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Bloomberg Big Soda Ban Dumber Than We Thought

bloomberg-soda-ban

When New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a ban on soft drinks larger than 16 ounces, the hubbub was over the Big Gulp sales to individuals. It turns out that it extends even to sales of 2-liter bottles and pitchers to groups and families.

New York Post (“Bloomberg’s ban prohibits 2-liter soda with your pizza and some nightclub mixers“):

Say goodbye to that 2-liter bottle of Coke with your pizza delivery, pitchers of soft drinks at your kid’s birthday party and some bottle-service mixers at your favorite nightclub.

They’d violate Mayor Bloomberg’s new rules, which prohibit eateries from serving or selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces.

[...]

The city Health Department last week began sending brochures to businesses that would be affected by the latest ban, including restaurants, bars and any “food service” establishment subject to letter grades.

And merchants were shocked to see the broad sweep of the new rules.

[...]

And consumers, especially families, will soon see how the rules will affect their wallets — forcing them to pay higher unit prices for smaller bottles.

Typically, a pizzeria charges $3 for a 2-liter bottle of Coke. But under the ban, customers would have to buy six 12-ounce cans at a total cost of $7.50 to get an equivalent amount of soda.

“I really feel bad for the customers,” said Lupe Balbuena of World Pie in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

Domino’s on First Avenue and 74th Street on the Upper East Side is doing away with its most popular drink sizes: the 20-ounce and 2-liter bottles.

“We’re getting in 16-ounce bottles — and that’s all we’re going to sell,” a worker said.

He said the smaller bottles will generate more revenue for the restaurant but cost consumers more.

It will also trash more plastic into the environment.

[...]

Families will get pinched at kid-friendly party places, which will have to chuck their plastic pitchers because most hold 60 ounces — even though such containers are clearly intended for more than one person.

[...]

And if you’re looking for a night of bottle service at a Manhattan hot spot, be warned: Spending $300 on a bottle of vodka no longer entitles you to a full complement of mixers.

The carafes in which mixers are typically served hold 32 ounces, and the most common mixers — sodas, cranberry juice and tonic water — will be limited. Only water and 100 percent juice will be unlimited.

I can’t find the referenced brochure anywhere. It’s not among the publications listed on the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene page; the only thing remotely related is a “Retail Audit of Sugary Drinks in Six New York City Neighborhoods” from last September. But it strikes me as the type of thing a health bureaucracy would come up with given vague guidelines from public officials.

While I disapprove of Bloomberg’s policy—indeed, find it an outrageous infringement of individual freedom—I at least sympathize with its goals. Obesity is an epidemic and arguably our number one preventable cause of a variety of expensive and crippling diseases. Rather clearly, given that the intent of the policy was to address the obesity epidemic by nudging individuals to make healthier choices, the intended target was not bottles and pitchers sold to groups.

Ironically, considering that the Big Gulp was the poster boy for the ban when it was first announced—consumers were buying massively more high calorie soda because 7/11 was nudging them to do so by charging just a few pennies more than the price of a reasonably sized beverage—it’s not effected by the ban. AP reports, “The rule applies to restaurants, fast-food chains, theaters, delis and office cafeterias, but not convenience stores or supermarkets [emphasis mine].”

So, to recap, the ban won’t impact the most obvious example of the problem but will effect several examples of non-problems.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    There’s an amazing irony inherent with that blog headline. Then there’s a layer of sub-irony, in the sense that given its demographics the irony largely will be lost on blog audiences.

    You can say the same thing virtually about every big government policy-based law that’s ever been enacted. Obamacare. The “Stimulus.” Dodd-Frank. Sarbanes-Oxley. NCLB. Medicare Part D. ADA. FMLA. ADEA. COBRA. HIPAA. EPA. Title VII. OSHA. AFDC. Medicare and Medicaid. NLRA. Social Security. Etc., etc.

    The details always are worse than the headline components. The costs always are far more even than the skeptical projections. The “unexpected” negative ripple effects always are worse even than as feared by the skeptics.

