Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bloomberg's Nanny State

An ad running in today's papers protests Bloomberg's latest ban
When does government leadership go too far to protect the citizens? New York's Mayor Bloomberg has clearly shown us the line when he crossed it this week. He has spent years approaching this line, changing rules in New York City meant to make the residents healthier. He banned the restaurants from using trans-fats, banned smoking indoors and then in public parks, he added bike lanes and then a bike rental program.

But in each case he stayed on one side of the line that can be defined as: Allow people the right to choose whether or not to act healthy to themselves.

He crossed it this week when he declared that sugared sodas could not be sold in amounts greater than 16 fluid ounces. (475 ml) One can still buy diet drinks or even fruit juices in larger amounts but not sugared coffees or sodas. (I guess we can't share that large soda at the movies anymore.) It also didn't help when the following day he was touting National Donut Day.

A day after a proposal by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to fight obesity, Entenmann’s celebrated National Donut Day in Madison Square Park.  By
That crossed a line with no end. As the Consumer Freedom advertisement asks, 'What's next? Limits on the width of a pizza slice, size of a hamburger or amount of cream cheese on your bagel?'

The other side of the argument is: 'Why should healthy people pay the public costs of treating obesity?' But I believe that most of the public health care costs are caused by poverty, not obesity. And banning large sodas is not doing anything to solve this problem.

What do you think?

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