Saturday, June 2, 2012

Surely No Sugar Daddy!

Perhaps the biggest local story this past week was Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to limit sugary soft drinks sold in certain types of establishments to under sixteen ounces. Bloomie's stated goal in this restriction is to reduce the prevalence of obesity in New York City.

I'm actually a little peeved at the media coverage of the mayor's idea- the proposal is not a ban, but a regulation. One would still be able consume calorie-laden, sugary drinks in copious quantities, one just wouldn't be able to take a single thirty-two ounce quaff. Additionally, the limitation wouldn't apply to all sorts of establishments- oddly enough, 7-11, which sells the iconic 44 ounce Super Big Gulp and 64 ounce bucket o' soda Double Gulp, would not be affected by the regulation because it's a convenience store, and is treated as a grocery store, not a dining establishment.

While I can't say that I am against this regulation, I think there are better methods of handling the problem of overconsumption of high-fructose corn syrup laden potables. I understand the mayor's impulse to limit portion size (well, to make it less convenient to load up on these beverages)- I remember when the typical portion size was considered to be eight ounces and the calorie content printed on a twelve ounce can reflected this, even though the can held one and a half servings. Perhaps if the total caloric content of a beverage were printed on the cup (a Double Gulp of non-diet soda would have about 2500 calories-kilocalories, actually, says the pedant- more than the recommended daily caloric intake for a typical adult male, with no appreciable nutrient content) consumers would be less apt to fill that soda bucket.

Personally, I prefer a one-cent-per-fluid-ounce tax on sodas, though a proposed soda tax fell flat (HA!) a few years back. The ban is silly, especially since many fast food joints allow refills. Besides, if cup sizes are limited to sixteen ounces, how could two girls share one cup?

I really can't muster any outrage over this issue... it's not quite like the time Fruit Pie the Magician was run out of town. Not being a big soda consumer, I can see the sense in Bloomberg wanting to limit soda containers to sixteen ounces. That being said, if he tries to eliminate the imperial pint, it's on!

10 comments:

El Snacktator said...

Fruit Pie the Magician. Heh. What a hack.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

We have a fucked-up society, but I don't think this will help unfuck it.
~

Substance McGravitas said...

Is it even a problem? Jeezis. Relatively speaking NYC is not in, uh, bad shape.

Laura said...

We're already consuming TONS of "food like" products. He's going to have to do a hell of a lot better than this if he wants to rid the city of obese people.

I don't know. To me, it's just stupid. If you're going to make a statement about the problem of obesity then go big or go home. (so to speak).
Limit the amount of trans fats that can be in a product or, something along those lines. Let's make the crap companies that are providing this shit a little bit accountable as well. Cause let's face it. If me and my girl want to share one, we can still go to the convenience store and buy it.

((Hugs))
Laura

vacuumslayer said...

It's certainly not something that bother me, being a person who cannot even finish one can of soda (not because my appetite is so dainty, but I just tire of sweet beverages quickly). But, yeah, it seems kinda silly.

mikey said...

It has some value in that it makes one think about...well, what one thinks.

I routinely excoriate Libertarians, but when you actually think about it, we Americans tend to believe deeply in certain libertarian principles. It is more the laisez faire let-the-powerful-brutalize-the-weak ideology I react so strongly to.

So yeah - nobody should be able to tell me how much soda I can drink, any more than somebody should be able to tell me I can't choose to smoke pot. But in both cases, and many others, there is also no reason why the appropriate agencies shouldn't place some kind of tax burden on these products. Cigarettes, fossil fuels, unhealthy foods - sure, you have complete freedom to consume them in large volumes. But society has an equivalent right to offset the negative externalities created by your consumption by requiring an offsetting cost.

I know - I rambled on here. But I've been thinking about this a lot - I originally thought I agreed with it, but I've come to think that it's not just wrong, but the more basic 'wrong headed'....

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Fruit Pie the Magician. Heh. What a hack.

El, fess up... is Fruit Pie the Magician languishing in one of your prisons?

We have a fucked-up society, but I don't think this will help unfuck it.

Yeah, go after the minor shit that the little people engage in, while allowing the plutocrats to loot without any repercussions.

Is it even a problem? Jeezis. Relatively speaking NYC is not in, uh, bad shape.

The situation is worse in poor neighborhoods in the outer boroughs, out of the tourists' ken.

I don't know. To me, it's just stupid. If you're going to make a statement about the problem of obesity then go big or go home. (so to speak).
Limit the amount of trans fats that can be in a product or, something along those lines. Let's make the crap companies that are providing this shit a little bit accountable as well. Cause let's face it. If me and my girl want to share one, we can still go to the convenience store and buy it.


One big problem is that the crap like corn syrup and sugar receives tax subsidies, while nutrient dense vegetables don't, so they reward the crap pushers.

It's certainly not something that bother me, being a person who cannot even finish one can of soda (not because my appetite is so dainty, but I just tire of sweet beverages quickly). But, yeah, it seems kinda silly.

So, you've never chugged a Double Gulp, then used the empty container as a bucket?

So yeah - nobody should be able to tell me how much soda I can drink, any more than somebody should be able to tell me I can't choose to smoke pot. But in both cases, and many others, there is also no reason why the appropriate agencies shouldn't place some kind of tax burden on these products. Cigarettes, fossil fuels, unhealthy foods - sure, you have complete freedom to consume them in large volumes. But society has an equivalent right to offset the negative externalities created by your consumption by requiring an offsetting cost.

I agree with you- I think people should be given the information to make reasonable decisions, and that the public burden of the repercussions of these decisions should be mitigated somewhat.

Jennifer said...

One big problem is that the crap like corn syrup and sugar receives tax subsidies, while nutrient dense vegetables don't, so they reward the crap pushers.

Exactly.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Vegetables? We have those in America?

Twig said...

Besides, if cup sizes are limited to sixteen ounces, how could two girls share one cup?

lol, i found my way here from an XKCD comic and wasn't sure exactly what i was reading. This comment confirmed the tone of your blog though and now im in love :P