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New York imposes partial ban on huge soda drinks

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About time they started taking steps to battle obesity. It seems a bit extreme, but I think it's necessary.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

About time they started taking steps to battle obesity.

No, it is an absolutely ridiculous move. They need to stay out of other peoples lives and we need to start taking responsibility for our own.

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This idiotic gesture will have no effect.

ex; No 32 ounce? Okay, give me two 24 ouncers.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You killed two birds with one stone, Mr. Bloomberg! First you insult all New Yorkers as not being smart enough to make good choices nor adult enough to live with them AND you wasted heaps of tax money to form this committee which made a decision that won't even make it past the preliminary arguments of a court preceeding. Way to go!

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....alcoholic drinks are also exempted.

Oh, thank God. 42 oz. to freedom!

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The truth by DentShop, " it is an absolutely ridiculous move. THEY need to stay out of other peoples lives and WE need to start taking responsibility for our own."

Individual responsibility, not NANNY-STATE .

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I think it is an interesting move but perhaps following the tabaco industries measure would be better. Large soda cups and all other high calorie, low nutrition products should have to display the amount of calories that would be consumed and the excercise that would be needed to burn it. Also show graphic images of the diseases that they cause so that kids get traumatized and wont consume it as much. I hate to see nanny states but sometimes nannys are really there for our own good.

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DentShop: "They need to stay out of other peoples lives and we need to start taking responsibility for our own."

That would be ideal, but clearly it never has, and never will work, and the people who are obese to the point of serious medical illness will turn around and sue the companies that 'made them that way', not to mention the burden they put on the health system. People SHOULD take responsibility for themselves, but they don't. Plain and simple. There is absolutely no need for drinks that big and with that much sugar.

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Diet drinks are exempted???? They are doing much more harm than regular cokes. Not only is it a carcinogen and people who consistently eat Aspartame will ironically put on weight. Ban aspartame and all those artificial sweeteners!

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SmithinJapan wrote to DentShop in response to: "They need to stay out of other peoples lives and we need to start taking responsibility for our own."

"That would be ideal, but clearly it never has, and never will work, and the people who are obese to the point of serious medical illness will turn around and sue the companies that 'made them that way', not to mention the burden they put on the health system. "

OK, if the obese people sue the companies they believe that made them fat, just throw the case out of court. Obesity is by and large a choice (and yes I was obese for many years!). And we have a precedent; a man (from New York!) tried to sue McDonald's a while back because of health problems related to obesity. The judge said "no." If you deny obese folks their pop, they will simply switch to something else. As for the burden on the health system, well, now we know why it's so difficult to pass comprehensive health care, don't we? I thoroughly support socialized medicine and am grateful for Japan's system more than ever as my wife was recently diagnosed with cancer. If we were in the States, her surgery and subsequent medication would have wiped us out. But I understand why many Americans are against it and I also believe that meddling acts like Bloomberg's Soda Ban contribute to this feeling of interference.

"People SHOULD take responsibility for themselves, but they don't." And one reason they don't is because time-and-time again there have been well-intentioned fools who keep bailing these people out. Once we stop rewarding/subsidizing stupidity, the stupidity will begin to decrease.

"Plain and simple. There is absolutely no need for drinks that big and with that much sugar." With all due respect, it's neither your nor my place to make that decision for other people.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We are smart enough to make our own decisions about what to eat and drink.

The evidence shows the contrary. And so if people themselves can't control their life threatening cravings (happily assisted by the industry) then it is time for regulators to step in.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Diet drinks are exempted???? They are doing much more harm than regular cokes. "

Agreed, Foxie.

That was the first thing that came to my mind.

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Ha ha ha ha, lol, this will have zero effect on obesity, as you can still buy as much soda as you want in the store.

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samwatters: "With all due respect, it's neither your nor my place to make that decision for other people."

I understand all the points against such legislation, I do, but once again the bottom line is that there always have been and always will be companies that will play down health risks of their products in order to make money, and these massive beverages are one example. Show me any nation that doesn't have this kind of excess and then compare the obesity rates. Take away the option and then it ceases to be a matter of choice. There is as much right to make this decision for other people as there is limiting who can drink alcohol, or raising taxes on tobacco.

Super-size McD's products disappeared after the documentary Super-Size Me came out, and likewise these drinks should too, and that's only a start. The US will still have HEAPS to do to counter its obesity problem.

