Last night, New York City Mayor Bloomberg announced a new plan banning the sale of sugar soda over 16 oz:
In New York City, where more than half of adults are obese or overweight, Dr. Thomas Farley, the health commissioner, blames sweetened drinks for up to half of the increase in city obesity rates over the last 30 years. About a third of New Yorkers drink one or more sugary drinks a day, according to the city. Dr. Farley said the city had seen higher obesity rates in neighborhoods where soda consumption was more common.
The ban would not apply to drinks with fewer than 25 calories per 8-ounce serving, like zero-calorie Vitamin Waters and unsweetened iced teas, as well as diet sodas.
We applaud this new policy because it forces everyone to behave better and more responsibly for the benefit of the majority. Poor health affects everyone — not just the individual — and if the role of the government is to serve the people and to protect us from the bad behavior of others, then it makes complete sense to restrict the sugary cudgels that are making so many of us unfit and unwell.
NYC should take an even more advanced step and require “Calorie Cards” for every resident. Any time you wanted to purchase fast food, or something unhealthy, you’d have to swipe your card. If you used your allotted calories for the month, your purchase would be denied and you would instead be offered your choice of a fruit snack or a vegetable entree free of charge.
If we, as a society, are willing to take children from incompetent parents, and regulate gun laws to protect our general welfare, why wouldn’t we also want to intervene for the greater goodness of our shared Public Health and remove the sugar from the obsessive swallows that have chronically inflated medical bills and rotted us into an early grave from the inside?