Sixteen Ounces of Ridiculous

New York City government is proposing a ban on large-size sodas.  If the measure passes, restaurants would be fined $200 for serving a “sugary drink” more than 16 ounces.  It was not made clear how they would deal with refills, or if they would be policing the amount of sugar someone puts in their tea or coffee.

Mayor Bloomberg tweeted “More than half of NYC adults (58%) are overweight or obese. We’re doing something about it.” He also claimed that the city  spends $4 billion a year on medical care for overweight people.  Lord only knows where he got those figures or how they were counted (my money is on a dart throw or rectal pull).

A statement from his office said “The single largest driver of these alarming increases in obesity is sugary drinks, which have grown in size.” My favorite line in the CNN article says “It was not immediately clear what that assertion was based on.”

What was also not immediately clear was if there is any evidence basis in the world for doing this. In fact, there is no evidence to suggest that limiting restaurant sodas to 16 ounces will have any effect on obesity. It’s not like they even commissioned a pilot study, they just made something up and now they are working to pass a law. The only thing the mayor can actually claim to be “doing something about” is the size of sugary drinks that restaurants are allowed to serve.

If you’re curious about just how the city government feels they have the legal right to tell restaurants what size of drinks they can serve, Bloomberg has this brilliant piece of political rhetoric:  “This is something we think we have the legal authority to do. We’re not taking away anybody’s right to do something; we’re simply making it different for them in how they do it.” Um,  right.

I think that telling businesses what size food they can serve starts us down any number of slippery slopes.
The one that is most pertinent to this blog is that we continue to put limits and bans and taxes on things that people say make other people fat, as long as someone can say so convincingly and with feeling.  Then thin people start to feel that it’s not fair to punish them because of fat people and someone will suggest that we just limit what fat people are allowed to buy or just tax fat people (For the record Mississippi already tried to make it illegal to serve “obese” people in restaurants.)
The restaurants I go to have plenty of drink choices – sodas, diet sodas, water, milk, juice, tea etc. It’s my body and if I want to fill it with Mountain Dew I have as much right to do that as someone else has to throw their body off the side of a mountain while BASE jumping, or jump out of a helicopter wearing skis or a thousand other things that don’t prioritize their health.
At the end of the day, I think that this is being pushed as an issue because of widespread fat bigotry which makes it a “safe” issue with which to score points while distracting from the things they’re not regulating – like oh, I don’t know….banks as a random hypothetical example.
I don’t really care about personally being able to get a soda larger than 16 ounces, however I care very much that the obesity epi-panic has become so widespread that a city government is comfortable regulating what a business can sell based on someone’s guess (with no evidence backing it up) that doing so will in some completely unspecified way, “do something” about obesity.  That’s not the same thing as, say, insisting on a cleanliness standard for public health.  This is saying that anything that may have anything to do with obesity is fair game for government regulations as a way to control the way that people look, and I think that’s dangerous.

Pre-order my book and  get an autographed copy and free shipping! (I’ll try to keep the book less than 16 ounces.)

Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Navigating a Thin-Obsessed World with Your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact, with foreword by Marilyn Wann is now available for pre-order.   This is a book about living life in the body that you have now, making decisions about what you want in the future, and how to get there.  Whether you want to change your body, fight for size acceptance, just live your life, or understand and support your fat friends and family, this book was written to provide the insights, aha moments, humor, and hard facts to help.

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Published in: on June 1, 2012 at 5:48 am  Comments (57)  

57 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What the actual fork? I feel like I’ve fallen into some alternate dimension.

    My only hope is that someone call this guy on the vast quantities of BS that are coming from his direction. Ideally, restaurants and chains with the financial clout to say “you can’t place limitations on our business without evidence to back it up, and we’ll sue you to the moon if you try”. Of course, such a company would have to weather the claims of ‘promoting obesity’ or ‘chasing profit at the expense of public health’ and the backlash probably wouldn’t be worth it.

    • He cannot be voted out of office fast enough to suit my ravenous tastes.

  2. From the press release:

    The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.

    Oh, cool! So if you want a 20-ounce Jack and Coke with your dinner, no problem then, right? Alcohol cancels out HFCS, who knew?

    Personally, I think they’re just trying to kick more money over to Starbucks. But that’s just me.

    • “Alcohol cancels out HFCS, who knew?”

      Science!!!