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The ban is neither morally justifiable nor is it statistically viable. All around useless plan created by a man that thinks he is the moral and intellectual superior to millions of other people.

Take away the option and then it ceases to be a matter of choice. There is as much right to make this decision for other people as there is limiting who can drink alcohol, or raising taxes on tobacco.

Because prohibition, tobacco taxes, and the drug war have all worked splendidly. I understand nobody is talking about outlawying pop entierly but when you limit access to something it just raises the price and makes people want it more and has little to no effect on the number of people consuming it.

You're of the opinion that it may not seem right but if it helps people than it may have some level of justification but if we look at bans on similar products the facts don't back the ban up. The best thing to do is to make people aware of the risk and let them make their own decisions. That's the reason the population of smokers went from 50% to 20%. Ask a smoker if they know the risk and they'll say yes, taxes and bans have little to no impact on their decision making process.

If they don't heed the warning they get overweight, they get sick, and they die. Tough, but if thats they way they elect to live I won't stop them.

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@SmithinJapan.

You make many valid points and your motivation is certainly well placed. Here are some of my responses.

"the bottoom line is that there always have been and always will be companies that will play down health risks of their products in order to make money."

Of course! Do you think anybody DOESN'T know that? Do you think that certain people such as Bloomberg are so much smarter than others that they have the right to meddle in the private lives of other citizens?

"There is as much right to make this decision for other people as there is limiting who can drink alcohol or raising taxes on tobacco."

Maybe in Cuba or the former Soviet Union, but not in the United States. First, you are comparing "limits" with "bans." One product (alcohol) is being limited and another (giant sized soda pop) is being banned.

"Super-size McD's products disappeard af ther the documentary Super-Size Me came out..."

Maybe---but have you noticed that all of the other products have become much, much cheaper! Large soda pops in Japan have gone from 210yen to 100yen! At least that what the dancing bears on the TV say! The free market will always be 1 step ahead of the public sector because former relies on innovation for their survival.

"The US will still have HEAPS to do to counter in obesity problem."

Outside of muzzling lawyers who want to sue school districts when children play too hard, there is NOTHING the US can do to counter the obesity problem. Obesity is a personal problem that requires each individual to exercise more and eat less. As a person who recently lost 35kgs, I speak from some experience. And why did I suddenly start losing weight? Because my doctor told me I was a heart-attack waiting to happen and I decided I wanted to see my 5-year-old son graduate from college. And with that I am going to go for a very slow paced run to get some more weight off!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

you are comparing "limits" with "bans." One product (alcohol) is being limited and another (giant sized soda pop) is being banned.

No, one product (alcohol) is being limited and another product (soda) is being limited. If people really want to guzzle gallons of sugar-water all they have to do is buy multiple 16-oz containers.

I understand the argument about 'It's our choice, butt out', but when kids grow up seeing adults with their mitts wrapped around huge drinks they learn that that's 'normal' and expect to have the same themselves. Let them learn that 16 oz is plenty big enough and they may have a better chance of developing healthy eating and drinking habits.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"They need to stay out of other peoples lives and we need to start taking responsibility for our own."

Oh, yeah? And how's that been working out for you lately?

Damn it all to the high heavens, fat-arsed Americans have been hearing warnings ranging from the suble and gentle to direct in-your-face admonitions for their burgeoning waistlines for more than a decade, and they still haven't been able to find the motivation to exercise this "responsiblity" you wave around like a beacon.

Instead, they've piled more food into their gaping maws, exercised the least out of any previous generation since records were kept on the subject, and engaged in a sedentary, "Aw, what the heck, Super-size me" lifestyle that would put Ancient Rome at its most decadent to utter shame.

Meanwhile, illnesses related to obesisty continue to climb, including diabeties and the the entire gamut of circulatory sytem-related illnesses that result in cardiac arrests, costing you, me, and future generations untold billions in healthcare-related expenses.

Indeed, how's that exercise of personal responsibility been working out so far?

"The ban is neither morally justifiable nor is it statistically viable. All around useless plan created by a man that thinks he is the moral and intellectual superior to millions of other people."

Ah, I love it when even the slightest suggestion that you might indeed be grossly overweight brings out the moral outrage, capped off with the obligatory suggestions of tyranny.

Please. Save the "Oh, you think you're better than the rest of us" sophomoric whinging for someone less adept at spotting blatant blame-shifting.

One third of all Americans -- ONE FREAKIN' THIRD, mind you -- have demonstrated amply and with uncanny consistency that exercising personal responsibility , not to mention self-control when it comes to food intake and getting off of their lazy behinds, is not only unlikely, but also clearly impossible.