    With extremely rare exceptions when the government tries to “fix” something the cure is far worse than the disease.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

  2. Koda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: Having spent plenty of time around the globe, including a whole lot of years in countries with no government able to “fix things”, I’m gonna have to call bullshit on this. Government fixes work, almost always. And when they don’t, they get revised over time into fixes that do.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 8

  3. aFloridian says:

    I don’t see a future where this government fix works. If the government wants to show that it is serious about tackling obesity, instead of pushing token restrictions on the common populace, perhaps they should focus on food producers, particularly food manufacturers who push out foods with ingredients that are banned in most of the industrialized world.

    Educate them all you want, but it is extremely hard to coax the poor into choosing healthy choices over processed foods when the processed foods are so much cheaper. A family’s wages (or food stamp allowance) are limited and fresh produce and good meat eat that allowance up much more quickly.

    It would be a start in my book to start regulating, if we are going to regulate anything in this regard, the producers of the food. I don’t know that forcing them to reduce caloric content would be effective (who buys a McSalad, after all? Not most people.) but cutting out the most exotic chemicals might be a start.

    This is a tough problem that goes a lot deeper than just a lack of exercise, but instead to radical shifts in the workforce, our culture, our free time, technologies….I think the Obama plan is also a decent start, in that our best hope may be to incubate today’s children with attitudes towards fitness and health much different of that of Boomers, Gen X, and Millenials.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Bloomberg Big Soda Ban Dumber Than We Thought

    No, no it’s not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  5. Tony W says:

    This was a total bonehead move, and a large overreach by government.

    Michael Reynolds likes to talk about how the Democrats will eventually self-destruct as the Republicans already have, this is a great example of how I see it happening.

    Back to the moral high ground my fellow liberals and other thinkers, let this stuff go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    What’s the big deal here? Bloomberg is just trying to protect people from making bad choices. That’s the most important role of government, isn’t it? To protect us from ourselves?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 14

  7. john personna says:

    An imperfect attempt, but I as a moderate tend to be the odd man out supporting the concept.

    Maybe it ties to my readings in evolutionary biology. We are not blank slates. We are higher primates, which may not be saying much. And many of our laws are about shaping our own behavior.

    Why aren’t conservatives up in arms when Eskimo villages ban alcohol?

    Or for that matter why aren’t they campaigning against state alcohol restrictions?

    Related questions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  8. Gustopher says:

    @Tony W: Bloomberg is a Republican, not a Democrat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  9. Tony W says:

    @Gustopher: Of course, but he is on any scale a liberal in today’s America. Not too concerned about the labels – conservatives will rightly rail against this either way. My point is that liberals should too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. James Joyner says:

    @john personna: I don’t have any problem with, say, banning the sale of sugary soft drinks in our primary and secondary schools. I could even support doing that in all public buildings in the City.

    But it’s pernicious to say that I can’t have a big ass soda the one or two times a year I go to the movies. (I actually don’t buy big ass sodas—or sodas at all—at the theater. But still.) It’s an annoying intrusion into a decision that I should be able to make as an adult in a transaction with a private business owner.

    Regardless of the merits of this attempt at “nudging” behavior, though, we should surely be able to agree that banning the sale of 2-liter bottles of soda by pizza joints is stupid. Ditto pitchers of drinks being sold to a group of people. It doesn’t have any relation to the actual aim of the law.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  11. bk says:

    @Koda:

    @Tsar Nicholas:….I’m gonna have to call bullshit on this.

    You must be new here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  12. john personna says:

    The times I get large sugary sodas are also rare, making it not much of a hardship here either. I guess the rare hardship gets under my skin less.

    I agree that “multiple serving containers” are different, and it’s crazy that they were lumped in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  13. Just Me says:

    I don’t particularly like soda much, but when paying for overpriced food and soda at the movie theatre, our family would often get the real big one and share (it is cheaper to buy one large over priced soda than smaller, individual ones).