      Yeah, right! :p

      “Personally, I think they’re just trying to kick more money over to Starbucks. But that’s just me.”

      $tarbucks is one of the biggest scams around, IMO. They’re charging $5 for a terrible cup of coffee and laughing all the way to the bank. And idiots buy it because it’s the trendy thing to do!

      • …this idiot buys it because the coffee tastes better than anywhere else…sorry, i guess there’s no accounting for taste…

      • Starbucks isn’t a big deal in my life because I don’t like coffee, but they do seem to supply pleasant atmosphere at a relatively low price.

    • So… a 20 ounce milkshake is fine and dandy? As is a giant glass of juice that has as much sugar as soda? Huh? Or if I go and get the giant frappucino at Starbucks, that’s cool? (Can you imagine the backlash if they tried to ban the oversized, oversweet Starbucks coffee drinks?) The “big gulps” and their mutant, oversized offspring at convenience stores are fine and dandy?

      Oh wait… I should keep my mouth shut. If someone points out this massive logic fail, they’ll try to ban those, too.

    • It’s great to know that you could still go to seven-eleven and buy your big gulp. Or hell, just buy a 2-liter bottle and drink it in one sitting. Yeah, Bloomberg has just solved the obesity crisis, all right! Except of course it wouldn’t have made a difference to me, I switched to diet before I ever got fat. Could it be…all obeesity CAN’T be blamed on soda???? How can this BE??? :O

      • “Could it be…all obeesity CAN’T be blamed on soda???? How can this BE??? :O”

        No, it can be blamed on red meat, full-fat cheese, whole milk, butter… oh wait, I eat all that stuff and I’m thin.

        Could it be that “obesity” is just another body shape/size, like being short or tall? NOOOO THAT’S UMPOSSIBLE!!! WHARGLEBARRRGLE!!!!

        *sigh*

        • Well said, you hit the nail on the head.

  3. “Mayor Bloomberg tweeted “More than half of NYC adults (58%) are overweight or obese. We’re doing something about it.””

    Politician’s Logic: Something must be done, this is something, therefore we must do it.

    To be fair, the same pattern can be found in businesses, other organizations, and private life. Politicians can do it on a grander scale than most, though.

    • OMG! Thank you for putting into words what I couldn’t with the “Politician’s Logic.” YES!

  4. “And he can’t really even claim that since most of the drinks targeted don’t have sugar at all, instead being sweetened by the highly controversial high fructose corn syrup.”

    Yeah, how about instead of regulating the size of sodas that restaurants can serve we, ban HFCS itself.

    Oh wait, we *can’t* do that; the corn lobbyists would have a fit and you know the politicians don’t want to piss *them* off!

    *shakes head*

    • If we ended the subsidies for this stuff, it would likely have the same effect. But yeah, not holding my breath for that.

      • Yeah, neither am I!

    • “Yeah, how about instead of regulating the size of sodas that restaurants can serve we, ban HFCS itself.”

      YES!

      • That’ll *never* work; it makes too much sense!

  5. I am ATOUNDED by these governmental actions – mostly because people stand by and allow politicians to tell us what we can and cannot do to our bodies – a clear violation of civil rights – but yet the same morons who are standing by, nodding their heads in agreement with this studip assault on freedom, are the very ones who tout, “GOVERNMENT IS TOO BIG!!! NO GOVERNMENT SPONSORED HEALTH CARE!! PRIVATIZE EDUCATION AND MENTAL HEALTH!!! IT’S NOT THE GOVERNMENTS JOB TO ENSURE THAT THERE ARE JOBS!!!! BAHHHH!!!” I hate people…

  6. ooops – in my rage and rant I left out the ‘s’ in ASTOUNDED…

  7. I live in New York City (and therefore have this jackass for a mayor). I’m sure the next thing he will try to clamp down on are stores that sell large-sized clothing. He will figure if he takes away our right to buy clothes, we will be forced to lose weight and fit into regular clothes. Yes, he is that stupid and insensitive. Don’t get me started. What bothers me about the “sugary drink” debacle is this: how come there are not similar bans on beer, malt liquor, wine coolers, and other alcoholic drinks? They have lots of calories too. Also, just so you all are aware, today Mayor Bloomberg is giving out free donuts in some park in honor of National Donut Day. Mixed messages, anyone?