They've brought this on themselves.

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I love it when even the slightest suggestion that you might indeed be grossly overweight brings out the moral outrage, capped off with the obligatory suggestions of tyranny.

I'm not argueing that people are overweight. It's a simple fact and when people are overweight they have a lower quality of life and die at an earlier age. It's also a fact that this is well documented and everybody in the country knows it yet they decide to do it anyway. I don't see how another person's poor decision making process is my problem or government's responcibility.

Save the "Oh, you think you're better than the rest of us" sophomoric whinging for someone less adept at spotting blatant blame-shifting.

Next you're going to tell me that Bloomberg isn't one of the smugest individuals on the planet. I'll debate other points but there's not much room for debate on the ego of New Yorks mayor.

One third of all Americans -- ONE FREAKIN' THIRD, mind you -- have demonstrated amply and with uncanny consistency that exercising personal responsibility , not to mention self-control when it comes to food intake and getting off of their lazy behinds, is not only unlikely, but also clearly impossible.

Yes, and they'll have to live and die with the reprucussions of their actions. I still don't see why I should care. They have the evidence and data at their fat fingertips, if they elect to ignore it they can have fun with that.

They've brought this on themselves.

The fattness, yes. The unneeded invasion into the private purchasing activities of citizens? Not so much.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Cleo. Just got back from another calorie-busting run! The word "ban" is used at various points in the article so I think it's OK if I use it in my post. I agree with you 100% that people who want to drown in sugar water will just buy multiple bottles....which is why this "partial ban" is really a waste of time. And again I agree with you 100% that children need to be taught about good eating habits but public officials are not the ones to be doing that ; that's the family's responsibility.

@LFRAgain. Your use of the term "fat-arsed" suggests you are from Europe, most likely England. If you are British, let me first say that one of the fundamental differences between England and the US is freedom of choice. England has a large, overseeing state run aparatus which attempts to care for its citizens from cradle to grave. The US on the other hand had to make a choice between being "fair" or being "free." They chose the latter; I'm not saying one is superior to the other, I'm simply stating that freedom of choice (not freedom of responsibility, mind you) is the pillar of America. In fairness, I should disclose that I am a Socialist which is one of the reasons I prefer living in Japan. All people who support this ban need to understand the issue is not the soda pop; the issue is that a group of elites is making a choice that American's can make on their own. That action goes against the guarantees in their consitution.

On a more personal note, you seem to have a strong hatred of Americans, fat ones in particular and your post contains a lot of inacuracies that simply do not exist. No where in the article does any person contest the fact that America has an obesity problem. There are protests about the limits of choice but no one claims moral outrage or says "you think you're better than us" or any of the other claims you make. As for the obesity epidemic costing you, unless you live in America I don't see how it could but you bring up a good point in regards to the growing cost of social services that I would like to comment on. For decades, America's elites have preached about the difficulties of funding health care, social security, etc. but done nothing to fix these problems. I predict that in the near future, Americans will demand that these services be eliminated and their taxes be lowered therefore eliminating the burdern you claim exists and justifying bans on soda pop.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The word "ban" is used at various points in the article so I think it's OK if I use it in my post.

But the article specifies that what's being banned is the size, not the product. If you claim that soda is being banned, you're being dishonest.

I agree with you 100% that children need to be taught about good eating habits but public officials are not the ones to be doing that ; that's the family's responsibility.

And obviously the family hasn't been doing it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Cleo "And obviously the family hasn't been doing it."

So do you believe the government should step in and take that role over?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Cleo. "If you claim that soda is being banned then you are being dishonest."

You're right; soda is not being banned. The size is being banned. I still object to that ban on the basis that it's none of Mr. Bloomberg's business but your point is accurate!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just about time. This is actually a cultural change of America. Our DNA has been told that a "Big and More" is a way to go in life. It is not really so. We Americans are fat and ugly. We just have to admit that is true. Do not kid ourself, we need to something positive about our health. .The average person consumes in America is 150 pounds of sugar per year. This is crazy.

Petty soon airline industry will start charging us extra fee for excess body weight. This is just a beginning, and many changes are on the way.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

do you believe the government should step in and take that role over?

Do you believe the government should turn a blind eye when kids are being abused? beaten? starved? deprived of an education? If it's OK for the government to step in in those kinds of situations, why is it not OK when children are being fed obscene amounts of sugar that will have a lifelong detrimental effect on their health?