    I do find it funny that the main culprit of huge, oversized drinks is able to sell their oversized drinks while other establishments have to adjust.

    Personally I think people should be able to buy whatever size soda they want-government should be concerned about other things rather than regulating how much of a food or beverage goes in my mouth.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I was on board with this article until it described bottle service. Are we really to believe that a bar will forgoe potential sales of $300 bottles of vodka because it has to buy new carafes?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. Dave Clark says:

    This is complete garbage! Bloomberg must think soooo little of the people he represents. In 2013, i think human beings are MORE than capable of deciding what they want to drink and how much of it. We don’t need some moron in a political office setting guidelines for our diets because he disagrees with our desicions. We have all been presented with information reguarding the sugar content of soda. If we still choose to drink it, that is our choice. Pretty soon we will have people in dark alleys selling soda for 10 bucks a bottle. With all that is going on, he has to focus on this???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  16. john personna says:

    @Dave Clark:

    If people could just decide we wouldn’t have an umpty-ump billion dollar weight loss industry. No show called “biggest loser” would have ever been conceived.

    We do because the “decision” to get fat is non cognitive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  17. Franklin says:

    The goal is nice, the concept is simply flawed, but it’s the implementation that is horrible. Unless it’s been changed, diet sodas are exempt. This is despite the fact that every study done shows they cause roughly the same weight gain as regular pop, just due to a different mechanism (completely f**king up your metabolism, as opposed to simply loading you up with calories).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  18. anjin-san says:

    I don’t have any problem with, say, banning the sale of sugary soft drinks in our primary and secondary schools.

    When you do this, you get a “push down, pop up” effect. Ban junk food in the cafeteria, and catering trucks show up outside the school. The kids vote with their feet. It’s not unlike busting a drug dealers corner – the next night someone is dealing a block down the street.

    The core problem is the toxic garbage labeled as food that America’s food conglomerates are pushing on the public.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. JKB says:

    It’s not soda control, it’s people control. It’s not gun control, it’s people control. ad infinitum

    Cheeseburger, cheeseburger. No Pepsi, no Coke, only prune juice.

    Amusing thing is, the “adjustment” is already out there. Might hurt Pepsi and Coke in the short run as they make their cash on the pre-mixed drinks. However, with things like SodaStream who already sell flavor concentrate, it is just a matter of producing single serve packets. Then you buy soda water and mix your own. Or, is soda water banned as well? And why the hell is tonic water banned in large sizes?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  20. Pharoah Narim says:

    You wan’t people to slim down? Ban the dad-blamed High Fructose Corn Syrup that’s in everything. That crap screws your metabolism and makes an end run around the body’s satiety mechanisms allowing you to eat more of the product its in. Try to drink a 32oz Mexican coke.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  21. JKB says:

    @anjin-san:

    Just last week I was at the dentist chatting with the assistant about the Sonicare Airfloss. She said she’d gotten one for her kids. It shoots a bust of water particles between your teeth. Or actually you can put any liquid in them. Well, her kids said it was great, especially if you put Coke in it. She was hoping they just were squirting it in their mouths and not between their teeth.

    People adapt, overcome, persevere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. JKB says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    That would mean removing the sugar tariff and Democrats and Republicans alike make money off that little scam.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  23. john personna says:

    More than one person above has forgotten that this is not a soda ban, it is a nudge toward smaller sizes. Heroic circumvention is not needed. If you finish your 16 ounce drink, and really want another, you go get it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  24. Alan Peterson says:

    So, New Yorkers are too stupid to decide how much Coke to pour in a cup without the Mayor yelling, “Whoa.” How embarrassing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  25. bandit says:

    @Koda:

    Government fixes work, almost always.

    That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in writing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 8

  26. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @john personna: However, if you’re having a couple of pizzas and a two-liter delivered, you now have to order a separate 16-oz for each person at $1.50 or $2.00 each versus the $3.00 2-liter. And now you’re sending more packaging to the landfill than you were before.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  27. JKB says:

    @john personna: If you finish your 16 ounce drink, and really want another, you go get it.