    • Giving out donuts, but banning sugary drinks!! Ha, he’s an idiot. He’s doing something about the obesity issue? Hello dumb dumb Bloomberg – are you for real?
      Re: Starbucks – burnt coffee beans at a really high price – yuck. True, there is no accounting for taste – to each her/his own.

    • I saw that donut giveaway on the news! OMG what a barefaced hypocrite! Guess he really believes that soda is THE only cause of obesity… or he has been sleeping with his head where the sun don’t shine…

  8. Thanks Ragen for this brilliant piece and for pointing out that weight bias is the little widget that drives it all. Who needs science when we can have unlimited bias?

  9. Not quite on topic as such, but often other or previous things come to mind when I read one of your blogs in my e-mail box. Firstly when is your book going to be ready as I can’t wait and have pre-ordered it? Secondly, that’s awful what the Mayor of New York city trying to ban large size sodas, where will it all end and the other comment along that line, that a state in the U.S has/had a regulation that they won’t serve fat/obese people in their restuarants! How can they get away with that, isn’t it an infringement of those people’s human rights?

    While I and others tend to think it’s worse in the U.S and maybe it is, but it is also getting worse here too in the UK. There is a programme doing the rounds on one of our TV channels here(used to be good, but now does awful voyeuristic TV)called “Secret Eaters” where the premise seems to be stupid(why else would you volunteer?)people allow themselves to be followed around their home to see “where they are going wrong in their eating habits”, the byline is these people are putting on weight and don’t know why or something along that line!

    I’m still annoyed and curious about why I was asked to go on the scales to be weighed by the nurse at my surgery, when I just went on a routine asthma check up and then got lectured on it. I know it seems obvious now but I thought afterwards that they would have those details on their computer system and as I’ve only been at that surgery for 18 months and my weight doesn’t generally change that much, why do it? Of course I now think they do with the aim of having ammunition to lecture and humiliate you with? Ragen you did reply to me on this, when I posted initially on that appointment and said you don’t get weighed now and said you hadn’t received any “pushback” on this? Can you just clarify for me what you mean by that, am presuming it means you haven’t had a negative reaction to it? I wonder if that’s because your healthcare system is different to ours? But I’m definitely planning on doing something about this particular aspect of things, perhaps I could go armed with articles/quotes I have on the subject of the futility of weight loss, making us feel worse about ourselves and that losing weight/being a certain size is not to blame for everything and they can’t really prove of this, it’s like you say, the “you could get syndrome”?

    Marion, UK

    • It was a proposed law in Mississippi which didn’t pass.

      Perhaps it goes without saying (but I’m saying it anyway) that the legislators didn’t mean to offend anyone and only wanted to draw attention to a problem.

      • Nancy,

        Am I understanding correctly that you feel that the fact that they said they “didn’t mean to offend anyone and only wanted to draw attention to a problem” is an excuse for proposing this legislation? First, I don’t put a lot of stock in what a politician says when they find out that their bill wildly unpopular and being attacked by everyone on the world. If people had agreed with the bill my guess is that he would have called a press conference and taken credit for his groundbreaking anti-obesity idea. The article you quoted mentioned that he didn’t expect it to pass. Even if that’s true, legislatures have a LOT to do and I think it makes the fact that this person proposed a law that codifies blatant discrimination even more egregious. Having the nerve to say that he didn’t mean to offend anyone by suggesting that they are too fat to be allowed to be served food in public is ridiculous even for a politician.

        ~Ragen

      • No, I wasn’t agreeing with the legislators about their motives. I was just being sarcastic about how people react when they’ve said something godawful. Perhaps I should know by now that deadpan humor doesn’t work reliably, especially online.

        Or to put it another way, I didn’t mean to offend and I was just trying to draw attention to the problem of legislators who say they don’t mean to offend and are just trying to draw attention to a problem.

        Seriously, I do think it matters more when legislators propose laws than when people without that level of power advocate for bad laws.

        • Ok, now I’m picking up what you’re putting down. We are in all kinds of agreement, sorry for the misunderstanding!

          ~Ragen

          ________________________________

      • I definitely should have used scare quotes when I was quoting the legislators.

