How Far is TOO Far?


| 6 Comments

As mentioned today in class, New York has passed a regulation banning sales of big sodas and other sugary drinks from restaurants, concession stands, and other eateries. But, will this step really "curb obesity" like Mayor Bloomberg says?

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To me the Board of Health in New York City is taking it too far. Are these larger sized bottles of soda and sugary drinks really affecting the weight of Americans? Should the mayor and health board be controlling the things we as Americans eat and drink?  Or, are they taking it a step too far?

An article I found online said doctors consider this as "another pioneering step for public health." The article also went into depth on how much a 20oz of coke has in calories compared to the 16oz bottle, which is the new regulation size on cups and bottles of these non-diet sodas, sweetend teas, and other calorie packed beverages in New York City.

In a TIME magazine article online it said that fighting obesity is one of the mayors signature causes, but I think there are larger issuse at hand than obesity, especially when there are numerous causes of obesity. On WebMD there is a list of factors that influence obesity, such as your genes, self-esteem, and over eating. So why single out sugared sodas?

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There are petittions out that are being signed opposing this soda plan, but what are your thoughts on this? If states begin to control what people drink, will they take it further and regulate what we eat? What is the limit to the power our health boards and mayors have over our consumption of food and drinks? Should we be concerned of stronger measures that may come into affect in order to "curb obesity" in the future? 

 

 

6 Comments

I am a communication major and I just did a paper about this topic and I went around campus asking students their opinion on this. I interviewed about 30 people and the views were very split. I am glad you blogged about this because being a journalism major I am not really allowed to share my opinion I just have to write the facts and other people's opinions. I don't agree with what the major of New York is doing because it takes away personal freedom. I understand that it is for a good cause but i doubt the obesity rate will go down because of it. What he needs to be doing is putting the information out there about the risk of large sugary drinks and things of that nature. And encourage people to exercise. How about he give obese people free gym memberships? lol.... I just feel like the ban on soda is a gateway to start banning other things like fastfood restaurants and maybe even Cold Stone. That would be a tragedy. Everything in moderation is the way too go.

personally I do not think that by controlling what people eat or drink, obesity is going to stop in New York City. People that like to eat are going to find ways to eat what they want. In addition, i do not believe its a good idea to limit what people can or can not eat. I believe that each person knows what is good or bad, and by warning them about the risks of becoming obese if they eat junk food should be enough to help control obesity. I agree with Nia J. Nicholson about encouraging people to exercise, and free Gym memberships for those who are obese I think is a great idea.

I agree with you that the mayor is taking it too far, but for a different reasons. It has been proven time and time again that sugary drinks ARE a significant contributor to obesity. Two websites here and here, have evidence of the connection between sugary drinks and obesity. These two links are from Harvard School of Public Health and The National Academies Press (the information related to this blog begins on page 51, line 6, where it says that sugary drinks are a contributor to obesity). This support cannot be ignored and is a significant problem.

But, I disagree with this law. I don't believe that the government should have the ability to limit my right to choose what I want to drink. If I want to have 64 fl. oz. of Pepsi (I don't even drink soda, this is just an example), then I SHOULD be able to do so. That's my right. Instead of trying to curb obesity by banning large drinks (which is inefficient because I could just go to the supermarket and buy a liter of Pepsi anyways), the government should be working on more educational programs for younger children in schools and for interested adults. For example, first lady Michelle Obama is doing a lot to fight childhood obesity by educating children and families about healthy eating and exercise through the Let's Move foundation.

While the science supports the passing of the law, education, not litigation, is what is going to "curb obesity" in America.

I agree with the comment above me for the most part. I think banning soda is a waste of the government's time and energy. A liter of pepsi can easily be attained at Walmart, along with all the junk food one desires. People do underestimate the amount of calories and sugars that are in soda. I personally don't think diet is a better option. If you're going to have a pepsi you might as well have the real thing. The government does need to address the rapidly growing weight gain in America. The Fat Forecast by Carrie Gann estimates that nearly half of Americans will be obese by 2030. This is a startling statement. Overweight is the norm, and soon so will obesity. By educating in the school systems the threat of obesity and stressing the importance of a healthy diet children will be able to make more conscious decisions about what they eat. On the topic of free gym memberships for the obese population, I don't think that is a plausible option. Firstly, it's assuming that being overweight is associated with being unable to afford a gym membership. This is not true in all cases, and I doubt it would motivate people much to workout. Secondly, giving out free memberships would be unfair to healthy Americans who do live a healthy lifestyle. Maybe if these overweight individuals spent their money on a membership, rather than super-sizing their meal at McDonald's we wouldn't have this problem in America.

I think this topic is really fascinating- initially, banning large sugary drinks seems outrageous but when one takes a look back at history, it's not so ridiculous. The country banned alcohol through prohibition, but it clearly failed. Cigarette boxes are required to have very serious notices on them so that people know the dangers of smoking. The government has been trying to control our health choices for a while. But I don't think that a ban on sugary drinks is going to do much for the obesity epidemic. Educating people on the problem so that they can make their own decisions (as someone else said, it's all about moderation) will be more productive than taking away the option all together.

Personally, I think that this topic has gone too far. Just because a state or some government decides to put a limit on the size of food servings or drinks does not mean that obesity will be prevented. The person can just simply keep buying more and more servings of the same beverage and the calories will continue to pile up. Similar to what everyone else is saying, I completely agree that government regulation will not help obesity whatsoever. Also, I think we should be concerned with future implications to cure obesity. If states are trying to put a restriction on the size of food, what's next? Banning all food and drinks that make humans gain weight? It's unbelievable. The government really should stop wasting their time on trying to tackle this problem, because the only cure for obesity is exercise and eating properly. Restricting food and drinks is not the solution for this nation-wide problem.

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