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http://itp.wceruw.org/Fall%2010%20seminar/ClassenEDUObesityIV.pdf

OBESITY AND EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT STUDIED BY LOYORA UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

This study shows a strong relationship between obesity and educational lebel. Higher the eduation people attained, the less obesity found among these groups.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you believe the government should turn a blind eye when kids are being abused? beaten? starved? deprived of an education?

But this bans adult from buying it as well. Even using these extreme examples of child abuse compared to the benign act of drinking pop it doesn't explain why adults, who are capable of making their own decisions based on their own motivations, should not be able to indulge in potentially self destructive behavior.

If it's OK for the government to step in in those kinds of situations, why is it not OK when children are being fed obscene amounts of sugar that will have a lifelong detrimental effect on their health?

Because if the kid isn't starving to death the parent is doing their job. If they want to stop being fat once they become an adult they can break down and detox. Maybe they can even blame their parents for their poor eating habits but with current media and information available on the internet they can't play the victum card. You have complete control over what you stick in your gob.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Too many fat ass people in the USA and it's not just disgusting to look at but $$$$$$!!! What I mean all the overweight people get sick!! Heart diseases etc...they are not happy and they also cause pain and suffering not only to themselves but also to their family and friends!! I should know, my younger brother is obese!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

this bans adult from buying it as well

No, they can buy and drink all the soda they like. The only difference is that they have to buy it in 16 oz containers if they're in a restaurant or sports stadium. 16 oz is roughly 450cc, which is still a huge drink - a pint. Any so-called adult, never mind kid, whining that they need to drink soda in larger quantities, needs a good sharp wake-up call. I cannot believe that people are complaining about this. A pint of sugar water.

the benign act of drinking pop

There is nothing benign about pouring huge quantities of liquid sugar down the throat.

if the kid isn't starving to death the parent is doing their job

If the kid is being fed enough sugar to produce obesity - and being taught that this is his right - then the parent is most emphatically not doing his job.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Cleo. "Do you believe the government should turn a blind eye......"

I guess we have to agree to disagree. You seem to want the government to take care of you from cradle to grave (are you British by any chance?) while I trust myself to take care of me and my family. I just think I can do a better job of that than some government official.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I trust myself to take care of me and my family.

Maybe you do, but it appears over a third of adult Americans cannot be trusted to look after themselves or their kids. (If they could, this kind of legislation would never appear, because it wouldn't be worth the manufacturers' while to make and market the larger sizes.)

If I lived in New York this legislation would not bother me one bit, because I would never in any case buy a bucket of sugar to have with a meal or while watching a sporting event, ever. I'd be more bothered about the real, day-to-day problem of living in NY.

And if public funds are being used to try and combat the effects of all those buckets of sugar, then I would be very pleased to have the government do something about it. If public funds are not being used to help the obese kids of incompetent parents....wow, what a cold society.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No, they can buy and drink all the soda they like. The only difference is that they have to buy it in 16 oz containers if they're in a restaurant or sports stadium.

And I find that to be so inane that I still can't wrap my head around it. They awknowledge that people are still going to drink large quantities of pop, they're just going to force them to buy multiple containers. Essentially they're using government resources, police officers, and health department employees time to make the world just a little more inconvenient.

If the kid is being fed enough sugar to produce obesity - and being taught that this is his right - then the parent is most emphatically not doing his job.

And this piece of legislation is helping that how? Not only does it not cover the most popular method of home consumption (the 2 liter bottle) but it doesn't include convenience stores or markets. It only hits restaurants, theatres, and concession stands. So instead of me buying a 32oz at a stand I can just go to a store and buy a 2 liter instead and it would be cheaper than buying 2 16oz drinks. Oh yes, allow me to bask in how great an impact this will have on our youth.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Question,

"It's a simple fact and when people are overweight they have a lower quality of life and die at an earlier age."

Therein lies the problem that Bloomberg is trying to address. It is also a simple fact that these people who are overweight incur a significant burden -- needlessly, I might add -- on the healthcare infrastructure of New York.

"Next you're going to tell me that Bloomberg isn't one of the smugest individuals on the planet."

Name me a politician who doesn't have a superiority complex. Comes with the territory, I'm sad to say. Bloomberg is no exception. But his ego has nothing to do with this. I know it, you know it, and everyone else does too. To bring it into the equation is little more than a desperate attempt to misdirect.

