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!