Soda ban is a slippery slope
June 4th, 2012
02:15 PM ET
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Editor's note: Mark A. Pereira is an associate professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota.

Smart policies are essential to America's "war on obesity."

The latest idea in that fight is a curious proposal from Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City. He's planning to ban the sale of sugary drinks 16 ounces or larger in public venues such as restaurants and movie theaters.

Critics are crying that the move is an infringement on personal freedom. But the bigger question is: What's the rationale behind targeting a single dietary factor in the sea of unhealthy foods and drinks that barrage us every day? Is it scientifically sound?

A typical 16-ounce soft drink contains about 180 calories, nearly all from sugar. It doesn't contain any fat. While Bloomberg's ban will make it illegal to sell large-sized sugary drinks, it's perfectly legal to sell plenty of other beverages (milkshakes, anyone?) and foods (how about some ice cream?) that pack far more calories per amount served as well as very high levels of fat, sodium or other laboratory-engineered chemicals.

Read - Forget large sodas, how about banning French fries?

Previously - How I kicked my Coke habit

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Filed under: Childhood Obesity • Sip • Soda Ban • Soft Drinks

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Drinking Green and brown City Water is Safe

    well the scientists in the last 100 years also balmed all of what they are blaming soft drinks on with thousands of other products.

    in fact didnt they say Coffee, tea, yogurt, and many houshold items caused Didbetes, Obesity and ETC.

    How foolish to reblame one thing again to say in a few more years that something else causes all of this and they were wrong.

    what if you cell phone is the main cause, what if its the air we breath. just saying dont blame one thing and 10 years later come out saying OOPS

    June 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  2. wcordova

    Is this a joke? I hope so, otherwise this Country is in a world of trouble!

    June 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  3. bosch

    We are a gaggle of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with useful info to work on. You have done an impressive task and our entire community might be thankful to you.

    June 5, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  4. VladT

    Maybe the tax dollars spent on this legislation would be better spent to hire gym teachers and buy sports equipment so that kids can actually exercise, rather then spending useless amounts on controlling people "to eat better."

    June 5, 2012 at 6:23 am |
  5. ANdrewsky

    Limiting toxic food consumption is no different than limiting alcohol consumption, but if a person is determined to get around the limit, they can do it. This is just another publicity stunt from a politician who has no concept of what to govern and what to leave alone..

    June 5, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  6. Truthâ„¢

    I love the logic of the left. Abortion is A-OK, but a large soda somehow is a public threat.

    June 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • TruthHurts

      Actually, Mr. Bloomberg is an independent. Your partisan attack does not contribute to an informed or rational discussion.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Ben

      Truth, you are dishonest or uninformed. Bloomberg was a Democrat for his entire life. He "became" a republican only to avoid a 16-person Democratic primary (he was the only "republican" to run. He then immediately switched to "independent so as to not have to run in future primaries and to not be a Democrat. Nearly every position he has is Democrat. Either you know this and are unethical/dishonest or do not and are posting in arrogance.

      June 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
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