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To drink or not to drink ...

June 12, 2012 - Steve Murch
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed limiting high calorie drinks to 16-ounce servings. His goal is to help in the battle of the bulge, and everyone seems to be weighing in on it (no pun intended). Now the city's board of health is signaling support for it.

We know the debate: is this big government making an over-reach and trying to control our choice of what to drink and how much; or is this an attempt to help those who can't help themselves. My question is, what about sugar-free drinks? There is a debate about whether diet drinks have a different kind of negative effect as well. Do they fall under the same guidelines? They aren't sugary.

To me, the funny thing is you are free to go back as many times as you want, you just can't get your Coca-Cola or Mountain Dew fix in a size any larger than 16 ounces. So what's the difference? If you are going to keep an eye out for people's health, why not go all the way and limit how many drinks they can have?

Ultimately, you know this is headed to court to waste more taxpayer money that A. could be spent better elsewhere, and B. isn't there in the first place.

So why stop there? Why not limit portion sizes of everything on the menu? No 16 ounce steaks when 8 ounces is plenty; smaller portions of french fries; no butter or sour cream on baked potatoes; no salt at the table. The list goes on.

We have an obesity problem in this country, and getting healthier should be a goal. There is no silver bullet when it comes to helping people become healthier because they have to do it themselves. Besides, if they really want their 96 ounces of sugary drink, they'll find a way to do it.


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