    If you have the cash and aren’t trying to reduce your waste impact on the environment.

    The wealthy, of course, can afford all the high priced 16 oz drinks they want and as Obama has told us are evil and unconcerned about the environment. For the poor and downtrodden, however, will have to sacrifice something to live in the city.

    You know what they need? A subsidy to help them pay for this government mandate that they only drink small sized sodas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  28. john personna says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    As I say, it seems a goof to tangle muli-serving containers under the law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  29. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    It is kinda the point that former 32 ounce purchasers will just buy 16 and be done with it.

    What is the harm in that? Specifically that.

    I’d say that most people can be happy and have a good lunch with a 16big ounce drink.

    Heck, the food is supposed to be what makes a good lunch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  30. john personna says:

    Wow, those were two idiot downvotes:

    First, you think the Bloomberg “nudge” was targeting multi-serve containers?

    Second, you shouldn’t really downvote a question you don’t have an answer for.

    “What was the harm in that? Specifically that.”

    Oh my, my soda is only 16 ounces. I’ll never be happy again!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  31. john personna says:

    (Or “my soda is only 16 ounces!” and I may notice I weigh a bit lest by the end of the year.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  32. JKB says:

    @john personna: Heck, the food is supposed to be what makes a good lunch.

    Who died and made you the lunch lady?

    As I said at the outset, it has little to do with soda drinking control and all to do with people control. Those people who drink big sodas aren’t doing what you and Bloomberg think is best.

    Well, guess what, those women getting abortions are doing what many think is best and there is another life involved. Those homosexuals getting married aren’t doing what many feel is best for the institution of marriage. Those smoking aren’t doing what others think is best. Those driving fast aren’t doing what others think is best. Those drinking alcohol aren’t doing what others think is best. Those smoking a little weed aren’t doing what other think is best.

    So which do we ban, which do we permit? How do we choose other than tyranny of the majority? Or the oppression by the few who have come into power?

    It was a great advantage when tyranny had one head and one neck; but what axe will relieve us from the tyranny of the majority? Foreign conquest was an evil; but it commonly took only our flocks and herds and left ourselves in liberty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  33. JKB says:

    This would be a good time for an American bedtime story, The Little Government that Could

    I am your Government. And I am big. And I am strong. And you need…me. ….And I have everything under control. All you need to do is go back to sleep.

    Okay, full disclosure, if you believe in liberty that story will give you nightmares.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  34. john personna says:

    Well, as JKB illustrates (and others to a lessor degree) a small change, like a return to 16 ounce drinks (remember the timeline!), is a sign of the Obamapocalypse.

    OMG, we’ll have the drink sizes we had in the 70’s or 80’s!

    The humanity!

    Now, seriously, I’d be on your side if humans (or subset Americans) had shown that they can indeed manage their diet and their health, and don’t need these harmless little nudges.

    But when 35.9 percent of adults in this country are obese, we are demonstrably not managing this ourselves.

    Your whole starting argument that “anyone can decide” is proved false. These people did not decide to become obese. They just ended up that way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  35. JKB says:

    @john personna: OMG, we’ll have the drink sizes we had in the 70′s or 80′s!

    Well I for one don’t want to return to the ’70s: bad hair, bad clothes, bad shoes, bad politics, bad economy, bad people who later became university professors, bad music and bad dancing…

    But the 1980s were a lot better. Growing prosperity under Ronald Reagan, final demise of the communist bloc, hair and music while better was still a bit on the bad side.

    But a ban on a size of soda isn’t a nudge, it’s a smack. If you want to nudge people, how about buying ads on TV telling people how terrible the big cups are?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  36. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    You live in a weird world my friend, one in which “here is a nice 16 oz soda” is a “smack”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  37. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    For extra credit, name the ten best albums of both the 70s and the 80s. Better music in the 80s?? No wonder you are a conservative.

