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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bloomberg give soda the 'POP'

Banning large size, full sugar soda is Mayor Bloomebrg's solution to the obesity epidemic in this country and he is aiming to start his campaign in New York .  His plan is to prohibit restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street-carts from selling sugary beverages larger than 16 fluid ounces. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/nyregion/bloomberg-plans-a-ban-on-large-sugared-drinks.html?pagewanted=2&tntemail1=y&emc=tnt

I had to laugh as I read this article.  Not because it was written with any humor, but because I find it hilarious that someone would seriously think this plan of action would do anything to slow or stop the obesity epidemic.  In fact, this country has a history of attempts such as this one intended to stop various other things- alcohol consumption (prohibition followed by drinking age laws), zero tolerance drug policies, gun control and speed limits. We could go on and on with this list, but there is no need.  None of these afore mentioned problems or epidemics were stopped after a law was passed making it illegal.  And it isn't going to work this time either.

Making something illegal seems to be the 'go to' answer for people.  Why? Maybe they aren't smart enough to look at what WOULD actually have an impact on the situation, or maybe they don't really WANT to help solve the problem.  Actually wanting to solve the issue would require action on such a large scale, involving many in the government as well as some of the largest companies in the country.  Making changes on that scale would result in many unhappy billionaires and politicians.  That will never happen.  It is far easier to pass a law to give the appearance you are doing something, all the while keeping your backers happy.  However, removing personal responsibility no matter what the circumstance is never a good plan, never mind the fact that it does not address the problem.  It has zero ability to deliver the intended outcome.   What is the intended outcome here? Slow the drinking of soda? Well, maybe this approach could help a little.  Is the intended outcome to slow or stop the rising obesity rate? Reducing the size of soda bottles does not translate to that.

While obesity is a multi-factorial issue, research demonstrates a connection between insulin and obesity.  The inability to control one's blood sugar and subsequent insulin production can lead to obesity and diabetes.  Can 'foods' containing sugar such as soda have an affect on this? Of course. However,  most people recognize that soda contains sugar.  The most dangerous 'foods' are the ones hiding the fact that they cause just as much of an insult, if not more, than soda.  I would argue that highly processed foods claiming to be sugar free and 'healthy' are far more dangerous than any 32 ounce soda.  Teaching people to look at soda as the cause of obesity will only cause them to fill that 'soda void' with something else equally as offensive. Teach them the truth. It doesn't matter if it is a soda, a candy bar, or a cracker, processed foods have the same effect on blood sugar levels as they do on waistline measurements.  They increase them. Period.

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