The New York soda battle rages on

Today giant cups of soda would have become illegal in New York. But at the last minute the ban was stopped by a judge. It’s not very far-fetched to believe that the soda industry had something to do with it. They have burned millions of dollars in advertising and lobbying against the proposal. They have also hired some of the highest-paid lawyers in the US to try to stop it.

Why the panic? The soda industry makes most of their profits from “heavy users”, people drinking enormous amounts of soda every day (ruining their health). People who are addicted are profitable. And the soda industry wants no obstacles to get more people addicted.

NYT: Judge Blocks New York City’s Limits on Big Sugary Drinks

Now this latest decision will be appealed and the battle goes on. We know how it will end. We’ve seen this movie before, with the tobacco industry in a lead role.

Once people smoked on the streets and in the restaurants of New York, but no more. Getting rid of insane soda cups is likely to do even more for people’s health. The question is just how long it will take.

What do you think?

PS: I know libertarians are allergic to any regulation. Fair enough. Unfortunately this time they are Big Sugar’s little helpers.

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102 comments

  1. Marcie
    Come on, now. If large cups of soda were banned, people would just buy small cups of soda along with a 2 liter bottle for refills. The government has no business deciding what people should eat and not eat (Remember when Denmark taxed butter because they decided it was unhealthy? You obviously didn't support that legislation.). Let people make their own choices.
    Reply: #17
  2. Adriane
    @ Marcie: By that logic, let us decriminalize street drugs as well...
    Reply: #23
  3. Doc,

    I resent the accusation that libertarians are Big Sugar's little helpers. The difference between libertarians and yourself is that you're cheering over giving Big Sugar a slap on the wrist, while libertarians have been demanding Big Sugar be sent to the guillotine.

    As a libertarian, I want to end government subsidy to corn growers and sugar producers. I want to end collusive tariffs on cane sugar put in place to benefit the producers of HFCS. I want to end government meddling in nutrition "guidelines" that recommend 6-11 servings of grain, and have put the stamp of approval on sugar as "safe".

    Let me put it in language you'll understand: This ban on sugary drinks is analogous to keeping someone's Type2 diabetes in check with insulin injections while ignoring the patient's sugar-rich diet that caused it in the first place. This ban on sugary drinks is analogous to beating down someone's cholesterol with statin drugs, while ignoring the fact that the patient's current diet of grains and vegetable oils is causing the inflammation which will lead to heart disease anyway.

    In both analogies, the patient has become beholden to a drug because the doctor's (well-intentioned but misinformed) advice is wrong.

    Libertarians want to stop this juggernaut at the source by removing power from the government to influence what we eat via subsidy, recommendation and health programs. It's government that has made most western nations fat and sick. Expecting government to fix it by giving them more power (as in the sugary drink ban) is naive.

    It's laughable if you believe this drink ban will be a blow to Big Sugar. People in NYC will just switch to the diet brands sold by the same companies, or buy their 750mL or 1L sports and soft drinks at the grocery, or convenience stores, because those aren't regulated. If you get your vente coffee every morning, you can still put 20 packets of sugar in it if you want, because adding sugar yourself isn't regulated either. Even so, drinks that are more than half milk (which the government considers "healthy") are also exempt, so huge sugary lattes will still be sold, as well as big cartons of chocolate and strawberry milk to school kids.

    What this ban amounts to is just another bit of red tape business will have to learn to (or spend money to) avoid, but in the end changes next to nothing. That's why I am libertarian: because I recognize the futility of allowing the government to fix its own mistakes by giving it more control over our lives.

    Someday you should really sit down and have a chat with Tom Naughton about the topic of government interference in our health and nutrition and how it applies to LCHF. It would be interesting to see him in one of your future interviews.

    Replies: #5, #56, #57
  4. Linda
    It is not that Libertarians are "allergic to any regulation" nor are they helping big sugar companies, but it is about a government that can and will exert its will on the people. The stand of freedom loving people is that Mayor Bloomberg's move to ban the size of sodas sold is a dictatorial move and a power grab and not about the health of the citizens of New York. Please understand...I do not drink soda, diet soda nor do I give the soda to my children, but what will be next?
    What happened when the McGovern commission came out and without solid evidence and plenty of scientist detractors, made saturated fats public dietary enemy number 1. The largest experiment on the world ever conducted for health and has been an abysmal failure. Government isn't the solution and a more controlling and intrusive one certainly isn't.
    Education is key.
    And, speaking of education, maybe Mayor Bloomberg should turn his attention to the study that said 80% of students graduating from New York City schools are illiterate. Maybe if the literacy rates are raised, students will be able to read food labels and make better choices.
  5. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor

    It's laughable if you believe this drink ban will be a blow to Big Sugar.

