Saturday, September 15, 2012

New York State of Mind[less] - Soda Wars Edition

So it finally happened this week. Mayor Doom...er...Bloomberg has gotten his way once again. Yes, this week, the New York City Board of Health voted to approve a ban on sugary drinks. Dubbed the "Soda War", it not only includes sugary sodas, but also tea and lemonade and pretty much any bottled soft drink containing more than 25 calories.

So here is how is supposed to work -
"Beginning March 12, [New York City] will prohibit restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas from selling sugary drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces."

Here is what it won't do -
The ban does not include the following: sales in grocery stores, sugary fruit juices, dairy drinks, diet soda, unsweetened teas, multiple sales of 16oz sodas, or free refills in all the venues in which there is a ban. So, we will be able to go to McDonalds and Yankee Stadium and buy four 16oz Lemonades or get unlimited free refills, or to the organically-grown Whole Foods for a case of 64oz bottles of Coca-Cola or Pepsi. And included in the term "grocery stores" are the growing number of 7-Eleven stores, inventors of the Big Gulp and Super Big Gulp [see photo], opening all over the city.

Frankly, I do not have a problem with the City Health Department using taxpayer resources to warn the population on the dangers of too much sugar in sodas. We have a long and successful history of using public service announcements to inform and indoctrinate us to the evils of smoking, forest fires, littering, and to encourage the use of seat belts. But I really have a problem with this continued encroachment into our private choices. And if you think the Mayor Bloomberg will cease his campaign to fix us once his reign of terror ends, here is a quote from Bloomberg that should leave no doubt:
"I just spent roughly $600 million of my own money to try and stop the scourge of tobacco, and I'm looking for another cause"

I can't wait to find out what his next target will be. I'm thinking it will probably be mandatory daily calisthenics for all city dwellers, or a ban on sharp pointy objects or elevators. Using the stairs is so much healthier...

20 comments:

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I am shocked by the idiocy of all of this. So I can get just as many calories in fruit drinks... or I can buy as many 16 oz drinks as my arteries can take... but I can't buy them in the same container?! How in the world will this help anything? This is form over substance to the Nth degree! Seriously, this is the sort of thing only an idiot would think would have an effect!

LL said...

Progressives give the word a very bad name (and leave a 'sour taste in my mouth'). Having said that, Bloomberg is making a joke of NYC.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - Yes, on all counts and it is just idiocy. Other than as a public service, this has actually no way of stemming soda consumption. As a matter of fact, I am not sure it won't just exacerbate the problem. I know I went out yesterday and bought a soda and I don't even DRINK soda.

And the major culprits are not even touched - Starbucks and other coffee houses that sell those 1200 calorie cream-filled macchiatos or 600 calorie fruit smoothies.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Gosh, I wish our California politicians cared as much about our health as yours do about you. By the way, are there enough 7-11s in NYC to handle the sudden demand for Big BIG Gulps?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I'm starting to see a lot of reasons to not drink soda. In fact, I'm thinking of adding a Saturday article soon based on whatever science stuff has come up recently and soda would probably be the first topic.

But this idea is silly. Either it's healthy or it isn't. And either you're going to stop people from drinking it or you aren't.

This is wrongly evasion and ineffective at the same time. It's downright stupid.

BevfromNYC said...

Well, LawHawk - one of Bloomie's ideas of posting the calories on menus is coming your way. Yea! You didn't have to even elect him for him to encroach on your life! Next week or month or sometime in the very near future, McDonald's will be rolling out their new calorie counting menus in all of their fast food joints. You will soon find out that the Big Mac is around 1200 calories. But that is not a ban, it's information.

BevfromNYC said...

LL - I don't know whether to laugh or cry some days. The Reign of Bloomberg ends January 1, 2013 and cannot come too quickly. Well, except the next mayor may be worse!

Individualist said...

Bev

So we can't sell Sodas in packs more than 16 oz but we can sell as many 16 oz Sodas as we want....

I once read a joke letter called Rules for Dieting and one of them was if you cut a peice of Cake in half and you get half the calories even if you eat both peices.

It also said that chocalate counteracted calories. Perhaps Bloomberg got this same joke email and took it seriously.

BevfromNYC said...

But Indi, both of those are TRUE! Chocolate is calorie-neutralizing and 2 halves are lower in calories than 1 whole especially if you eat them with maybe 20 minutes in between. And all calories are suspended on holidays and some weekends...true.

Actually, hard liquor, wine and beer have as many calories in them as a sugar-laden soda, but we can buy as much as we want. But then, Bloomie likes his wine. He declined to include wine in his ban on alcoholic beverages (beer and hard liquor) in our parks because wine drinkers are much more classy and he wanted to enjoy a lovely glass of chilled Chardonnay while listening to the NY Philharmonic in Central Park...no joke.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I gave up soda a very long time ago simply because I couldn't tolerate the caffeine. But this is a really poorly defined, poorly conceived mess. I am sure once the newspaper get through analyzing it's giant holes, there will be another round of amendments.

T-Rav said...

Grumble. This is what happens when you start viewing public office as an advocacy position.

Frankly, I've had to cut back on my soda consumption the past few months, because drinking too much makes me feel weird. But I'll reach that conclusion on my own, thank you very much.

Individualist said...

Bev

Someone should hack Bloomberg's personal email and cell phone and give it out.

Then every time anyone wants to eat anything, buy anything or drink anything they should call Bllomberg to have a discussion as to whether it is OK.

Then during the conversation invent strage circumstances and make him answer and argue with his logic. Maybe then his proclivity to be everyone's nanny will stop.

BevfromNYC said...

Indi - Believe it or not, Mayor Bloomberg actually GAVE out his home phone number when he first became Mayor so his "peeps" could call and let him know how he was doing. It lasted less than a day. I think he wasn't expecting anyone to actually CALL!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's hilarious! What kind of public figure would think that people wouldn't call? Heck, they use "555" numbers in films because they know somebody will try to call the numbers they give. Amazing. And this is the man who is going to tell New Yorkers what's good for them?


T-Rav, I recommend dropping the cola habit. I'm working on it myself.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - It was pretty hilarious, but maybe that's where they got the idea of a "311" number to call for information and complaints.

T-Rav, I recommend dropping the cola habit too. If you just need something fizzy, drink club soda or seltzer with some fresh fruit/citrus.

rlaWTX said...

they'll pry my Mtn Dew from my cold dead hand... I generally only have one can (12 oz) per day (I hate coffee), but that's my choice. If I want to mainline it, and have the jitters, so be it...
I think I can hear the jingles and see the 3 seashells a-comin'... Let's go to Taco Bell! "It's bad for you therefore it is illegal" Demolition Man

T-Rav said...

You two can have my soft drinks when you pry them from my COLD, SHAKING HANDS.

AndrewPrice said...

Now who's giving Bloomberg ideas! ;)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, LOL! I love the seashell reference! :)

tryanmax said...

But hey, at least you can make whatever kind of love you like with whom (what) ever you please, and that individual is probably all the more attractive for the sugary drink ban. That's what freedom means to me! /sarc

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