OPINION: People can make their own decisions on drinksPolitical debate is hot and heavy in New York City with banners, commercials and tweets. No, the debate is not about the presidential race.
By: Editorial board, West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minn.
Political debate is hot and heavy in New York City with banners, commercials and tweets. No, the debate is not about the presidential race.
To some, it is a question of public health issue.
To others, it is a freedom of choice issue.
The issue is a proposed ban on big sugary drinks more than 16 ounces.
It is seems to be a lot of turmoil over nothing, but it is a big deal from a business perspective.
The potential ban would mean that consumers in New York City would not be able to buy a sweetened drink — in excess of 16 ounces — in bottles or from fountains at restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues or street carts.
These are big money maker categories for all of these venues as such drinks are often marked up 10 to 15 times the cost of ingredients.
This proposal is part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan announced in May to combat obesity in his city. The city government has been mounting its own campaign, including slogans like “are you pouring on the pounds?”
Opposition quickly formed by individuals and businesses in and outside New York City. The furor continues to build, and it should.
This New York City proposal seems to be a bit of an overreach. The sales of carbonated beverages have already been declining, as consumers switch to water and non-carbonated beverages, according to trade publications.
The proposed ban is also easy to get around. If you want a big drink, you just have to buy two 16-ounce glasses to get your 32-ounce sugar fix.
So while reducing the volume of sugary drink is a good thing from a health stand point, it really should be an individual’s decision. This is not the place for big city government to be making decisions for individual residents and guests.
New York City should reject the sugar drink size limit proposal.