      • Where’s that dang sarcasm font when you need it?😉

  10. I think the anti-obesity rhetoric supporting the law is crap, but the law itself is a good idea. You can read my full response at my blog, here http://doctorzetcetera.blogspot.com/2012/06/nyc-large-soda-ban-right-law-wrong.html

    • Very nice article and I completely agree with your view about how this should be addressed as a poor diet public health problem and leave obesity out of it – so true. Also I agree that while people have the right to choose whether or they want to have a healthy diet or not, it saddens me that a lot of people honestly don’t give a shit about what they are putting into their bodies. They are going to eat what tastes good, who cares about what is good for them. I really don’t want to police what other people do with their bodies, so it’s not about that. It’s more about the fact that I hate the thought of bringing kids and grandkids into the world in a society full of careless nutrition. But I have the same view on other unhealthy activities that people do like smoking, drugs and alcohol, etc. If we don’t learn how to take better care of ourselves, it’s going to be a bad future for this earth.

      • I see your point but who gets to say what is unhealthy. You say drugs, smoking and alcohol. And then some feel coffee and tea are not healthy, orange juice has too much sugar, and it goes on and on. Your definition of “careless nutrition” may be different from mine so where does this all end. I agree with you I am just saying who gets to say what is healthy and what isnt.

      • I think we should be more concerned about having an Earth to leave at all…

      • Marla you are right, when it comes to the question of what is unhealthy, it does get a bit cloudy. We all do things that could be considered unhealthy and there is a lot of different things out there that could be taken to an unhealthy level. I enjoy my sweets and caffeine as well, but I guess I tend to see a difference when we stop caring and stop trying to take care of ourselves. I think a lot of the things are ok in moderation but when taken to an extreme, it becomes more mikely to cause you health problems in the future. My eating habits aren’t perfect (if there is a perfect), but I am more mindful of a lot of things than I used to be. I try to eat healthy, keep my body active, keep my mind sharp, and try to live life safely. Of course I’m going to die one day just like everyone else, I just an doing what I find necessary to make it when I am older and not younger, and I’m trying to stay away from having to be in and out of the doctors and hospitals in the meantime. I don’t know if any of this makes sense.

        • Ashley, I am like you. I do the best with what I have. But as long as I am fat, the public will feel I dont do enough and will keep pushing more restrictions on me and the rest of us. You make a lot of sense. Too bad some of these other people in the public dont make any sense. LOL

    • I agree as well. Ragen, I agree with the vast majority of your posts. This one, however, struck me as a little off … I’ll see if I can articulate why.

      You write as a Fat Acceptance Advocate, and you have rightfully defended people’s rights to prioritize their own health as much or as little as they want. If the mayor had come out and said “we’re banning soft drinks of a certain size to encourage people to make healthier choices … choose water,” [i.e., NOT about obesity] I am curious whether it would have been a red flag for you. Your comments about small businesses seemed a little disingenuous, and they reminded me of comments commonly made by the Corn Lobby, “it’s up to individuals to moderate their own consumption, we’re not the bad guys [for manufacturing these drinks to be hyperpalatable so we sell more].” And I know what you’re really saying is, “let people have their damn soda. They get to prioritize their health.” But I think that lots of people HAVEN’T thought that hard about their own health, that lots of the time, soda is kind of a “default” pleasant drink (like it was for me at one time). Your message of “prioritizing one’s own health” sort of implies that the person in question has thought long and hard about the payoffs between health and, say, pleasure (a fizzy drink) and that they’re consciously choosing one or the other. I think the measure will be effective in cutting soda back, and the population (broadly) will be healthier for it. The ones who really want it will continue to drink it, others will get used to drinking less, etc. You’re excellent at blazing a path for how Fat people can live proud and out loud in the world, but must that extend to actively defending abstractions like soda consumption?

      For you, is the main problem the mayor’s reason for the ban? [fight obesity?] Are you more of a libertarian than I’ve detected in your writings so far?😉

      Re above “I think the measure will be effective in cutting soda back,” … NOW I know what I was trying to say. With this new ban, people’s choices about the priority of their own health will continue as they always have. Some people will pay more to continue drinking the same amount of soda. Some people will cut back. And maybe some people will use the ban to think long and hard about just how they DO want to prioritize their own health … they will stop and think about the tradeoffs. That is something you WANT for people, by your own admission.

      Considering your passions, I did not find the small business argument compelling.

      I hope this makes sense. thank you.