    Of course it would be, and Big Sugar knows it. Otherwise they would not fight tooth and nail.

    Apart from that I mostly agree with you. Ending subsidies on sugar would be a massive win. However, let's not let the perfect become the enemy of the merely good.

  6. Evinx
    I am 100% with Linda, Doc.
    Simply giving govt more power, is just giving more influence to special interest groups - and we know, from experience, how that turns out.
  7. Bernardo
    I think it's funny that nobody talks about diet soda, are they included? How about fruit juices with same level of sugar and very few nutrients? What I mean is, what's the issue being addressed? Sugar? Calories? How much is too much?

    Doc, I don't understand how you believe in such silly restrictions. Do you think people's metabolism will change and they will drink less sugar if you restrict them? Won't their bodies compensate with other sources of sugar (if not two from the small portion)?? According to what I've learned here and from all LC stuff I read that's the obvious conclusion. Why do you suddenly believe in portion control?

  8. Steve
    @Adrian: Using your logic we shouldn't have made the drugs illegal in the first place, only limited the size of the hypodermic needles used to inject them. Use of illegal drugs was attacked at their core, not their peripheral by treating symptoms.
  9. Donna
    I'm a liberal Democrat, not a libertarian, and I'm suspicious of this law. The judge said the city overstepped it's authority and that the law was poorly constructed. Those are major problems. I'd rather see a well funded educational campaign on the truth about sugar.
  10. Steve
    Doc, please read and understand what Evinx wrote as well as you understand our health!! I don't know that the issue could be stated more accurately with 100x as many words!! Well done Evinx!!
  11. Steve
    @Donna, until such time as the government acknowledges that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has it completely backwards they will never be able to educate anyone. They will however continue to try to indoctrinate everyone into the low fat faith!
  12. Demosthenes
    The government should start with admitting and revealing its huge "mistakes" before those crazynannystatelaws should even be considered.
  13. Chuck Currie
    It seems you do not know the difference between an Administrator (Mayor) and a Legislator (City Council), as well as, the Rule of Law vs. the Rule of Man.

    Just because you believe the ban was a good idea, doesn't mean the method it was put in place was legal.

    Libertarians believe our Constitution[s], both Federal and State, have meaning.

    My advice - stick to dietary advice and leave the American political process to the American citizens.

    Cheers

  14. I could only support this soft drink ban if I trusted any government to lift the ban after slashing subsidies for corn overproduction. Of course, I don't trust any government to do this, as they don't have track records of restoring rights to citizens once they've seized them. I would rather see a severe tax on these products -- that's the Canadian impulse, I suppose -- rather than a ban of any kind, even a superficial, pointless ban like this one.
  15. yuma
    @ Adriane, the war on drugs - a typical Bloombergesque government intervention - has been an abysmal failure.

    Not only have trillions of dollars been squandered, drug related crimes have given the US the dubious honor of having the #1 ranking for prison population in the world, (followed only by Rwanda and Russia).

    Heck, If the drug war were a business, it would be bankrupt.

    On the other hand, Portugal decriminalized its drug's usage and experienced a 50% drop in violent crimes.

    Drugs should be legalized, controlled and taxed by the government, just like alcohol.

    After all, have you ever heard of a wine cartel, a beer gang, a vodka syndicate?

  16. John Myers
    In the preamble to the Constitution it says that the role of the government is to "promote the health and welfare" of the citizens. If it means limiting companies from pushing their toxic concoctions it is governments duty to do so. Especially when the government in the end pays the bills. Maybe you libertarians think the preamble is disposable. Not so. It sets the overarching framework. It's the mission statement.
    Reply: #28
  17. robert
    What choice?

    The last time I had a closer look at a soda vending machine (10 years ago), I could chose from: Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, Root Beer, Pepsi, Fanta and a few other unmentionable liquids. These machines are placed at highly frequented locations (schools, food courts...). There are some machines with water too, but their numbers are smaller. And the water isn't cheaper, although it contains less matter. Go figure! If day in and day out you only see soda-pop, what choice is there? Will you go an extra 10 minutes to the one place where you can buy a bottle of water if you're really thirsty? Probably not. You'll buy the soda - and hopefully bring your own bottle with water next time. Or maybe not...

