Friday, June 1, 2012

New York Mayor Plans Drastic Steps to Combat Obesity

Well, well, well. It looks as if the city of New York is about to dramatically reduce obesity. Or not.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban on the sale of sugary drinks by banning the sale of cups or bottles of sugary drinks that are larger than 16 ounces. The ban would apply to any restaurant, movie theatre, street vendor or coffee house, but would not apply to grocery stores. Because, you know, nobody gets their drinks at grocery stores, right?

The reason behind the ban is the fight on obesity. As mentioned in the article, an astonishing 50% of New Yorkers are classified as obese. In the article, Dr. Thomas Farley, the city health commissioner blames sugary drinks as the primary cause behind obesity.

I don’t necessarily agree that sugary drinks are the reason for obesity, and I certainly don’t agree that the government has any right to tell you what you can and can’t put in your body. For starters, the obesity epidemic goes far beyond sodas and sugared coffees. Remember, it was the government that said it was ok to put Pink Slime in commercial, conventionally raised beef. Our food production system is broken from top to bottom, and simply denying soft drinks isn’t going to fix the issue.

But, as I’ve mentioned in this space before, my biggest issue with New York’s ban is the fact that the government is telling you what to eat.  You know, the government that did this. And this. And this. What’s to stop them from banning beef or healthy dairy, or telling you that almonds are bad for you because they have lots of fat, even if it is healthy. What’s next? I don’t want to find out.