May 31, 2012
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to decide what New Yorkers drink. His Health Department has proposed outlawing sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts in what the New York Times calls “the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.”
From the Times:
The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.
At fast-food chains, where sodas are often dispersed at self-serve fountains, restaurants would be required to hand out cup sizes of 16 ounces or less, regardless of whether a customer opts for a diet drink. But free refills — and additional drink purchases — would be allowed.
The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.
Restaurants, delis, movie theater and ballpark concessions would be affected, because they are regulated by the health department. Carts on sidewalks and in Central Park would also be included, but not vending machines or newsstands that serve only a smattering of fresh food items.
Diet drinks usually contain aspartame, a substance far more dangerous than sugar and even fructose corn syrup. Studies prove it causes severe neurologic, gastrointestinal, endocrine, metabolic and even psychological problems, but you won’t see Bloomberg ordering his Health Department to ban its use.
New York is control freak central. In addition to deciding what its citizen-subjects can drink, the city long ago made it illegal for New Yorkers to protect themselves with firearms, reducing them to victims of a burgeoning criminal class (due largely to nanny state drug laws).
Cigarettes are bad for your health, but New York has not outlawed them. And for a good reason – a pack of smokes in the Big Apple now costs almost $10, most of it taxes. New York doesn’t have a problem taxing drug addicts.
Mayor Nanny has also attacked trans fat and posted “graphic advertising to combat smoking and soda consumption, and the demand that chain restaurants post calorie contents next to prices.”
According to the Times, Bloomberg’s control (and tax) freak behavior has spread to other cities. Statist control freaks know no bounds, so we can expect the move to embolden government bureaucrats across the board to move more aggressively to tax and ban dozens of other things.