    1. Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks
    2. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
    3. Led Zepplin II
    4. Steely Dan – Aja
    5 The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St
    6. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
    7. Crosby Stills & Nash
    8. The Who – Who’s Next
    9. Derek and the Dominoes – Layla
    10. Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

    Now this is not a serious list, just off the top of my head. I could go on for quite a while.

    You sound like you missed all the fun in the 70’s. There was a lot of it. At any rate, it explains a few things about your outlook on life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  38. anjin-san says:

    80s Best

    1. REM – Life’s Rich Pageant
    2. Prince – Purple Rain
    3. U2 – The Unforgettable Fire
    4. Elvis Costello – Imperial Bedroom
    5. Roxy Music – Avalon
    6. The Clash – London Calling
    7. The Rolling Stones – Tattoo You
    8. Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman
    9. Pretenders – Learning to Crawl
    10. Michael Jackson – Thriller

    Again, just off the top of my head. (and in no particular order) Two pretty strong lists, but the one from the 70’s is stronger, and the difference in quality becomes much more apparent if you stretch it out to a top 25 or 50 list. There was a LOT of good music in the 80’s, but greatness was harder to find. The real arc where there was just an insane amount of great music was probably ’65-’75.

    It’s interesting to note that there have not really been any major new ideas in popular music since the late 70’s – punk and hip hop. Everything since then is just tweaks on things that have already been done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The only thing dumber than the law is people arguing about it. Maybe it is just a midwest thing but the restaurants around here (fastfood among them) have free refills. As many as you like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  40. James Joyner says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    restaurants around here (fastfood among them) have free refills. As many as you like.

    Sure. But I bet your movie theaters don’t. And that it doesn’t apply to delivery orders. And that it’d still be much more expensive to order every kid at the party a small soda than to get a pitcher.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  41. anjin-san says:

    The Fooducate smartphone app is highly recommended.

    Fooducate Website

    It’s pretty shocking just how bad most of the stuff at the grocery store is for you. Food conglomerates have spent decades getting Americans hooked on sugar, salt, and fat (and all those ingredients in fine print that you have no clue about)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  42. bill says:

    he’s launching an attack on the foodservice industry for the most part- trying to ban styrofoam containers next.
    @Gustopher:

    he’s an independent now, was a democrat, then a republican…..and still an uber .0005% er too boot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  43. bill says:

    @James Joyner: bloomberg exists in a much different world than most of us. i doubt if he did much math when considering the down side of imposing this nonsense. but it’s NYC, get what you vote for- usually a little less. the industry will always find a way around it, never fails.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  44. anjin-san says:

    ban styrofoam containers

    Good for him. Styrofoam is an environmental train wreck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  45. Dave Clark says:

    @john personna: That may be, but that weight-loss industry is designed for people who WANT to lose weight. Just because someone drinks a certain amount of soda does not mean that they are overweight. Perhaps, they eat right in ever other facet and excercise, but just happen to enjoy soda. Why should their rights be infringed because some people have no self-control? It is pathetic when an entire area must suffer to benefit a few. I agree. the decision to get fat for some people is not cognitive. Some people simply cannot help it due to issues with glands, genetics, etc. Banning soda is not going to make these people skinny. It causes more problems that it proports to help. I think we are mature enough to make our own decisions. If we are not, we should be; and limiting our ability to make decisions is not the way to do it. I thought we were a nation of ADULTS, not a nation of children needing our Nanny Bloomberg to wipe our asses!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  46. george says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    What’s the big deal here? Bloomberg is just trying to protect people from making bad choices. That’s the most important role of government, isn’t it? To protect us from ourselves?

    Like the war on drugs?

    @JKB:

    I am your Government. And I am big. And I am strong. And you need…me. ….And I have everything under control. All you need to do is go back to sleep.

