Bloomberg Expands War on Obesity With First-in-the-Nation Ban

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg opened the latest front in his war on obesity with an announcement yesterday that the city plans to ban the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts.

Calling it the "most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity," Michael M. Grynbaum reports on the "first-in-the-nation" plan that would ban the sale of a range of sugary drinks, from sodas to energy drinks and iced teas, in sizes larger than 16 fluid ounces. Sweetened drinks are blamed for up to half of the increase in obesity rates in New York City over the last 30 years, where more than half of adults are obese or overweight, notes Grynbaum. 

"Mr. Bloomberg has made public health one of the top priorities of his lengthy tenure, and has championed a series of aggressive regulations, including bans on smoking in restaurants and parks, a prohibition against artificial trans fat in restaurant food and a requirement for health inspection grades to be posted in restaurant windows."

"The measures have led to occasional derision of the mayor as Nanny Bloomberg, by those who view the restrictions as infringements on personal freedom. But many of the measures adopted in New York have become models for other cities, including restrictions on smoking and trans fats, as well as the use of graphic advertising to combat smoking and soda consumption, and the demand that chain restaurants post calorie contents next to prices."


Full Story: New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks



Classic Band-Aid Approach

There you go, Bloomberg. I can't wait to see what type of black market "crimes" this ridiculous ban will promote. The poor guy at the ticket booth will now be patting down customers for cans of Mountain Dew. How about taking your time and efforts to educate Americans on the importance of indulging in moderation. I'm no economist, but I think this relates to the old supply and demand thing. You can't ban yourself out of obesity.

Education as Band-aid.

IMHO stating that "education" is preferred is an excuse to do nothing, and what I expect from certain ideologies. Everyone needs to be educated in so many more areas that it is daunting, to say the least. And will take forever.

That said, I don't think a ban is the way to go. Tax the heck out of them if you want to deter bad habits.



Michael Lewyn's picture

but this is a tax, sort of

It doesn't really prevent people from buying 40 oz. of soda. What it does is make them take the trouble of getting a second soda if they want to drink that much, basically making them think twice about it. Think of it as a kind of very small tax of time.

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