    We are constantly bombarded with fizzy-drink commercials, relentlessly.

    If you're old enough and of a firm mind, you might resists. The kids simply cannot do this. Remember, children are meant to copy behaviour. That used to be a life-saving thing. Don't eat this plant, it will give you a belly ache. Avoid bears, they will eat you. Don't play with rattle-snakes...

    Kids watching commercials with sports-idols drinking fizzy drinks think it is normal, what they should be doing as well, what they must be doing to be good as sports. They get conditioned to drink that stuff, much like little chicks following the mother hen.

    There is no real choice withing the system. You have to make a big sidestep and drink water.

  18. "Unfortunately this time they [Libertarians] are Big Sugar’s little helpers."

    I have noticed in my fairly long life that doctors, as a group, are the least capable people at identifying the limitations of their expertise. Your expertise definitely does not extend into politics.

    And I resent the untrue insult. I am both Libertarian and anti-sugar.

  19. Nutrition = touchy subject. Politics = touchy subject.

    Nutrition + Politics = All hell breaks loose.

    Personally I agree with things on both sides of the argument. I do believe that government should intervene somehow, mayor Bloomberg is at least trying to do *something* even though it may not be the best approach.

    They recently issued a sugar tax in my country (Iceland) and interestingly decided to tax artificial sweeteners as well. I'm glad they did, hopefully we will see a decline in consumption.

  20. Sam
    A sugar ban is a slippery slope. Aren't you a little concerned with allowing the government to ban foods that it thinks are unhealthy? What if they decide to ban full fat butter, cream, and lard?

    Yes, sugar is unhealthy. But allowing this ban could set the precedent for government regulations on foods high in saturated fat. This would be a disaster.

    You want to ban sugary drinks from schools? Fine. That is a different story. You want to include warning labels on sugary drinks? Okay. But allowing the government to decide what and how much of ANY food we should be ALLOWED to eat is absolutely wrong and dangerous territory.

    What about personal sovereignty? What about people being responsible for themselves? If I want to drink a giant soda and give myself diabetes, that is my choice. If I want to eat bacon and eggs every morning for breakfast, why should the government be able to tell me otherwise? What does that have to do with them?

    Thank God we have a judicial system to curb the scope of the government. Otherwise, most of my favorite, full-fat foods would probably have been banned long ago.

  21. John Myers
    You do understand that by definition, a slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy, right?
    Replies: #27, #30
  22. sapphirepaw
    Fine, I'm going to be noisily allergic here: the government has no business mandating health. Neither NYC's soda nannying nor any level of government passing counter-laws to block such nannying nor federal agencies issuing dietary guidelines that become compulsory in school lunches.

    Besides which, people are complex and messy and will respond to attempted regulation in all kinds of interesting ways. Recently for example: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/03/07/why-bak...

    Can an addict be cured against their will? By a law that would have beverage companies scrambling to find loopholes and workarounds (more than the judge pointed out) had it actually come into effect? It is just as good that this ban is being struck down as a ban on anything else on such shaky grounds--imagine if it had been targeting saturated fat instead. Fat also tastes delicious and a large number of people with credentials will testify that it's bad for us...

  23. Jon
    Adriane, indeed we should. It doesn't matter what the regulation says, people will do what they want to do. Period. Remember the prohibition of the 20's and 30's?
  24. Steve
    @JB Rainsberger There is no need to put a sin tax on sugar, all that needs to be done is stop subsidizing the production of corn and the price of HFCS will go up drastically, and ultimately the price of HFCS products such as soda.

    @John Myers Nice adjustment there! The preamble states "Promote the general welfare...", no mention of health. Taken in its entire context of which LIMITED government is the primary goal you really need to reach to believe that the soda portion size ban is constitutional. Any single sentence, or partial sentence as you chose can be taken out of context.

  25. Jon
    Everybody, remember; there wouldn't be big sugar without big government. Who knows if the sugar companies would have gotten as big if the governments of the world didn't bail them out and subsidize their production.

    My vote is for government to stop acting as if its role is to manipulate people in order to obtain some utopian social order.

  26. Mike H
    People are only for bans and taxes when they ban and tax the things they don't like. Imagine if a bunch of full fat foods were banned and taxed during the "fat is evil" days. All that government intervention it would be pretty awful, wouldn't they?