    Certainly seems to describe the current military budget – the gov’t will protect you from the baddies outside as well as inside. Democrats and Republicans both love big gov’t, they just disagree on what parts should be big. The plus with the Democrats is that at least they can admit it – the Republicans have somehow convinced themselves that a huge military isn’t part of the government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  47. Tony W says:

    I stand by my earlier position. This is no place to put a stake in the ground and waste political capital on, given the enormous problems we face, in no small part thanks to an intransigent opposition party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. anjin-san says:

    That’s the most important role of government, isn’t it? To protect us from ourselves?

    How about protecting society as a whole from the health care costs associated with having a significant portion of the population morbidly obese? The costs and stress on the overall health care system are going to be significant.

    Corporate America has put a lot of effort into getting people hooked on unhealthy food – and they pass the downstream costs on to all of us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  49. grumpy realist says:

    I wonder how much of the same result they could have obtained simply by mandating a SMALL size (6 oz) cup be available at half the price of the 16 oz…..

    (What do I know. My intake is roughly 4 cans of soda a year, and I drink the diet stuff because the sugar-filled stuff gives me the jitters.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. john personna says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I strongly suspect, based on my readings of Dan Ariely, that even when you have a free fountain, cup size influences average total consumption.

    Heck, if people were drinking unlimited soda out of a medium, there would be fewer of those free fountains out there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. anjin-san says:

    @ George

    You are not allowed to question the Holy Military Budget. Why do you hate America?

    That is all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. john personna says:

    @Dave Clark:

    So, as I say, 35.9% of adults are obese. Are you saying that many of those, or most of those, made a decision that being obese would give them greater benefits or happiness and chose it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. john personna says:

    @Tony W:

    I could see your argument, that it is not the place to make a last stand, if it was something big … you know, like an actual soda ban. A corn sugar ban would also be bigger, and a mightier issue.

    To me this is like little things … killing the penny, magazine size restrictions, etc. … things that don’t upset anyone’s applecart (truly).

    They just fudge the line a bit for a good result at the margin.

    (To borrow from those other arguments, “no, a cap at 16 ounces will not end obesity.” But we can be really sure, based on field experiments in behavioral economics, that it will cause a net reduction in (corn) sugary calories consumed.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  54. JKB says:

    @anjin-san:

    It’s true, the produced it in anticipation of demand. The demand was there as people bought the product. They then produced more to meet demand. They worked to reduce cost to sell it at a price people could afford. People voluntarily purchased more to satisfy their personal demand.

    As you can see, these evil corporations put in a lot of effort to offer a product people want because it satisfies a need.

    “Moo” said the New Yorker

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  55. JKB says:

    @george:

    You really should watch the video.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. john personna says:

    @grumpy realist:

    For what it’s worth, I recently started buying soda. I only get the cane sugar stuff, and when I’m in a soda mood I’ve never needed more than one 12 oz bottle of that.

    It could be as the Pharoah and others note, that cane sugar fills you up better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  57. scott says:

    Obamacare is a war on everyone who is fat or smokes, he will allow insurance companies to charge you 50% more if you fit in one of these catagories. 12,000 a year will now be 18,000. Nothing affordable about the affordable health care act. It makes the poor poorer!!!!! Bloomberg is a douche.

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  58. anjin-san says:

    offer a product people want because it satisfies a need.

    Yea, that’s what meth dealers do too.

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  59. george says:

    @JKB:

    You’re right, he does include war in the bigger, though I think he’s chronologically wrong about when larger gov’t started – the Spanish American war was a few decades before the depression, as was WW1. And in terms of size, I wonder if the Civil War wasn’t the start of big gov’t. But including Homeland Security etc was better than I’d expected … so yes, I should have watched before commenting on just the quote.

    I agree there is a real tendency for people to want the gov’t to take care of them – everything from financial protection, to physical protection (against crime and foreigners), to health protection. There are very few people though who don’t want at least some of those protections. I don’t think I’d include the Tea Party (I think that was the demo he showed) among those who don’t want gov’t protection, as they want to keep medicare, as well as an active police (as opposed to protecting themselves). In fact, I can’t really think of anyone other than a few survivalists who want to remove all gov’t protection, or even most of it.

