Bloomberg’s silly NYC ban on (some) large sugary drinks

ICYMI: Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week proposed a ban on the sale of large sizes of some sugary drinks in New York City’s restaurants, movie theaters, street carts, ballparks — pretty much everywhere but grocery and convenience stores.

It’s a silly ban, for a lot of reasons. One is that, like most nanny-state regulations,  it’s arbitrary: The cutoff is 16 oz., which all but assures a growth industry for anyone who wants to manufacture 15.-oz. plastic bottles. Another is that it’s inconsistent: A 20-oz. bottle of Coca-Cola, with 65 grams of sugar, would be outlawed but a 21-oz. chocolate milkshake from McDonald’s, with 111 grams of sugar, would still be legal because it’s considered “dairy-based.” A third reason is that it’s bound to be ineffective: Why would someone who wants his sugar not just buy two 12-oz. cans of a sugary soft drink rather than that 20-oz. bottle (and end up drinking more)? And, in restaurants, these drinks must be served in cups that are 16 oz. or less — but refills will still be allowed.

But maybe the silliest thing of all about the ban is the rationale Bloomberg gave for it. From the New York Times’ story about the mayor’s proposal:

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Wednesday in City Hall’s sprawling Governor’s Room.

“New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,” he said. “I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.” (emphasis added)

Ahem. If people wanted something done about obesity, and specifically about obesity linked to the consumption of sugary drinks, wouldn’t more people stop consuming sugary drinks?

In fact, given that the Times’ story reports that the city has found one-third of residents drink at least one sugary drink a day, isn’t it impossible to conclude that a ban on these drinks is what “the public” wants?

If the other two-thirds of the public (which, for the record, includes yours truly) doesn’t want to pay, directly or indirectly, for the health problems caused by obesity, the answer is to place the burden for paying for those problems more squarely on those people suffering them because of their own behavior.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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193 comments Add your comment

grated

June 4th, 2012
12:18 pm

Those jumbo drinks are at least two liters larger than your bladder can hold. Get rid of them.

Aquagirl

June 4th, 2012
12:32 pm

the answer is to place the burden for paying for those problems more squarely on those people suffering them because of their own behavior.

Or instead of this “compassionate conservatism” we could stop subsidizing the system that makes it possible to pay 89 cents for a Coke you can swim in.

The High Evoluntionary

June 4th, 2012
12:37 pm

New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are 3 left-wing, elitist towns America would be better off having fall into the sea.

(Clayton County, South DeKalb & South Fulton (Below Turner Field) can join them.)

The High Evoluntionary

June 4th, 2012
12:39 pm

The government will let me abort another human being inside my body, but they don’t want to let me put a 44-ounce Coca-Cola into this same body.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

June 4th, 2012
12:40 pm

I’ll guarantee you that government subsidized laziness and idleness is still very much legal in NY City, just sayin…

Wanna compare the damage, pinkos?

Getterson Vetterick

June 4th, 2012
12:40 pm

Liberalism nanny state run amok. And yet liberals still try to justify this craziness.

“we could stop subsidizing the system that makes it possible to pay 89 cents for a Coke you can swim in.”

What on Earth is this woman talking about with? We could stop subsidizing the system behind 89 cent cokes? What in the hell?

scrappy

June 4th, 2012
12:44 pm

Isn’t Bloomberg a Republican?

The High – How patrotic of you. People that have different views than you deserve nothing more than not only leaving the country but also being obliterated? Love to see how some of you right-wingers really feel.

Peadawg

June 4th, 2012
12:45 pm

I understand where he’s coming from but with the inconsistencies…I don’t think he’s thought it through.

Good for him for trying to do something about obesity.

Jefferson

June 4th, 2012
12:46 pm

Smoking bans ? What’s the difference ? so to speak.

Road Scholar

June 4th, 2012
12:46 pm

I agree with your arguments made to “get around” the size limits and the absurdity of other “dairy” foods with more calories and fat. But what is needed is an awareness program to people about their health and not diets, but lifestyle changes.

This is the same message about lifestyle changes that Michelle Obama has been making only to be criticized and told she is getting government involved in our lives. Give me a break! Listen to the message and correct your own errors in selecting smart actions on food and drink.I know I need to and have done so. Slamming down cokes/sodas is a thing of the past!

Mrs Obama’s actions and intentions are good. Healthier citizens help us control costs while enjoying the company of family and friends longer! What is the down side? I can only name the drivel some folks have spouted about government intervention.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

June 4th, 2012
12:47 pm

Just another installment of

“More Laws, Less Freedom”

Thanks, libtards. Seems the only “freedoms” they care about have to do with perverting the moral underpinnings of a strong society.