      • Thanks for the comment, I’ll create a post about this soon but here are the answer to your questions:

        If the mayor had come out and said “we’re banning soft drinks of a certain size to encourage people to make healthier choices … choose water,” [i.e., NOT about obesity] I am curious whether it would have been a red flag for you.
        Yes, it absolutely would have. I think it’s problematic to use “Ban” and “encourage” in the same sentence, it smacks of “saving people from themselves” which is all kinds of classist, elitist, and concern trolling. In this situation a city government is involving itself in businesses choices and consumer choices with little to no evidence, no measure of success, and just a broad idea that this will do “something” for “obesity” or “health”. I can see why those who are comfortable concern trolling others about their soda intake are ok with this, but I imagine it will be less fine if a raw foods mayor decides to ban meat, or a mayor whose campaign was heavily supported by Ozarka bans the drinking of tap water, or whatever else someone else decides will “do something” to force us all to be “healthier in some way”.

        “Your comments about small businesses seemed a little disingenuous, and they reminded me of comments commonly made by the Corn Lobby, “it’s up to individuals to moderate their own consumption, we’re not the bad guys [for manufacturing these drinks to be hyperpalatable so we sell more].”

        You are welcome to your opinion, however I have owned several small business and as an operations consultant for more than a decade I helped hundreds more succeed so when I speak about business it is generally safe to assume that I am speaking from tremendous experience and that I am being completely genuine in my beliefs. I think that it is a dangerous precedent to say that the government has the authority to create an arbitrary ban (why 16oz?), for a reason that has no evidence basis, and with a goal that is unspecified an un-measurable. I don’t think we have to extrapolate very far to see why this is a dangerous precedent. I agree with that particular quote from the corn lobby. Until it is proven unsafe by the definitions that are used for food safety, I think the problem isn’t that they are making it, the problem is that people can’t get access to true information about it. That would be an excellent place for the government to get involved – running independent studies on the safety and effects of HFCS. If there are issues (as I suspect there will be – it then could lead to an intervention that is evidence based, with a specific, measurable goal – like the ban on trans fat – which is the complete opposite of the soda ban intervention. Again, if the mayor believes that a raw foods diet will make people healthier, should NYC ban ovens? Or only allow restaurants to cook food for some arbitrary amount of time? Is it okay to have someone police your groceries and set a limit to the amount of ice cream you can buy? Only mountain climbers fall off mountains – let’s ban climbing anything more than a small hill.

        “But I think that lots of people HAVEN’T thought that hard about their own health, that lots of the time, soda is kind of a “default” pleasant drink (like it was for me at one time).”

        Your experience is just for you – it’s not extrapolatable and nobody else is obligated to care about it or make decisions or laws based upon it. What you think about other people’s thoughts and decision-making processes is also just for you, your opinion (or the mayor’s opinion) does not justify codifying things into law to protect people from what you guess they are or are not thinking about. Check into the times that’s been tried in the past – never a happy ending.

        “Your message of “prioritizing one’s own health” sort of implies that the person in question has thought long and hard about the payoffs between health and, say, pleasure (a fizzy drink) and that they’re consciously choosing one or the other. “

        Nope. What I say, repeatedly, is that people should have access – access to the foods that they would choose, safe movement options they enjoy, affordable/free health care, and correct information and then we should respect their decisions – which includes the decision not to access the information, or not to do that things that others think they should do.

        “I think the measure will be effective in cutting soda back, and the population (broadly) will be healthier for it.”

        You are allowed to think that but it doesn’t have anything to do with the appropriateness of the measure. I think every kid should have a pony but that doesn’t mean I have the right to go making a law. It’s not anybody’s job to make the population (broadly) healthier when it comes to their personal choices. If you are interested in working with public health then I think you should limit yourself to working for people’s access to food and drink choices, safe enjoyable movement options, affordable/free evidence-based healthcare, and information. Then you get to make the choices for you and everyone else gets to make choices for themselves.

        “You’re excellent at blazing a path for how Fat people can live proud and out loud in the world, but must that extend to actively defending abstractions like soda consumption?”

        Thank you. Yes it does. First, I think we have different idea of what an abstraction is. The mayor went on MSNBC and said that this ban is about doing something about obesity. I am obese, therefore he is saying that this ban is needed to help eradicate people who look like me from the Earth – that’s not an abstraction from where I’m sitting. Second, precedent is everything in law and politics and this is a dangerous one to set – if we can say that something will make the population (broadly) healthier then we can make it into a law.