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  60. anjin-san says:

    evil corporations

    I’m not sure your sarcasm is effective. What do you call it when someone deliberately creates and markets a product targeting children that is designed to get them hooked and has a side effect of damaging/destroying their health?

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  61. Tyrell says:

    @Koda: For one thing Mayor Bloomberg has no business trying to tell others how to run their business. He has no business telling citizens what they can eat and drink. Yet the mayor says nothing about how much beer a person can order at a restaurant or store. I would say that alcoholic drinks pose a far greater danger to the public than a Dr. Pepper. This seems more like what is done in Russia and China.

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  62. Tyrell says:

    @anjin-san: And just who is buying these soft drinks? Are the children buying them? If so, where are they getting the money? Where is the responsibility of the parents? If the mayor really wanted an effective program concerning obesity and diet, he could do this through education and advertisements. He could also get out and run in some sort of awareness 6k run. This man and the city council people who supported this nonsense have the money to go out and drinka $10 glass of wine with their $50 daily lunches. I can only afford a Coke with my chicken McNugget Dollar meal!! What he is doing will actually cause people to spend more on soft drinks and drink more of them, since they will have to purchase a lot more bottles. Plastics in the garbage will increase, as well as litter. The mayor is a very rich man and does not care about the common working class people!

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  63. anjin-san says:

    Are the children buying them?

    In a lot of cases, sure. In either case, children don’t make informed choices. They don’t have enough developed higher brain function to grasp abstractions like “adult onset diabetes @ 13 = my life will be ruined”.

    By the time they are old enough to make choices they are hooked. And they choose to keep getting their fix.

    I can only afford a Coke with my chicken McNugget Dollar meal!!

    Have water. You will live a longer, healthier life. Better yet, stop eating at McDonalds.

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  64. john personna says:

    @Tyrell:

    Oh yeah. Drinking a 16 ounce soda and wanting a little more is so much like the diary of a Soviet schoolgirl.

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  65. JKB says:

    @anjin-san: In a lot of cases, sure. In either case, children don’t make informed choices.

    Perhaps you haven’t heard of these things called parents. Parents are suppose to affirm the choices of their children as a stopgap for wrong choices.

    Plus, this ban isn’t against children buying large sodas, it is a ban on adults buying large sodas.

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  66. Tyrell says:

    @anjin-san: I don’t eat there very often, not crazy about fast food. Every one deserves one vice every now and then.

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  67. anjin-san says:

    Parents are suppose to affirm the choices of their children as a stopgap for wrong choices.

    The child obesity epidemic in this country suggests that, in many cases, they are failing. Often the parents are hooked on crappy, fatty, sugary food, and it becomes multi-generational.

    So what’s the tea party America message to these kids? “Sorry your life was ruined pretty much before you even got out of the gate, but corporate profits come first”…

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  68. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @James Joyner: Well, as Doug might say, “I’m willing to accept the consequences of…” but then again, I don’t have 2 little children either, so it’s pretty easy for me to decide.

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  69. BADKarma says:

    1) Obesity is not a disease. There is no such thing as an “Obesity Epidemic” because by definition THERE CANNOT BE an “Obesity Epidemic”.

    2) Obesity rates in children and young adults have leveled out. They are not increasing. The reason they are also not DECREASING has been attributed by one of Nanny Bloomberg’s own pet Epicuritan Jihadists to the fact that kids DON’T GET ANY EXERCISE.

    3) Sugared drinks contributed barely 1% of any New Yorker’s caloric intake on any given day, even before Nanny Bloomberg’s “feel smug” crapola law. The only people who actually seem to believe cutting out that 1% will in any way affect anyone’s weight are a couple fringe psychos of the Epicuritan Jihad, and The Big Nanny himself.

    4) The sole and singular purpose of this crap, anti-Constitutional, “feel smug” legislation was to further dumb down Totalitarianism in the City of New York, so why the happy HELL would you “sympathize with its goals” unless you, too, have guzzled deep of the Leftist Crap-aid junk “science” b.s. which was used to implement it?

