Ban on soda: Why I don’t want the government in my refrigerator

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Ban on large soda

Ban on Soda in New York

You may have heard that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to propose a ban on the sale of large sugary beverages like soda at restaurants, mobile food carts, movie theaters and delis.  He is proposing this ban to help fight the rising epidemic of obesity in New York.  I totally agree with Mayor Bloomberg that super sized sodas are not healthy and can be a contributing factor in weight gain.  I’m really not sure that this is a statement that anyone would argue with.  It’s sort of common sense that drinking a whole bunch of sugar can cause you to gain weight.

Do we really need the state to ban large sugary beverages?  Let’s consider a few things:

1.  I’m a big girl.  If I really want to purchase a large sugary beverage I’m going to. There are many other places I can purchase these from like grocery stores, mass retailers, drug stores, office supply stores, etc. A ban on soda won’t stop me.

2.  People are not stupid.  They really do understand that super sized sodas can make you gain weight.  We honestly don’t need the government to enact a ban on soda to save us from ourselves.

3.  If I’m at a restaurant and purchase a small or medium sugary beverage, there is nothing stopping me from getting a free refill if availalable or from purchasing two or three or six if I want to. One large or two mediums… is there really a difference?

4.  This law won’t have any effect on the purchase of diet beverages. So you cannot have an extra large soda sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. However, feel free to drink as many extra large diet sodas with artificial sweeteners and the chemical phenylalanine.   They won’t make you gain weight so there are obviously no health concerns to worry about.

5.  The ban on soda has no bearing on anything else that we eat or drink.  Feel free to buy all the super sized burgers, extra large French fries, and hot fudge sundaes you’d like. Just make sure you drink diet soda or water with them.

6. This is the big one.  The government is not my babysitter.   Nowhere in the powers that were given to our government when the Declaration of Independence was signed have we given the government the authority to decide what we can and cannot eat.   The Declaration of Independence gave the federal and state governments specific powers.  These powers were not only limited but a set of checks and balances were set up to prevent the abuse of power.   In simple terms, if the Declaration did not give the government the power to control what we do and do not eat, then the government does not have the power or authority to make laws that do that. If you’d like to read more about the concept, check out the principal of limited government.

This ban on soda won’t have any immediate effect on me.  I don’t live in New York and I don’t drink large sugary beverages to begin with. However, that one right we allow the government to take from us is one step toward the second right and the third.  Then what do we have? We have a government that is so intrusive and so over reaching that we have no more rights at all. What do you think? Do we really need a ban on soda?

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Comments

  1. I, too, noticed that diet sodas with aspartame are allowed. So we're OK with cancer-causing chemicals, just not sugar (or fake sugar). I'd rather see him ban GM corn products. :-)
  2. PinchingAbe says
    I agree with you, Ellen. As an aside, I have found that most retailers chock those glasses full of ice... so you get mostly ice and not always all soda. Soda is priced at these venues such that you pay a premium price for a small or medium, and not that much more for a large. Shouldn't he make retailers sell us smaller soda portions at a reasonable price? Should a 12 ounce soda cost half that of a 24 ounce one? Why pay 2.59 for a small when a larger one is available for just 20 cents more? Why not force these retailers to offer water as a dirt-cheap direct competitor to the soda? If a bottle of water costs as much as a bottle of pop, I'm sorry... but pop tastes better! And if I can't buy that supersized soda, I'll just buy two of the smaller ones. He neglected to mention that the 16 oz limit he proposes is actually going to force soda makers to downsize and charge us the same. A regular bottle of Coke in a 6 pack is 16.9 ounces.
    • Ellen Christian says
      That's exactly it, Caren. If people want them they are going to find them. Instead of stepping in to control people's individual rights, they need to focus on problems that really are theirs to correct.
  3. I posted on this too. I think it's nuts. Did you know this ban doesn't cover milkshakes. A 22 oz Coke has a little less than 300 calories. A 22 chocolate shake has almost 900! Don't think this is the right way to go about this at all!
  4. Not a Perfect Mom says
    I totally support the ban of soda in places like schools, but this is ridiculous...if I want a large coke I'm going to find a way to get one...
  5. Jules from A Little Bite of Life says
    I love your post Ellen! I think the government is spending too much time "parenting" people and not taking enough time managing the real issues in our country!!
  6. So true! I don't think they realize the problem isn't the speck it's the plank. Every individual needs to be responsible!
  7. I'm a libertarian, so I definitely agree with you on the ban. :)
  8. Well said and I agree!!! Are they going to stop you from ordering 2 mediums instead of 1 large then? I think we should all be accountable for our own actions and not require government intervention.
  9. Cheryl Malandrinos says
    You're right on, Ellen. The problem isn't the availability of these products. It's the lack of self-control in consumers. The government can't force people to make good choices. It can make us aware of the dangers of our lifestyle choices, but in the end, this is supposed be a free country and we should be able to do what we want. The government should keep policemen and firemen on the streets and repair the roads. Other than that, they can stay out of my life. I'm old enough to make my own choices.
    • Ellen Christian says
      Definitely, Cheryl.  I don't need the government making my choices for me. It's not their job.
  10. It is just silly, political grandstanding. I think there are plenty of real problems the politicians should be addressing!
  11. It's a good try but I highly doubt it's going to help on the rest of the foods/drinks people have that also have a detrimental effect on a person's overall health.  Whirlwind of Surprises
  12. Nicole - Mama to 4 Blessings says
    NO WAY! Last time I checked we live in a country with freedoms, who is the government to tell me now we can't have soda - don't they have bigger fish to fry? Give me a break!!!!!! I stumbled this for you.
  13. I have to respectfully disagree with you here for only one reason.  People are screaming that the government needs to "do something" to stop the obesity epidemic.  We aren't taking care of it on our own, yet we don't want the government involved.  It can't go both ways.  I agree with each and every one of your points, but I also believe that politicians are trying to find a way to fight obesity.  This is just one small step to test the waters, I'm sure.  Yes, as Americans we have a choice, but we also have a responsibility and many of us are not doing our parts.  I would be in 100% agreement with your ideas IF people stopped complaining that someone else needs to do something the fix the problem and we all stepped up to the plate to make a difference in our own families.
    • Ellen Christian says
      I agree that this ban would be completely unnecessary if people simply did what they *should* do. They won't unless they want to and even the government placing ridiculous bans on our personal freedoms won't make people change unless they want to. You can't stop people from making poor choices even if you make them illegal otherwise we wouldn't have the drug problem we do in this country.
  14. Amanda Tempel says
    This is ridiculous! Why don't they just go ahead and ban all junk food too? LOL. I would be the first to hoard a bunch of pop in my closet.
  15. Cheryl Abdelnour says
    I totally agree with you. You wrote an excellent article!! I love my pop and no one, but me will take it away.
  16. Number 6 says it all. This country is based on freedoms and each and every time one is taken away, it is very difficult if not impossible to get it back. It is a matter of choices- I personally do not drink soda but my husband does- I drink coffee with tons of cream and sugar though which can certainly at times equal or exceed his can of pop. If more and more things are controlled by the government, a person in effect is saying they are NOT responsible enough to take care of themselves. We will turn over our rights and our choices slowly but surely.  So the argument is that our country has an obesity epidemic- fine and dandy. Outlaw sugar, outlaw carbs, outlaw all you want and while you are at it, we can all be required to run 3 miles when the big whistle sounds throughtout the land.
    • Ellen Christian says
      Wonderful points & I totally agree.  Big Brother will push and take away as much a we let him until it comes the point in time when we have nothing left.

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