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All For the Large Soda Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

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SparkPoints: (11,886)
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Posts: 73
7/31/13 2:39 P

I donít think a Gov. that claims "Land of the Free", has any place in deciding what people should be putting into their bodies. And I donít see them having any success with those kinds of laws anyway.
Ok, so you require that all sodas be smalls. The person who wants a Big Gulp, will just buy more cups, or will go back for multiple refills.
Not to put too sharp a point on it, but the Government has had zero effect on stopping drug use, prostitution, and crime, (things most people agree are wrong and dangerous) what makes them think they can stop literally everyone from drinking sodas?
It is the individualís responsibility and right to take care of themselves.

Edited by: MCASKEY6 at: 7/31/2013 (14:40)

Posts: 560
7/31/13 1:00 P

Nothing happens in a vacuum. As has been stated government takes the action because it pays the bills in so many cases. The more they stipulate what we are and aren't allowed to eat the more many people will take no responsibility for themselves.

Government has had a large hand in creating the obesity crisis that they are 'fighting' with these ridiculous regulations. By pushing the low fat fads in the 70's they pushed food manufacturers to cut fat, which they dutifully did by adding sugar and salt. During the Nixon administration they looked for ways to make food prices more stable. Endorsing high fructose corn syrup helped here as well as subsidizing corn. Another factor in the growth of corn sugar is the long time policy of price supports for sugar growers.

I don't make the argument that the government entities that made these policies were bad or malevolent, merely that when we give third parties the power to 'fix' our lives we live with the unintended consequences that the large behemoth of government causes. Well we are living with them now, but to allow them to do more tweeking through their constant dictates is asking for more unintended consequences.

AT least this one was stopped. Many more will be allowed to stand. The ultimate fix is to slowly cut back the government footprint on our lives and allow/force us to live with our own consequences. Some people will be worse off but in the term everyone will be better as they will rule their own lives. I realize this goes in to politics which I usually reserve for political venues but this is a big deal for nutrition. Government pushes sugar and we get sick. To get unsick we have to cut down the prevalence of sugar and processed foods in our lives. This can only be done through personal choice not dictates from the commissar from New York.

Edited by: BRIANLIEBERTH at: 7/31/2013 (13:05)

Posts: 2,299
7/31/13 11:55 A

We REALLY need an "applause" emote.

*claps for Anarie*

Posts: 12,387
7/31/13 10:12 A

Well, for the sake of argument...

We all know it's dangerous to drive too fast. We should have the good sense to know better, and some people are capable of driving faster than others and still being safe. (And of course, pretty much everyone believes he/she is one of those good drivers who can drive fast.) Should speed limits be unconstitutional? I mean, THOSE laws actually give you a fine if you violate them!

We all know it's stupid and dangerous to drink large amounts of alcohol, and everyone should have the personal responsibility to know when they've had too much. Does that mean we shouldn't have dram shop laws? Why should the server be banned from selling someone too much, much less be held responsible if they serve someone too much and he then goes out and kills 4 people on the drive home? In Louisiana they allow drive-through liquor stores. Shouldn't every state do that? After all, just because you're in your car buying a 32-ounce frozen daiquiri in a cup with a straw, that doesn't mean you're going to drink and drive, right? And it's your own business if you do, not the state's or city's, right?

And what about trans fats? We all know those are bad and we should choose not to eat them, so why should cities tell restaurants not to use them to fry French fries when you can still buy a 2-pound tub of Crisco shortening in the grocery store and fry French fries in it at home?

The NYC ban was stupid because McDonald's couldn't sell a 32-oz Coke but the 7-11 next door could sell a 64-oz. Or McDonald's could sell you three or four 16-oz ones if you wanted them. Of course, the same fact blows the "individual rights" argument out of the water, because if you want a huge soda you can get one on any block in the city, 24 hours a day; the only people affected by the ban were restaurant owners.

As for the, "some people get diabetes without drinking this stuff, and some drink it and don't get diabetes," that's equally true for alcohol. I know a lot of people who have repeatedly made it home safe with a BAC of .1 or higher, so what's with this .08 as the legal limit? Some people crash their cars without a single drop of alcohol, too, so why limit it if it won't prevent all accidents?

And if you read the ruling, they're not saying it's unconstitutional because it affects anyone's rights. They're saying it's unconstitutional because it has unfair exemptions. If they had just treated soda like alcohol and said, "Amounts over 16 ounces can only be available in package stores, unrefrigerated," they would have been all right in legal terms.