BlahBlahBlah

June 4th, 2012
12:47 pm

What she means is the giant subsidies given to corn growers who produce the high fructose corn syrup that goes into every coke. Midwestern “small government” (allegedly) Republicans turn awfully liberal when it’s suggested those farmers need to lose their welfare!

Getterson Vetterick

June 4th, 2012
12:48 pm

I can’t figure out what’s crazier- this ridiculous ban on 32 ounce cokes by the nanny state or the liberals on here who don’t seem to have a problem with it. Its a small thing this 32 oz ban but losing your freedoms always starts off in a small sorta way.

HUH

June 4th, 2012
12:49 pm

Bloomberg is a Dummycrat…

Someone needs to tell our Government that they do not own the people of this country.. and that they need to stop telling US what we can or can not do in this FREE country.

Getterson Vetterick

June 4th, 2012
12:49 pm

Lil Larry,

The road to serfdom begins with the nanny state.

Road Scholar

June 4th, 2012
12:49 pm

The posts from 12:37 to 12:40 are what I refereed to in my blog above. Evolutionary? Bless their hearts!

finn mccool

June 4th, 2012
12:52 pm

What that poster is referring to is the subsidies for corn, etc – ingredients.

Getterson Vetterick

June 4th, 2012
12:52 pm

BlahBlah,

Last I looked those midwestern corn growing states voted Democrat last election. And ultra liberals like Tom Harkin are representative of these corn belt states.

Road Scholar

June 4th, 2012
12:54 pm

BlahBlahBlah:Understood, but do you realize you are trying to educate idiots? That “law” has zero chance of passing. I wonder if those naysayers above have as much anger with Rush when he starts spelling out stupid things like this soda ban/restrictions?

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

June 4th, 2012
12:55 pm

Hmm, we’re supposed to take advice on subsidies from folks who think we should give wealthy people $10,000 to purchase a Chevrolet?

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

June 4th, 2012
12:57 pm

There’s no law needed. Bloomberg controls the board that has the power to put the ban in place through regulation.

More Government, Less Freedom.

Jefferson

June 4th, 2012
1:04 pm

Drink all you want at home.

clyde

June 4th, 2012
1:08 pm

Isn’t it possible that there is more tax on two 12 oz.drinks as compared to one 20 oz.one? Would a Mayor stoop so low?

Aquagirl

June 4th, 2012
1:16 pm

Last I looked those midwestern corn growing states voted Democrat last election.

Really? Do you want to look at a map and reconsider that statement? In any case, states that did award their electoral votes to Obama did so because the populated areas—-for you, that’s “places that those ruggedly independent farmers aren’t growing corn”— went Democratic. The farming, less populated areas are Republican strongholds.

And what does that have to do with anything—-besides covering your “duh–WAT?” reaction to the news we subsidize soda production?

If it makes you cons feel any better, Mayor Bloomberg proposed removing soda from SNAP (”food stamps”) eligibility a couple of years ago. He apparently doesn’t like welfare for anyone when it comes to soft drinks. It’s interesting most of y’all squeal like pigs when consumers receive tax dollars, but are unaware/unconcerned when the producers get welfare.

Darwin

June 4th, 2012
1:25 pm

First – I believe the mayor is an Independent. So, stop the Democratbashing (yea, right). Second – Kyle, you mention placing the burden for paying for those problems more squarely on those people suffering them because of their own behavior.
OK – I’m good with that. But doesn’t that conflict with your Republican held views that we can do whatever we want because this is America? And exactly how would we start placing that burden? Do we start weighing people? Wouldn’t the right consider that “big government”?

Kyle Wingfield

June 4th, 2012
1:26 pm

Aquagirl @ 12:32: If making people more responsible for the consequences of their actions leads them to make better choices, I consider that compassionate.

That said, I’m fine with ending the sugar subsidies, too.

Kyle Wingfield

June 4th, 2012
1:29 pm

And the corn subsidies.

clyde

June 4th, 2012
1:31 pm

And the welfare subsidy.

Mike

June 4th, 2012
1:32 pm

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 4th, 2012
1:38 pm

Michael Bloomberg is a putz.

No other commentary on this subject needs to be said.

Getterson Vetterick

June 4th, 2012
1:40 pm

Aquagirl,

Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, who did those corn growing states vote for during the last election? And I think other states like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, that are also corn growing states may also have voted for Obama last election.

Getterson Vetterick

June 4th, 2012
1:41 pm

Tiberius,

Most liberals are putzes. Nanny state enthusiasts too.

Aquagirl

June 4th, 2012
1:51 pm

Getterson, I’m still not sure what the voting patterns of corn producing states has to do with anything, beyond a “but…but….OBAMA!!!” response. And, as I mentioned earlier, covering your embarrassment that you don’t understand subsidizing the main ingredients means subsidizing production.

