Dear Mayor Bloomberg, I Think You’re Completely Wrong About Banning Big Sodas

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who lives in Southampton and in New York City, has announced that he wants to place a ban on the sale of big soda drinks and limit their sizes to 16 ounces or less. The idea is that if he bans these big drinks, somehow this will help stop the obesity epidemic.

I……I don’t even know where to begin with this one. It’s just filled with so much wrong. Let me take a breath here. Okay….hang on…oh, damn it I can’t control myself…NO! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!

Alright, now that it is out of my system, let’s talk about why I don’t agree with this idea in any way, shape or form.

It is not the government’s role to tell us how much food we are allowed to eat. I think it’s their role to tell us what is healthy and what is unhealthy, but restricting people from certain foods and restricting how they can buy them is simply going WAY too far. I believe in government and think it’s important. Having a rule that you can only smoke outdoors is a good thing, but if it suddenly became illegal to sell certain amounts of cigarettes in stores, that would be a bad thing.

What’s the next step here? Making large hot dogs illegal? Making ice cream cone sizes illegal? Making it illegal to buy large bags of potato chips? Pizza? Milkshake sizes??? AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT SEES IT THIS WAY???

Obesity in America is a real public health problem, but it isn’t the fault of food companies—it is on all the individuals for not taking care of themselves. The next time you walk into a restaurant, including even the most expensive steakhouses and fine dining spots that I’m sure Mr. Bloomberg knows, ask yourself how many meals are extremely unhealthy and if the portions are way too big. This is true even for restaurants that sell you “healthy” food such items with no carbs or food with no high-fructose corn syrup. Try to have a restaurant meal under 2,000 calories and purchase one drink, an appetizer and an entree, plus a few rolls from the bread basket. It’s absolutely impossible. Should we ban the sale of THOSE oversized meals also?

Of course we shouldn’t.

If you are going to ban anything, it should be made illegal for an “expert” to advise you to go on a “diet” where you can “eat as much as you want” of a specific type of food, like certain low-carb diets. I know people who eat cheese, meat, fish and salads all day long and stuff their face as much as they can, remain overweight, and don’t understand why it’s not working for them. I was one of those people for a long time.

Diets work if you eat fewer calories. Period. A lot of people don’t understand that. I don’t know if even Mr. Bloomberg understands that. But there are a lot of things like that. I know people on Long Island who are so afraid of the tap water that they would rather drink water that has been sitting in a plastic container for months at a time and believe that somehow, because it is from Vermont, it’s better. I know people who think that somehow they are eating a healthier egg because the hen that layed said egg lives in on an organic farm instead of a factory farm. I know people who think that drinking extra virgin olive oil by the teaspoon is a good idea (olive oil is one of the most calorie dense foods in the world), or that drinking vinegar by the teaspoon is a good idea, because they read it from an “expert” who is looking to make a buck. People seem to believe anything. It always amazes me.

Look, food is important. You have to eat to live—you just don’t need to eat so much. And if you overeat, you will make yourself fat  and sick. Anybody that debates that needs to have their head examined. This soda ban will probably go through, and nothing will happen. Obesity in the United States would be better fought if the message from our health authorities were to simply eat less. But my fear is that too few people would want to do that, because it’s too “hard.”

Last time I checked, I’m supposed to be living in a country that likes to embrace things that are difficult to accomplish. Taking on challenges that are hard is what has made our nation great.

I guess I just got off topic there. Back to my point—a soda ban is dumb. It smacks of the political posturing I’m just so tired of seeing. Mayor Bloomberg has been great for New York, but this idea isn’t.

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