    The rule with government is they usually get it wrong more often than they get it right, and when they get it wrong there's no apologies and no consequences for the wrongdoers. We, the citizens and taxpayers, pay the price.

  27. Sam
    ^ John Myers

    I don't think my invoking of a "slippery slope" is fallacious at all.

    Saturated fat is already "known" by the government and health care professionals to be unhealthy and a leading cause of heart disease. More health care professionals condemn saturated fat as the cause of heart disease than are willing to admit that sugar causes diabetes.

    Do you think that it is unreasonable to think that a government willing to ban certain amounts of sugar might also consider banning certain amounts of saturated fat or cholesterol? Is that really a stretch to you?

    I think that a lot of us live in a bubble where we think that our ideas about fat and carbohydrates are obvious to everyone. But mainstream still thinks that saturated fat is a killer. It is very easy for me to imagine a situation where high-fat foods get targeted by government regulation. And this outcome, to me, is unacceptable.

    Besides all of that, I still believe that personal liberty and a person's sovereignty over themselves is too important to be thrown away because you don't think someone should be allowed to drink too much soda.

  28. Linda
    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Is the actual Preamble to our beloved but much abused Constitution. Health isn't mentioned. and... don't correct the spelling of defense, it was the British spelling that appeared in the original document.
    I will stress the Blessings of Liberty, and unfortunately, that includes the right to engage in the ability to eat things that aren't good for us. One day, the government will eliminate something that you have or want and it will be too late.
    No one here is arguing the merits of sugar, but as others have said, the governments, state, federal, and local, have been picking food company winners and losers for years and it isn't the role of governments and hasn't worked very well for the "health and welfare" of its citizens.
  29. John Myers
    @Steve - That's true I flubbed the preamble quote. It does say "general welfare." I think health falls within that though. I don't think that's a stretch.
    Where does it say anything about 'limited' government? Please enlighten me.
    Reply: #31
  30. Steve
    You do understand that just because by definition something is a logical fallacy that in practice it is will not be reality. Human history with regard to governmental regulations suggest that the slippery slope is anything but a fallacy, logical or otherwise.

    One of the pages the Doc links to, Food Politics, the author was railing against the slippery slope argument in support of the ban. Funny thing happened this past week, the author wrote an Op-Ed calling for the soda size limit to be "Just the beginning"!! LMAO No slippery slope there.

    The reason the slippery slope applies when speaking of government is because they rarely, if ever, admit to being wrong. If what they decree fails to produce the expected results they double down rather than step back and reexamine whether their original idea may have been wrong. This is why our Daily Plate is as wrong today as the Food Pyramid was.

  31. Steve
    The words "Limited government" do not exist in the constitution. But again, in overal context it is very clear. The Constitution grants specific powers to various branches of government, and their power is limited to only those granted. The Constitution specifically limits government power. Of course We The (less than intelligent) People have the power to amend it, and ultimately reduce it to just a meaningless piece of paper. :(
  32. John Myers
    Legislation against saturated fat is a separate issue. Yes it's easy to imagine. I can imagine a lot of things. That has nothing to do with fake food companies injecting poison into the food supply. The price that fake food has on society is not reflected in the price of the goods. It is creates huge market distortion. Every year we're paying more for health care. This is not sustainable and it directly impacts our "general welfare."
    Reply: #38
  33. John Myers
    I just think it's funny/sad that the underpinnings of libertarianism comes from John Birch Society's founder Robert Welch who made the candy Sugar Daddies and Jr Mints.
    Reply: #35
  34. John Myers
    @ Steve - The longest serving Chief Justice of the United States, John Marshall, - and I'll probably flub this quote a little - wrote that Congress is granted the power to enact any law that it so chooses, so long as it doesn't go against the Constitution. He wrote this decision when Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were still alive. No outcry from the Founders.
  35. Steve
    Irony at its best!! LOL
  36. yuma
    John Myers said "In the preamble to the Constitution it says that the role of the government is to "promote the health and welfare" of the citizens."

    Your health quote DOES NOT EXIST IN THE PREAMBLE OF THE US CONSTITUTION.

    PREAMBLE

    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  37. @John Myers:

    "Legislation against saturated fat is a separate issue."

    No, it's not.

    "Yes it's easy to imagine."

    You don't need to imagine it. It has happened in more than one country.

    "The price that fake food has on society is not reflected in the price of the goods."