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  70. anjin-san says:

    @ BADKarma

    Obesity is not a disease.

    Are you a doctor? Here is one who says it is. At best, it is a subject of some disagreement among medical professionals. Your claim is false.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-kahan-md/obesity-disease_b_861087.html

    Obesity rates in children and young adults have leveled out.

    Where are you getting your information from?

    Fat and getting fatter: U.S. obesity rates to soar by 2030

    Sugared drinks contributed barely 1% of any New Yorker’s caloric intake on any given day,

    Cite?

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  71. Andre Kenji says:

    I´m a foreigner, and I have difficulties understanding how people needs more than half a liter of soda for each time that they drink.

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  72. Andre Kenji says:

    @BADKarma:

    Obesity is not a disease.

    It is. It´s code E65-E68 of the International Classification of Diseases.

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  73. george says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Makes sense, a self inflicted injury is still an injury. If I jump off my roof for kicks, and break a leg, its still an injury, however voluntary the decision to jump was.

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  74. Moosebreath says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    “Well, as Doug might say, “I’m willing to accept the consequences of…” but then again, I don’t have 2 little children either, so it’s pretty easy for me to decide”

    Doug’s line reminds me of the first Shrek movie, where Lord Farquaad proclaimed to his soldiers (from memory), “Some of you may not survive, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.”

    I do have 2 young children (10 and 8). The 10 year old tasted soda once and hated the fizziness of it. The only sweetened beverage she ever gets is lemonade, and even that rarely. The 8 year old has had it about a handful of times (typically at other kids’ birthday parties). She likes it, but knows we don’t let her get it. It helps that I drink about 2 sodas per year (typically for the caffiene jolt at work) and my wife only slightly more.

    That said, this like so many other things in the medical care field shows the effect of a large externality problem. The cost of additional medical care caused by drinking large quantities of carbonated and corn sweetener loaded beverages is not paid for by the consumer, and sure isn’t being paid for by the soda manufacturer. It’s being passed on to the rest of us.

    I’m sure we would have pretty much the same argument over motorcycle helmet laws, or mandating healthier school lunches, or many other items. And my position would be the same each time (and don’t get me started on libertarian objections to mandating calorie counts on chain menus).

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  75. anjin-san says:

    calorie counts on chain menus

    The next logical step is concentration camps…

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  76. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: How about protecting society as a whole from the health care costs associated with having a significant portion of the population morbidly obese? The costs and stress on the overall health care system are going to be significant.

    Then I’ll ask you the same question mantis ran away from on the “plastic bag” thread: apart from sex, just where do people get to exercise the right of choice? Just how many areas are there where people can make “bad” choices without you exercising a veto over them?

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  77. JKB says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    See, how it works first the lament that people can’t afford the cost of their own health care. Then, when they institute “community pricing” they lament that people aren’t doing “right” so they need to be controlled.

    It’s all about people control. Sad little kings on their sad little hills.

    Socialism is positive and aggressive, declaring that each man shall have enough.

    It purposes to introduce new forces into society and industry; to put a stop to the idleness, the waste of resources, the misdirection of force, inseparable, in some large proportion of instances, from individual initiative; and to drive the whole mass forward in the direction determined by the intelligence of its better half.

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  78. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    how it works first the lament that people can’t afford the cost of their own health care.

    Do you think that you or someone you love can’t have a catastrophic illness or accident? If that happens, your health care costs will almost certainly be more than you can deal with.

    If you are in that position, will you accept help from the government, or will you start looking for ice floes?

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  79. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    Are you willing to see your taxes go up to pay for the health care costs associated with obesity in this country? The costs are going up, up, up as people get fatter and fatter. Everything has a price, including the choice to keep hamming down Fritos and Pepsi. It has a price to individuals, and it has a price to society as a whole.

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  80. Nina says:

    Need I remind anyone what happened when the govt banned alcohol??? Bans seldom work because they never address the underlying problem.

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