New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided it was a good idea to ban soda (or caffeinated drinks) over 16oz so that he can help “curbed obesity”. This story has been making headlines even more now because the NAACP and Hispanic Federation has come out against this measure. However, supporters, mainly out of Bloomberg’s office is saying that because Coca Cola gives money in support of these organizations, that’s why the NAACP and Hispanic Federation has come out against the ban. What’s to note is none of these organizations had to come out in support or against this ban and their reasoning behind their lawsuits is extremely reasonable. Their lawsuit is about economics and how small businesses will be disproportionally hurt by the ban.
Corporations like 7- eleven, Starbucks, and large grocery store chains can still sell drinks over 20oz because they’re regulated by the state, not city. I don’t know which corporations Mayor Bloomberg is getting money from, but the fact that these large and popular corporations are exempt while small business competitors are losing money really says something here.
Mayor Bloomberg’s rational is that if you don’t have a 20oz soda in front of you, you won’t drink 20ounces of soda. Does Bloomberg not have kids? Is he completely withdrawn from reality? If people want to drink a lot of soda, then they’ll find a way to drink it. You can’t curb obesity by forcing people to eat the way you want them to eat. You have to use educational and fitness programs. Matter of the fact, the reason why low income people may be disproportionally obese is due to the lack of exercise facilities and these expensive gym memberships…and lets remember that not every neighborhood is safe to run in.
This ban is stupid for several reasons. The fact that 7-eleven is exempt and probably gets more customers means that the ban will do nothing to curb obesity anyways. And at smaller businesses, all someone has to do is buy two 16oz at once and whoops! Mayor Bloomberg’s rational just flew out the window because now people will have 32 ounces of soda to drink. Additionally, what about free refills at restaurants and gas stations? Bloomberg doesn’t seem to want to include that.
Economically, this could have a major impact on minority neighborhoods where small business thrives. And if someone wants to throw a birthday party with a large group of people…they’ll have to inconveniently buy a bunch of 16oz drinks instead of a 2 liters…unless they want to drive to an exempt store. For some perspective here, if this rule was enacted in a city like Detroit, MI where there are mostly small businesses with virtually no large chain grocery stores in most parts and I have never seen a 7-eleven there in my life, residents would have to drive several miles to get out the city and waste gas to get to a store that would be exempt. Obviously, New York isn’t like that but if you don’t have a car or live in a poor neighborhood, you may find it difficult to get a larger soda.
The more important issue here for me is personal freedom. Obesity is a choice unless you have a medical condition. People choose to drink soda over 16oz because they want to and not everyone who drinks large soda is obese. Honestly, the only reason I get a 20oz drink is because they usually serve it with a bunch of ice. Another reason is because there’s a party and people need drinks. People have reasons for buying certain products and it’s their right. Everyone should be allowed to drink and do whatever makes them happy if it’s not hurting anyone else. The government should not feel like it has to babysit the public.
What next? Putting a limit on the amount of coke we buy? How about making a rule to only buy one 16oz coke every 3 hours. What about pizza? What if there were regulations on the size of a large pizza. What if a pizza couldn’t contain extra cheese because it raises cholesterol. A ban like this encourages other ridiculous bans in an attempt to control our lives. Maybe Mayor Bloomberg should just admit his stupid mistake and say sorry to the people for trying to control their lives because not only is this ban not effective, it stings economically and hurts small businesses and entrenching on our personal freedoms. A law like this has no place in the United States of America much less a democracy anywhere else. I’m sorry that you’re bored of your job Bloomberg, but New York doesn’t need a nanny.