    That's because of government subsidies. Government bureaucrats as a group know less than nothing about nutrition, so they allow the food industries to write the laws. George McGovern, in particular, was heavily influenced by a quack named Pritikin. The result was a bunch of legislation that directly harmed ME. Richard Nixon gave his Secretary of Agriculture the directive to "make food cheap." Which he did, by instituting corn subsidies that have directly harmed ME.

    George McGovern knew about as much about nutrition as Andreas Eenfeldt knows about politics (less than nothing). We would all be better off today if McGovern had stayed the hell out of legislating what we eat. Eenfeldt should also stay the hell out of legislating what we eat, but not because he is a nutritional ignoramus (he isn't -- he's one of the more reliable nutritional experts), but because his political ideas have been tried and discredited many times, in many places.

    Sugar is bad, ok? But legislating what I can and can't eat is MUCH WORSE.

  38. Steve
    But the issue here John is that Bloomberg is not dealing with the actual problem, that of "fake food companies injecting poison into the food supply". Politicians, like water, always seem to take the path of least resistance rather than dealing with the actual problems their constituents face. I would have no issue with them standing up and saying that sugar is unhealthy and proceeding to educate the unwashed masses. In fact I would be less against this size limit if in fact they also took on the issue head on, but on its own the size limit will have negligible effect.

    It is foolish to ceed any liberty, and to do so for what is clearly band aide on a gaping wound is as foolish as it gets!

  39. FrankG
    Good grief!

    If YOU don't trust YOUR Government -- YOUR Representatives -- to do what you think is right, then are YOU doing anything about it, other than moaning and whining in blog comments? Do YOUR Representatives know your feelings on these matters? They do care about your votes if nothing else... although I daresay there are still more than a few in politics because they sincerely want to make a positive change.

    Suggesting it is "none of our business" unless we live in the USA, is ignoring the fact that: like it or not, USA food policy still has global reach.

    As for Mayor Bloomberg's initiative I view it as a step (small maybe but a step nonetheless) in the right direction... sure folks can still get as much soda as they want but they'll need to stop and think about it... maybe that will be enough to trigger a change.

    Heck it's not like the first city which banned smoking in public spaces, or trans-fats in restaurants has helped to make any lasting and world-wide, social or health impact.... oh wait...!

    Reply: #45
  40. "I know libertarians are allergic to any regulation. Fair enough. Unfortunately this time they are Big Sugar’s little helpers."

    Awesome. You just got thousands of libertarians to burn millions of calories with that funny sentence. Well done.

  41. moreporkplease
    Why aren't the libertarians completely incensed about NYC's long-standing regulations on alcohol & tobacco? NYC completely prevents children, teens and young adults from buying or drinking vodka, and tightly regulates the amount adults can buy.

    But I don't see them arguing that schoolchildren should be allowed to buy & drink vodka or cigars. Why not? Until they do, they are no different from Mayor Bloomberg - happy to support regulations on things they don't like until the regulations hit their sugar addiction. They then squawk.

    C'mon libertarians, pull out the stops that we need to let 6 year old girls buy cocktails in the name of real liberty too. After all alcohol regulations aren't in the Constitution. Go for it. Otherwise you're pathetic hypocrites. Sorry.

  42. DJ
    Tightly regulated? As far as I knew, you could buy as much alcohol as you can carry. The regulation exists simply because alcohol and tobacco abuse can and does cause direct harm to others... not just the consumer. When was the last time you heard of someone blasted on soda causing traffic accidents?

    Also, as far as I know, while children cannot buy alcohol or tobacco, that doesn't mean they can't consume it. So your analogy falls flat on it's face right there. It's up to those pesky things called PARENTS to decide whether or not their child is exposed to these things... not the government.

    But you go ahead and give more and more control over to your government. Don't come crying to the rest of us when they want to take something away from you.

  43. shums
    The easy solution to all this is to not have the government involved in health care at any level. Once that happen then they have no interest in creating laws to protect people against themselves. I see alcohol and tobacco differently simply because of the harm you do to others when you smoke in public or get drunk. That is especially true of alcohol. I honestly don't think tobacco should be more expensive. I do think bans on public smoking are acceptable because of the harm it causes others.

    Libertarian is sort of a funny designation because you can come from a liberal or conservative point of view and be considered a libertarian. I am not sure if you understand that one Doctor.