Like I said, this particular ban was poorly written and ill-considered. But I do think we need somehow to get the message out that drinking 800 calories of pure sugar in one "serving" just might have *something* to do with the so-called obesity epidemic especially for children. I'm kind of sick of people blaming the 1/2 tsp of HFCS in a loaf of bread for "making us fat" when they're buying 124 times as much for their 8-year-old to drink on the way to school in the morning. The increase in calories from sugary drinks can explain almost the entire increase in obesity since the 1970s. If you're old enough to remember when soda was sold in glass bottles that you took back to the store, think back and you'll probably remember that if your family of four took back a case in a week, you would get kind of a funny look. If you were a child returning the bottles, they would even ask if you took someone else's bottles for the deposit. A generation ago, it was *weird* if your kids drank a 16-oz bottle 6 times a week. Now it's considered normal to drink 3 times that much.

In the place where I live right now, there are no obese children. There are one or two of the older high schoolers who are getting a bit overweight, but the elementary school kids are all within the normal weight range. There's also only one place in a 126-mile radius where you can get a soda over 20 oz, and no vending machines within a few miles of either of the schools. I don't think those facts are unrelated.

Sodas aren't the whole cause of obesity, but they're a big enough part of it to be a public health issue at least as serious as alcohol, and probably greater than trans fat. If we're going to have public health policy at all, soda has to be part of it. Again, I'm not saying the NYC ban was a reasonable or effective way to go about it, but we do have to look at this issue.

SparkPoints: (9,098)
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Posts: 2,060
7/31/13 10:06 A

I wonder what would happen if we started treating soda and other high caffeine/high sugar drinks like we do alcohol and tobacco products and required proof of age in order to buy them. The health consequences of drinking that kind of stuff is being studied and its not good for your metabolism, teeth, endocrine system, etc. That would immediately pull soda vending machines out of schools (a big problem IMO) and limit access via convenience stores and restaurants as well. My parents stopped drinking/buying soda when I was 8 or so and I quickly lost the taste for it. If you can get to a kid's taste buds early and not let them develop a taste for the stuff, I think down the line there would be fewer problems.

Posts: 1,044
7/31/13 9:58 A

I agree that banning things is ridiculous and won't change a darned thing.

However, I don't think that this is what your forefathers had in mind when they created the constitution - to defend your right to drink ridiculous amounts of sugar-laden beverages...

Posts: 13,617
7/31/13 9:53 A

I am against banning things too.

Just Google Prohibition to see what happens when things are banned. Only this time the Speak Easies will be handing out large Cokes and Pepsis and not bath tub gin

Posts: 16,826
7/31/13 9:44 A

I am against banning almost anything. All the law would do is make me order three 20 oz. Pepsi's instead of a Big Gulp.It doesn't fix the problem, just annoys people. People need to monitor their own behavior, and that of their children. Prohibition didn't stop people from drinking alcohol, just made it more profitable.

Taxation for "bad " behavior is because the government is getting bills for the health care of these people who smoke,drink, or drink pop. Tell insurance companies to figure out a way to identify these people, and raise their insurance rates. Trust me, they are capable of assessing risk.

Here is what the government SHOULD do. Label pop as a " dangerous foodstuff ". We all know that it is just a sugary/salty beverage that causes all sorts of diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The idea that we can't call that dangerous, but we can regulate the size of the drink, is a wonderful example of how government is incompetent.

Instead we have the pop companies hiding behind the protection of the government, while they tell us that pop isn't that bad, just drink 20 ozs. at a time. If you think it is dangerous to drink more than 20 ozs. of something, just say it is dangerous.

Frogman - In Michigan we have a No Helmet law. I see idiots driving down the street with no helmet, and I can just picture their heads being crushed. It should be the insurance company's obligation to double motorcycle insurance rates, and when people ask why, tell them they have to average out the risk, in Michigan. Then the people can decide whether to pay higher insurance rates, or pass a helmet law, and have the insurance rates drop.

If we made insurance companies eat their losses, they would do their own job, instead of having government make stupid laws to protect their 40% profits.

SparkPoints: (1,747)
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Posts: 77
7/31/13 9:12 A

Well, it always seems weak to ban things. People will always find ways to work around the ban and liberty is certainly an issue. can tax it like crazy! Just add a $2.00 tax to all containers bigger than 20 oz.

