Fat or freedom. That is the battle going on in New York City where yesterday, just hours before a a ban on sodas was to take effect, State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling struck down the Michael Bloomberg pet-project initiative which bans sodas over 16-ounces. The city has said they will continue to fight for the ban on the large sugary sodas.
The ruling it means the ax won't fall Tuesday on supersized sodas, sweetened teas and other high-sugar beverages in restaurants, hot dog carts, arenas and even coffee shops.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging them to shrink their cups and bottles, anyway appealing to the proprietors’ altruistic side.
"If you know what you're doing is harmful to people's health, common sense says if you care, you might want to stop doing that," he said.
New York City officials defend the new measure stating that New York City’s obesity rate is rising. About 24 per cent of adults, up from 18 percent in 2002, and there are studies which tie sugary drinks to weight gain.
Judge Tingling acknowledged the impact of obesity on the city's residents, and noted that those bringing suit likewise didn't dispute obesity is a significant health issue, but he did question how much sugary drinks can be blamed for it. Ultimately Tingling said whether the issue of obesity is an epidemic is not the key issue here, but whether the board of health has the jurisdiction to decide that obesity is such an issue that it could issue a cap on consumption of sugary drinks.
The tug-of-war has the best of intentions on both sides, because let’s face it, we know what is bad for us. Yet we continue to ignore the numbers and move forward with our Cowboy Burgers drizzled in barbeque sauce, topped with onion rings and a soda the size of a bathtub to wash it down. Maybe in some cases, we need protected from ourselves.