is good for my soul, or eating vegan is the ethical and ought to be made law.

    If we took your attitude and ban everything that caused health problems we’d be living in something of a neo prohibition era. Education and encouragement always work better. Maybe Bloomberg ought to have offered cheaper prices on smaller sodas, but whenever you get in the business of outlawing stuff your’re walk a slippery slop.

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  4. “Education and encouragement always work better.”

    How is it working exactly?

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    • The environment and smoking directly impact people against their wills, second hand smoke, the same with the environment. I’m of the belief that as an individual I should be free to do what I want as long as I don’t harm others. So you’re comparing apple’s with oranges.

      Besides who was it that said. “Those who would give up Essential Liberty
      to purchase a little Temporary Safety,
      deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

      Oh Benjamin Franklin

      The kinds of arguments you’re making are similar to the one’s we used to justify infringing on people’s civil liberties after 9-11. Sure some of them really did work but I think at too high a cost to personal liberty. Your absolutely right smaller drinks would help curb obesity, but that is not the kind of NANNY STATE I want to live in.

      I’m an adult your an adult and I respect your individual liberty, I don’t tell what to do or make laws FOR YOU OWN GOOD. You get to make those decisions for yourself.

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  5. @Tim – if education and encouragement always work better, how come smoking rates were largely affected by policy and environmental changes? Education can only go so far – the environments where people live, work, play and learn need to support making the healthy choice the easy choice.

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    • The environment and smoking directly impact people against their wills, second hand smoke, the same with the environment. I’m of the belief that as an individual I should be free to do what I want as long as I don’t harm others. So you’re comparing apple’s with oranges.

      Besides who was it that said. “Those who would give up Essential Liberty
      to purchase a little Temporary Safety,
      deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

      Oh Benjamin Franklin

      The kinds of arguments you’re making are similar to the one’s we used to justify infringing on people’s civil liberties after 9-11. Sure some of them really did work but I think at too high a cost to personal liberty. Your absolutely right smaller drinks would help curb obesity, but that is not the kind of NANNY STATE I want to live in.

      I’m an adult your an adult and I respect your individual liberty, I don’t tell what to do or make laws FOR YOU OWN GOOD. You get to make those decisions for yourself.

      Like

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