Yes, freedom, liberty, blah, blah, blah. If you are going to argue the free to make mistakes thing, then give insurance companies and medicaid/medicare the freedom to deny these people coverage. We require seat belts and motorcycle helmets not because it saves a person's life, but because it saves the rest of us from having to pay a lifetime of hospice care for someone who smashes their unprotected head against asphalt. The truth is that when someone (who can afford a $1.39 mega-super-sugar-gulp) start coming down with diabetes symptoms, it is everyone else who has to pay for the medical care. Yes, yes, we all die of something, but it is clear that old healthy people cost way less to society than sick middle-aged people.

SparkPoints: (19,912)
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Posts: 1,778
7/31/13 8:26 A

We need to stop having politicians try to take away our freedoms. I for one do not drink large sodas, but we are all aware of how bad they are for us and if someone chooses to drink one then that is their decision.

Posts: 4,934
7/30/13 10:32 P

Just for the record, I'd just taken my post-vinyasa yoga practice (but it was very lengthy!) blood glucose reading. It was 85 mg/dL ... (In the course of the day take oral diabetes medication)

It is not a factor of Bloomie messing with MY Gatorade ... because I drink water. Cannot categorically attest to its being Evian, of course. Bloomberg with his billions could be spending the suasion money on something else ...

Posts: 463
7/30/13 8:44 P

In my opinion you buy it and put it in your mouth. The restaurants though yes it's hard to find healthy choices when dining out, we are ultimately responsible for what we put in our bodies.

SparkPoints: (13,410)
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Posts: 3,171
7/30/13 8:21 P

If we don't protest they are going to go after our Texas Toast and King Size Kit Kats!!!!!!! emoticon

I for one do not want to live in a world were our food is banned because of it's size.

Edited by: AILEBBELIA at: 7/30/2013 (20:22)

Posts: 4,934
7/30/13 7:37 P

AND I'm a Type 2 diabetic AND I live in New York City.

Aside from my diabetes having a large hereditary component despite nobody else in my immediate family generation (and it's a large family) getting it [long-term use of statin drugs against cholesterol helped cause/father had Alzheimers (a.k.a. Diabetes Type 3)] This fairly severe Type 2 diagnosis happened for me at a mere BMI of 26, btw ... contrary to societal expectations of "obesity causing diabetes"

I take it constitutionality plays a big part in this, as well:

The article states:

"An appeals court ruled Tuesday that the city's Board of Health exceeded its legal authority and acted unconstitutionally when it tried to put a size limit on soft drinks served in city restaurants.

In a unanimous opinion, the four-judge panel of the state Supreme Court Appellate Division said that the health board was acting too much like a legislature when it created the limit, which would have stopped sales of non-diet soda and other sugar-laden beverages in containers bigger than 16 ounces (473 milliliters).

The judges wrote that while the board had the power to ban "inherently harmful" foodstuffs from being served to the public, sweetened beverages didn't fall into that category. They also said the board appeared to have crafted much of the new rules based on political or economic considerations, rather than health concerns.

The city's law department promised a quick appeal.

"Today's decision is a temporary setback, and we plan to appeal this decision as we continue the fight against the obesity epidemic," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

He added that 2,000 New Yorkers have died from the effects of diabetes and studies that showed the deadly health impacts of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

The drinks limit follows other Bloomberg efforts to nudge New Yorkers into better diets. His administration has forced chain restaurants to post calorie counts on menus, barred artificial trans fats from restaurant fare and challenged food manufacturers to use less salt."

Opponents also said the measure's limitations made it meaningless as a health tool but potentially devastating to businesses that would have to deny customers big sodas while neighboring establishments could still supersize them.

The regulation would apply in settings ranging from sandwich shops to table-service restaurants to movie theaters, but not in supermarkets or most convenience stores, as those establishments aren't subject to city regulation. The measure also exempted alcoholic drinks and milk-based concoctions, including lattes.

The lower court judge, state Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling, wrote in March that "the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose." He also found that the Bloomberg-appointed Board of Health intruded on the City Council's authority when it imposed the rule."

Bloomberg is otherwise a good mayor of our fair city ...

But ... no need to be a dictator ...

My recent stint of jury duty ... and sooo many things for this my blogsite were bottled up because some defense attorney (and he did win the case, and I'd been jury foreman) was a wise man and told me I should not blog at all (the case was medical malpractice - not constitutional law, but I figured just to be safe ...)

Glad this topic happened along today ...

Take it away, ladies and gentlemen ...

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