    Getting back to my point... if the government is not involved in health care then there is no need for them to regulate anything to cut their costs. In Sweden people are beholden to the government and they are used to that. Corruption, waste and inefficiency are things they have little control over. They have what they think is security but they have no choices. If the doctor is terrible that is too bad. I am simplifying but most people in a government run system must admit that is true. The wait for healthcare is also very long and in some cases health care simply isn't available. This can happen with things like vaccines, or operations etc... I would propose that people pay for their own health care and then if they get sick they are responsible for themselves. This would act as an incentive for people to take care of themselves and well take some personal responsibility. If they want to drink gallons of soda and eat piles of sugar each day let them do so. They just need to know they will pay for their own healthcare to treat themselves. I am not saying get rid of insurance. I do think getting government out of healthcare entirely would drop rates in America to be affordable for everyone. By doing this the entire debate regarding soda size and public health is gone. There is no public health anymore. We pay our own way just like we do with everything else. I honestly think the loss of power scares most people in government. Government never gives up power. I mean look at Sweden!

  44. DJ
    " A government with the power to stop us from making bad choices also has the power to stop us from making good choices!"
  45. Steve
    "Heck it's not like the first city which banned smoking in public spaces, or trans-fats in restaurants has helped to make any lasting and world-wide, social or health impact.... oh wait...!"

    In the case of smoking in public it is a direct health concern for those who do not smoke. One persons obesity does not create a health risk for the next.

    In the case of trans-fats they in fact found a scientifically supported health issue and attacked it at its core. Had they gone the Bloomberg route they would have banned large fries and that would have made a great health impact... oh wait...!

    I don't think anybody here disagrees that sugar is a health issue, but the methods being used will have little measurable impact. Its time for American politicians to put on their big boy panties and start tackling the many issues we are facing, not just attempting to appear to be doing something.

    Reply: #48
  46. DJ
    The trans-fat ban was a result of special interest groups like CSPI. Of course, what CSPI won't tell you is that they demanded trans-fat be used in the first place... instead of lard or beef tallow. They even published in their newsletter: "Trans fat: Not guilty as charged!"

    Soooooo... tell us again how government regulations and bans are all about helping people make healthy choices?

  47. FrankG
    All this talk of banning food... Mayor Bloomberg was not banning soda, not even taxing it... just trying to bring a sanity check to the serving sizes.

    "Well pilgrim... I demand the right to order a 5 gallon bucket of soda to my table if I want AND to shoot myself in the foot with my own gun at the same time!"

    And some of you don't think that one person's obesity affects others around him? His family, his children? The price of airline tickets? The cost of health insurance? Seriously?

    "A government with the power to stop us from making good choices also has the power to stop us from making bad choices!"

  48. FrankG
    "I don't think anybody here disagrees that sugar is a health issue, but the methods being used will have little measurable impact."

    How can you say that with so much certainty? Has this approach been tried before and failed?

    If you tell people they can't smoke in restaurants but they can still smoke as much as they want outside the restaurant, does that have any effect on the number of people smoking? I think we do already know the answer to that one.

    If I tell you that you can drink as much soda as you wish but only in smaller serving cups, will that reduce the amount of soda that is drunk??? We don't yet know but for the sake of "liberty or death!" it seems like we may never know.

    If you really need an analogy for "second-hand soda" think about what a child would want to emulate if they see their parent drinking extra-large sodas...

    I am with you that much, much more needs to be done to address this issue but Mayor Bloomberg does not have the power to take on the food manufacturers at source... surely the health and safety of the food supply is a federal issue? But his council does have the some say over the businesses within New York city... it is a big influential city and when other municipalities see how this regulation of serving cup sizes plays out (if it is ever allowed to go through) they may also realise that it is a good (or bad) idea and enact similar regulations. It's called the snowball effect. Same thing happened after NY regulated trans-fast in restaurant meals... something they could do WITHOUT waiting for the USDA or whomever to get off their a$$es and do something about it!

  49. robert
    I just watched a pretty recent video with Dr. Lustig's take on the 'nanny state'. I'll just link to part 3, which contains most of the discussion related to that.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=kzdx...

    Seems like the US and the rest of the world are in deep shit.

    Of course he's heavily biased, but he's convinced me. The likeliness of this problem going away on its own (free market regulation) is zilch.

  50. John Myers
    Wages have remained flat in the U.S. (adjusted for inflation) for the past 30 years. In that same time health insurance has gone up each year - some years it will jump as much as 35% over the previous year. In the U.S. the cost of health insurance almost always falls on the employer. No wonder wages haven't budged.
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