Two opposing views on soda ban in NYC

Zack Winslow and Mary Markarian
December 19, 2012
Filed under Views/Opinions

The ban on soft drinks in New York City put in place to combat the growing rate of obesity in America is a positive step towards a healthier country.

The soda ban is a restriction on all sugary drinks over 16 oz. that are sold by any provider regulated by the city.

Over the past 10 years, obesity has been declared a national epidemic amongst American society. A factor that plays a big role in this new found crisis is the American lifestyle and mentality in the 21st century.

Advertisements and media teach people that bigger is better and faster is easier. This has not only pushed people to become unhealthy, but has also given obesity a place to thrive in America. The soda ban was put into place to stifle obesity and ensure that Americans think before they eat, according to abcnews.com

In NYC more than half of the adult population is over weight, according to the NYC Heath Department. Mayor Michael Bloomburg has placed this ban in the hope that it will push NYC citizens to make healthier decisions and more importantly, help curb the growing obesity rate.

Just because this ban has been placed for NYC residents, doesn’t mean they are restricted from making their own decisions. The ban’s main focus is to show citizens that they should make healthier choices and they have a choice on whether or not they want to make that decision.

The ban has also been put in to place to teach citizens about the healthier lifestyle and to show them how to be healthier.

The ban unfortunately doesn’t effect all businesses because Bloomburg only has the power to control producers who are regulated by the NYC health department, according to abcnews.com

Some critics of the ban feel that it will force small business to lose money, and that it’s taking away consumer freedom, but they’re missing the big picture. The ban isn’t targeting small businesses, nor is it making decisions for citizens.

Its main purpose is to show Americans a healthier alternative to their gluttonous lifestyle. People are afraid of change and sometimes reject new ideas, but this ban is a great push to a better future.

This ban, although it is restricted to NYC citizens, is a huge step forward for American society and will hopefully send a message to cities everywhere.

If more cities follow the example set by Bloomburg it will help cure obesity. People need to realize that eating less fast food and drinking fewer sugared beverages will ensure a better America. Consumers need to be educated on making healthier decisions, but at the same time be able to freely make their own choices.

Once people push away from their fatty lifestyle and learn how to make healthier choices, they will be able to preserve their health and well-being and eventually fight back against obesity as a whole.

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The law banning the sale of sodas over 16 oz. in New York City is an attack on democratic and capitalistic principles.

The law states that any business regulated by NYC health department is prohibited from selling any sugary drink that is over 16 oz. according to nytimes.com

Mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomburg, proposed this arbitrary legislation because he believes it will help combat obesity in America. There’s no denying that the health of this country is exponentially declining, but the soda ban is not a feasible solution. Even if the ban significantly benefits the health of New Yorkers, it still is an unacceptable violation of citizen’s and business owner’s rights.

It’s not the government’s responsibility to put every American on a diet. People should be able to monitor their own body weight, and if they don’t, that’s their choice, and that’s their right.

Daddy Bloomburg has no right to tell people how to eat. His job is to represent the people, and 60 percent of New Yorkers oppose the soda ban. The only reason the law passed is because all the members of the health board were appointed by Bloomburg himself, according to huffingtonpost.com.

By putting this law into effect Bloomburg is taking away the rights of American consumers and producers while also forcing a meritless rule onto New Yorkers.

People have the right to choose what they eat, and all business’ have the right to sell what people are choosing to consume. But, the soda ban takes those rights away, and all in a futile attempt to stop obesity.

Because Bloomburg only has the power to control drink production regulated by NYC, he can’t even ban all large sodas. The law can only restrict the smaller businesses because the large corporate producers are not regulated by NYC.

So, it’s illegal for a hard working hot dog vendor to sell a customer a typical 500 ml, or 16.9 oz, sized coke, but if that customer walks across the street and buys a 52 oz. Big Gulp from 7-Eleven it’s okay because 7-Eleven isn’t regulated by the city.

The point of this law is moot if someone can just buy a bigger soda from a store not regulated by the city, or, order two 16 oz. drinks. The soda law is hurting small business owners, and not helping cure obesity in America, according to online.wsj.com.

Supporters of the law argue that the ban will force Americans to learn the importance of eating right. Just because someone thinks it’s better to live a healthy lifestyle, doesn’t mean everyone should have to adhere to that opinion. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and that ideal is something supporters of this law don’t understand.

If someone wants to drink 52 oz. of soda every day, that’s their problem, not the governments. If someone thinks soda is poison, that’s fine. They might be right, and they can stop drinking soda. There’s no need for people to force their mindsets on others when it comes to personal nutritional choices.

Democracy is based on the idea that everyone deserves to make their own decisions.  The soda ban takes away a person’s right to choose, and thus is a threat to democracy. Because NYC is so influential, other cities or states are likely to start following this path to government controlled diet, making this legislation even more dangerous.

Instead of forcing people to limit their sugar intake, the government should emphasize educating elementary students about health and nutrition. Educating the next generation would help people understand and possibly begin living healthy without taking away their right of choice.

The soda ban is pointless legislation that is a direct result of abused government power and ignorance.

 

 

 

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