Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York is losing his popularity in the fight to keep New Yorkers healthy. According to Syracruse.com published yesterday, “A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that 51 percent of New York voters surveyed opposed the so-called soda ban. The soda ban forbids businesses regulated by the city from selling servings of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. It extends to restaurants, delis and theaters. It goes into effect on March 12.”
“Quinnipiac found African-American voters (60 percent) and male voters (54 percent) were especially negative on the ban, while women and Hispanic respondents were about evenly split on the subject, The Washington Times noted.”
“Come March 12, the residents no longer can get a two-liter bottle of sugar-based soda delivered with pizza or a pitcher of pop when they dine out.” Mayor Bloomberg is serving out his final term so it will be the next mayor’s responsibility to deal with the aftermath.
In Canada, according to the Globe and Mail, Soda pop is the new tobacco. First banned in some school boards, soda pop and other sugar-laden drinks are now being legislated away by different levels of government in the next wave of social engineering programs.
The Globe and Mail goes on to say, The City of Toronto has decided that… choice is something its citizens are better off without. Hoping to prod its children into better eating habits, the city is planning to banish pop and energy drinks from vending machines in its community [centres] and arenas. Canada is not alone. The battle against sugar is being engaged on many levels throughout the United States. On the international level, the World Health Organization was pushing through a global strategy initiative as early as 2010.
While few will argue against targeting obesity, the public-health consensus is at odds with those who would rather make up their own minds. "To what extent do you start regulating the lives of people, so as not to hurt themselves?" asks Jack Mintz, the Palmer Chair in Public Policy at the School of Policy Studies at the University of Calgary.
The Canadian view point put forth by University of Toronto sociology professor Dr. Lorne Tepperman, supports Bloomberg’s decision. “Medical thinking has been shifting away from the individual, and toward the environment. Public-health advocates argue that individuals - especially children - can't be expected to make rational food choices when they're living in a media environment that is saturated with advertising and are subjected to intensive targeted marketing. That, they say, is something that can be fixed only through government interference.”