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Bloomberg poo-poos pop, digs donuts





On May 30, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a ban on serving high-calorie drinks (defined as drinks having more than 25 calories per eight ounces) in containers larger than 16 ounces in licensed food service establishments, thus alienating one of his largest and most important constituencies — people who drink excessive amounts of soda.

Bloomberg concocted his anti-Big Gulp proposal as part of his ongoing fight to reduce New York’s obesity rate, asserting that sugary drinks are one of the leading causes of the nation’s obesity epidemic.

Although Bloomberg has provided no conclusive evidence that soft drinks are in fact the leading cause of fat Americans, the proposal is overwhelmingly popular with the New York Board of Health. However, Bloomberg will continue his annual endorsement of National Donut Day, provided that participants do not indulge in a 24-ounce soda to wash down their donut.

Bloomberg and the Board of Health have not included diet sodas in their anti-Big Gulp proposal, which is because they have the word “diet” in them and are thus inherently better for you.

In fact, studies have shown that diet soda drinkers are just as likely to gain excess weight as their soda-drinking counterparts — but whatever.

This is not just about public health, however. This is a much more serious issue, a clear instance of government infringement on individual liberties.

First it was trans fats (who doesn’t like the occasional dose of super-cholesterol?), now it’s enormous sugary drinks. Bloomberg has gone too far in attacking the rights of Americans to slowly kill themselves in the most trite, meaningless ways possible.

­— ccleahy@indiana.edu

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