        “For you, is the main problem the mayor’s reason for the ban? [fight obesity?] Are you more of a libertarian than I’ve detected in your writings so far?”

        That’s a textbook false dichotomy. For me the main problem is the government trying to use the law to make people “healthier”, especially in a way that is unspecified, unmeasurable, and has a flimsy at best evidence basis. I think that there should be a difference between government regulations and government programs.

        I believe government regulations are to keep people safe – I’m a fan of water quality regulations, sanitation regulations and inspections for restaurants, meat quality inspections, bans on unsafe substances, banning smoking in public places, making sure there’s not lead in toys, regulating financial institutions, my kingdom for an FDA that isn’t completely corrupt. I don’t think that government regulations are for trying to force people to do what someone thinks will make them thinner, or keep them from becoming fat, or make them “healthier” by someone else’s definition.

        I think government programs should exist to make sure that everyone has access to the food that they would choose to eat, safe movement options that they enjoy, affordable/free evidence-based healthcare, and correct information about health and fitness, but I don’t think that health should be by force.

        “And maybe some people will use the ban to think long and hard about just how they DO want to prioritize their own health … they will stop and think about the tradeoffs. That is something you WANT for people, by your own admission.”
        You have completely misinterpreted what I want for people. It is none of my business if other people choose to think long and hard about how they want to prioritize their health or anything else. All I care about is that if they do, they have access to correct information, foods, movement options, healthcare and as I talked about above. I want to be assured that we are kept safe when it comes to things like water quality, sanitation, etc. and I want us all to have the right to make choices for our bodies and health, without the government creating laws based on the assumption that we haven’t “thought things through enough” until we agree with them .

        Thanks!

        ~Ragen

      • Regan, thank you for your reply to the above, and the clarifications and corrections. You’ve thought much more about the legislative side of all this than I have. I will take what you have said to heart and consider it carefully.

        • Hi Kristin,

          Thank you so much for the respectful dialog, I really appreciate it (even if we end up agreeing to disagree).

          ~Ragen

  11. There’s an environmental angle– two smaller cups holding the same amount of soda will use more paper and plastic than one large cup.

  12. Like many natives of Manhattan, I am continually stunned by Hizzoner Bloomberg’s colossal chutzpah and – let’s be honest – stupidity. Some of the things he’s done to New York just break my heart, but THIS makes me beyond angry! How dare this twerp attempt to dictate to a huge part of the business community (among whom are thousands of voters) what it can or cannot sell? That sounds suspiciously like a dictatorship to me

  13. When we go out together, I often get one big soda and share it with my husband and daughter. This saves money and resources (and my family is relatively healthy anyway) because a single drink costs like what, 2-3 bucks?

    I can’t really finish the average size soda cup by myself, but if I were to drink it slowly over the course of a day or so, that would be fine.

    But do you know what kills people (of all sizes) EVERY SINGLE DAY?

    Cars.

    They contribute to most sedentary-based diseases (in people of all size), they are one of the largest causes of death and disfigurement when people are just using them normally, and they exude pollution as well.

    Why aren’t they trying to ban CARS, then?

    I just wonder why people are trying to legislate things like SODA instead of dealing with the SYSTEMATIC PROBLEMS (such as food deserts and pedestrian accessibility) that are causing a lot of the health issues that proliferate our society?

    • “I just wonder why people are trying to legislate things like SODA instead of dealing with the SYSTEMATIC PROBLEMS (such as food deserts and pedestrian accessibility) that are causing a lot of the health issues that proliferate our society?”

      All of this, all of the time.
      The size of fizzy drinks is such an insignificant thing to focus on when the same amount of time, effort and public money could be spent doing something that might actually be useful. Or, if we’re already on our way to stupid-town, why stop at fizzy drinks? Why not introduce portion sizes for chips, or a maximum diameter for doughnuts, or minimum nutritional values for something to be described as a ‘meal’ rather than a snack.

      • I was in my friend’s car the other day and she was listening to some Conservative radio show (she claims to be “spying”). The host was going on and on about how non-white people in this country (aka poor people in his mind) NEED to eat food like they serve at McDonald’s because they’re outside working all day and they need those calories. But white people who have desk jobs shouldn’t eat that stuff.