In short…I don’t care if you want to somehow bring Obama into this, please indulge your obsession with somebody who won’t point out your utter lack of logic and thought process. It’s for your sake. Really.

1961_Xer

June 4th, 2012
2:04 pm

Really? Do you want to look at a map and reconsider that statement?

Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, who did those corn growing states vote for during the last election?

Bingo. Those states represent 4 of the 5 top corn growing states. All are CLEARLY blue states. Collectively, they represent over half the corn produced in this country (most states produce some amount of corn). Sucks when you liberals find out that the folks getting the lion’s share of this much-hated subsidy are DEMOCRATS.

Don

June 4th, 2012
2:09 pm

This whole thing is just another case of government “doing nothing but making it look like something”. It’s their favorite trick! Keeps our minds off that there are important things they SHOULD be doing, but are not.

Nearly all fast food places will give you free refills regardless of what sized cup you purchase.

Sigh…

Getterson Vetterick

June 4th, 2012
2:11 pm

Aquagirl,

Please see 1961_Xers statement about the top corn growing states. And lets do away with the corn subsidies. I’m all for it. Are these liberal blue states that we are talking about for it?

@@

June 4th, 2012
2:13 pm

If the other two-thirds of the public (which, for the record, includes yours truly) doesn’t want to pay, directly or indirectly, for the health problems caused by obesity, the answer is to place the burden for paying for those problems more squarely on those people suffering them because of their own behavior

I’m thinkin’ that won’t happen since, according to Lloyd Madden, President of BAPAC (Black American Political Action Committee)…it’s the poor that will suffer the greatest impact.

Not a big fan of sodas. Only time I have one is when I’m eating smoked or roasted oysters, which isn’t often.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 4th, 2012
2:15 pm

Also, note that sugar hasn’t been used in regular coca-coal since 1984. That product is 100% corn. only recently have you seen foreign-bottled coca-cola in the US (mostly brought in from Mexico) with sugar in the ingredients.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 4th, 2012
2:15 pm

err, coca-cola, not coca-coal.

Aquagirl

June 4th, 2012
2:17 pm

Sucks when you liberals find out that the folks getting the lion’s share of this much-hated subsidy are DEMOCRATS.

Oh yeah, those corporate bigwigs are well known for their democrat proclivities. I’m sure ConAgra’s board is a hotbed of liberal bedwetting.

If the corn producers were voting Democratic to get all those subsidies, why did the rural areas of those states mostly vote Republican? Are people in downtown Cedar Rapids growing corn on their rooftops?

Road Scholar

June 4th, 2012
2:17 pm

Getterson: While we’re at it do away with any agricultural subsidy…like peanuts in Georgia, and cotton (if there is one) for the south. Add to it any special tax break for oil. There. That should do regardless of red or blue!

Aquagirl

June 4th, 2012
2:19 pm

Not a big fan of sodas. Only time I have one is when I’m eating smoked or roasted oysters

@@, I’m sure there’s a story behind that, but I am TOTALLY not going there. :)

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 4th, 2012
2:20 pm

Michelle Obama must be swooning over a photo of Michael Bloomberg this week.

“My HERO . . .!” :roll:

iggy

June 4th, 2012
2:23 pm

Ok, so no more Big Gulps. Whats to stop someone from buying 4 medium gulps.

Just more stupid legisation and waste.

ragnar danneskjold

June 4th, 2012
2:31 pm

The NYC soft drink ban is the perfect symbol of leftism in America.

Kyle Wingfield

June 4th, 2012
2:32 pm

Darwin @ 1:25: How, exactly, does making people responsible for the consequences of their actions conflict with “we can do whatever we want because this is America”? Personal freedom and personal responsibility go hand in hand.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 4th, 2012
2:36 pm

There are two cup holders (or more) in every car. People who want more than 16 oz. are going to just buy 2 rather than 1, and increase the trash being discarded by doing so.

Bloomberg probably didn’t think of THAT when he came up with this stupid idea.

iggy

June 4th, 2012
2:41 pm

One cannot legislate personal hygiene, health, proper earing habits, morality etc. Just ask Finn, he takes a bath only once a week and that whether he needs it or not.

Ayn Rant

June 4th, 2012
2:43 pm

Republican governors and mayors just can’t resist bossing people around and ignoring the “liberty”we are guaranteed by the federal Constitution.

Let the fat ugly fools in New York City have their big, sugary drinks, and stop the whining!!

Jefferson

June 4th, 2012
2:44 pm

I’m laughing at you folks, the mayor has to put it into money so the greedy will agree.