People are undoubtedly up in arms over what is possibly the most contentious government attempt to overhaul the way millions of people manage their own health. Protesters see this venture as unconstitutional in every sense of the word and if carried out, it would be the biggest healthcare controversy of my generation and would reshape the way millions choose to live their life.
I am, of course, talking about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban super-sized soft drinks in the Big Apple. Right now, he’s pushing to bar restaurants, theaters, food cards, and sports arenas from serving sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. Apparently, it’s a surefire way to combat obesity, the argument being that human beings are like goldfish and will keep eating whatever’s in front of them until they explode.
I thought I was old enough to make my own decisions in regard to what I do for my own health. I wake up every morning – reluctantly but still all on my own – put on my big boy clothes and make my way to the office without anyone holding my hand while I cross the street. Believe it or not, millions of people manage to do the same. So why do NYC dwellers need such regulations on what they drink?
Although I’m completely against Bloomberg’s proposal, I am 100 percent for a healthier lifestyle, which actually makes me consider – if only for a second – Bloomberg’s arguments. Honestly, the nation’s obesity rate makes it difficult to argue that we’re capable of making “healthy choices.” Perhaps over time, we actually have slowly impaired our ability to make any good choices at all. After all, the number one movie at the box office earlier this month was about a perverted, womanizing, sailor-mouthed talking teddy bear.
Also, consider that in 1993, Pepsi introduced the Big Slam – one full liter of soda served in a cup that could double as an emergency lifeboat in the event of a flash flood. It had enough sugar in it to give ones’ kids’ kids’ kids type two diabetes ... and America loved it. It even convinced auto manufacturers to begin making bigger cupholders.
I’d like to think we all want to argue the Mayor’s proposal but face it: We’ve set ourselves up to make it incredibly difficult to do that. We’re fat, we’re dumb, and we’ve shown little – if any – ability or initiative to fix these problems on our own terms. In protest of what is quite possibly the most laughable legislative effort I know of, protesters stood outside City Hall in New York Monday, I’m sure many of them huffing and wheezing chants that promote liberty and freedom while sort-of marching in the first-ever picket line with an established break line to catch their breath and sip from their 24 oz. Mountain Dew.
My biggest fear when it comes to the infamous NYC overly-sized soda ban is that imposing such a law would bust through barriers of what government (federal, state, or municipal) should or should not do. Personally, I could care less about the outcome of the great soda debacle of 2012 (I’m not a soda fan) but it’s possible that outlawing bathtub size quantities of soda only opens the floodgates (no harmful pun intended for the feeble-bladdered). Would Bloomberg’s policy lead to more drastic legislative measures, such as a “Buy Your Weight in Fresh Produce Law,” or worse, “Touch Your Toes Tuesdays?” Every year, my toes get further away ... I don’t know if I could handle such a demanding mandate.
Not that I’m worried about such new, groundbreaking laws. It sounds too far-fetched. But then again, so does a restriction on the amount of soda someone can buy.
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