        I mean… seriously?? Does that help him sleep at night or something??

        • who the hell said that. I can tell you most conservatives want freedom from government. This is not a political debate, I just wondered who it was. I list to 2 conservatives and neither one said anything like that. Whatever

    • To be fair, no one actually drives a car in Manhattan, so Bloomberg has probably all but forgotten about them.

  14. “It was not immediately clear what that assertion was based on.”

    This is begging to become a trending hashtag, ala Colbert’s #notintendedtobeafactualstatement

  15. I think Bloomberg got some polling data that said he wasn’t doing enough about “obesity” and during this election season, his staff did an emergency rectal pull to make him look good.

    • I feel like EVERYONE is dong “enough” about obesity. Perhaps everyone could do a little more in regards to their own lives? That’d be nice…

  16. Coffee, that was my first thought. Can you get only one cup of coffee and no refills? Being from the south you know sweet tea is a popular drink. Look out Starbucks, you are next. I like the point you made about hight fructos corn syrup. Good point.

  17. Bloomberg couldn’t, as far to my knowledge, ban fat people on food stamps from buying soda so I figure now he’s trying to do it this way. Dumb, dumb, and more dumb. Restaurants are a huge (no pun intended) financial part of NYC and the last thing they need is an overzealous mayor trying to tell them what they can and can’t serve. Trans fats were banned, calorie counts had to be posted—isn’t that enough for him? It’s not like every fattie who lives and visits NYC is going to automatically buy the biggest soda on the menu and a lot of people don’t even drink soda to begin with. I guess since crime’s been down the last few years, that fat people are the next best “problem” to be solved? The mayor needs to find an actual threat to deal with then someone drinking a soda.

    • What got me is Bloomberg says you can still buy 32 oz, you just need to buy two 16 oz beverages. There’s only two reasons I can think of why he would do this: (1) He’s a bigot and think fat people are just bottomless pits that eat indiscriminately and don’t KNOW that they’re drinking 32 oz of soda. OR (2) It’s all about the benjamins. You have to buy two instead of one now? I guarantee you it’s going to cost you more than the one big one would’ve. Bloomberg either thinks we’re idiots, cash-cows, or both. Awesome.

  18. Just read this and now I’m watching Jon Stewart from 5/31. He played a clip of someone on that show Morning Joe who said ‘you solve obesity, you solve healthcare, it’s that simple’ in a discussion about supporting this new law. I almost fell out of my chair laughing!

  19. Well, as someone who recently quit soda, let me say that Mayor Bloomberg is on to something– just a week after I quit, I magically became thin and landed my first job as a model!

    …or not. Ok, in all seriousness, I did recently quit soda and I’m glad I did! Personally, I thought I was consuming too much sugar and caffeine and not enough water, so I finally quit. And I feel much better for it. I have chronic kidney stones and my kidneys feel world’s better without all the soda. (Interesting note: After my first bout with the stones, I saw about a jillion different doctors, all of whom told me to drink more water. Yet, none of them told me to stop drinking soda. I guess THAT would hurt profits for someone.) My teeth also feel much better, and overall I stand my decision to quit.

    But you know what it did NOT do? Make me thin. Magically. Or otherwise. And how does this law affect Starbucks, for example? Most of their beverages are over 16 oz and have loads more sugar and fat in them than soda.

    I mean, here’s the thing. Outlawing sugary drinks over 16 oz is like outlawing arsenic in cigarettes. Yes, you cut out one of the ingredients that makes them so deadly, but people are absolutely still going to smoke and it will continue to affect their health in the same way it always has. The same day Bloomberg announced this stupidity, he also endorsed National Donut Day. I mean, pick a side, buddy! Either you’re for the public being able to eat what they want, or you’re not and that makes you kind of fascist.

  20. So, I was looking over the articles on Fat Nutritionist’s website, and found this fascinating abstract of a study that — GASP — shows no correlation between sugary drink consumption and adolescent weight gain. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19864412

    CONCLUSIONS: We showed no association between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, juice consumption, and adolescent weight gain over a 5-y period. A direct association between diet beverages and weight gain appeared to be explained by dieting practices. Adolescents who consumed little or no white milk gained significantly more weight than their peers who consumed white milk. Future research that examines beverage habits and weight among adolescents should address portion sizes, adolescent maturation, and dieting behaviors.


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