"No, no, the problem couldn't possibly be my spiralling corpulence. It's got to be Bloomberg's ego that's the issue here."

I don't think so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Samwatters,

"Your use of the term "fat-arsed" suggests you are from Europe, most likely England."

Nope. American, born and bred. I just used "arsed" because it makes it past the site's language filters for whatever reason and allows me to drive home my point with language that's more pointed and colorful than the more gentle and enabling, "weight challenged" nonsense that many Americans employ to allow them a guilt-free extra slice of life. Your assumption based on little more than a linguistic preference kind of blows the rest of your argument, but I'll address the few points that still apply.

"the issue is that a group of elites is making a choice that American's can make on their own. That action goes against the guarantees in their consitution.

I spent a considerable amount of time studying the constitution in high school and college, and I can't seem to recall any part guaranteeing "freedom of consumer choice." Where in the Bill of Rights was that contained? Or perhaps it was in an amendment I overlooked? Could you be so kind as to point it out for me?

Certainly, you make a valid point about Americans coming to expect it as a pillar of their existence in this capitalism-driven society. But a constitutionally protected right? (coff! coff!) You aren't being serious here, are you?

"you seem to have a strong hatred of Americans..."

No, I have strong disdain for anyone -- American or otherwise -- who engages in self-destructive behavior that affects not their family, children included, but also the whole of society, then has the audacity to claim the desire to kill oneself slowly is some sort of sacred right. It irritates me even more when such foks feign moral outrage that society refuses to play any further part in enabling this self-destruction.

"your post contains a lot of inacuracies that simply do not exist."

Obesity affects 1/3 of all Americans (National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2010: With Special Features on Death and Dying. Hyattsville, MD; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2011) Check.

Obesity has a significant economic impact on America. (Finkelstein, EA, Trogdon, JG, Cohen, JW, and Dietz, W. Annual medical spending attributable to obesity: Payer- and service-specific estimates. Health Affairs 2009; 28(5): w822-w831). Check.

"no one claims moral outrage or says 'you think you're better than us'". (JT Poster TheQuestion, Sep. 14, 2012 - 10:03PM JST) Check.

So, uhh... What have you got?

"I predict that in the near future, Americans will demand that these services be eliminated and their taxes be lowered therefore eliminating the burdern you claim exists and justifying bans on soda pop."

Judging by the vast support Americans have lent President Obama's Affordable Healthcare Act, I would strongly recommend you avoid following any career path that sees sufficient compensation for your prognostication skills.

Let's put this all in a perspective that should -- presuming upon a certain degree of sanity and reasonableness -- should make it easy to understand why I can do little but laugh at the feeble struggle of overweight New Yorkers demanding their 64-oz. belly bombs.

It's a ban on a size, not a beverage. This isn't Prohibition all over again. It's the simple application of sensibility. Want another 16-ouncer? Just buy it, as is your god-given choice and (coff!) right.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Therein lies the problem that Bloomberg is trying to address. It is also a simple fact that these people who are overweight incur a significant burden -- needlessly, I might add -- on the healthcare infrastructure of New York.

Then cut them from it. I'm totally against any ferderal or state run healthcare system but if they are going to have one it should come with draconian requirements about fitness and weight along with massive penalties and jail time for those that refuse the state mandated diet and exercise plan.

Name me a politician who doesn't have a superiority complex. Comes with the territory, I'm sad to say. Bloomberg is no exception. But his ego has nothing to do with this. I know it, you know it, and everyone else does too. To bring it into the equation is little more than a desperate attempt to misdirect.

Where's the misdirect? I agreed with you. I just happen to think that Bloomberg is an elite among political blowhards. Obesity is a massive health risk and those that suffer from the condition don't do so hot, but where I differ from so many people is that I feel that people should be 100% responcible for their own actions.

I don't see it as morally justifiable to make a decision for another person or impose a regulation on a victimless action. Booze it up, find a call girl, smoke a joint, do some rock, gamble, or drink all the pop you like. As long as you aren't physically harming anybody else in the process I couldn't care less what another person does to themself, they should respect their bodies but if they don't I really can't force them.

I could almost, almost , entertain the idea of limiting access to youth's of some products if thats all this law was targeting but because it includes independant adult citizens I cannot support it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Isn't limiting to 16oz kind of defeated out the door when these same restaurants offer unlimited refills?

Plus you can get around the size limit by buying the larger sizes at grocery stores.

In order for this to have the desired effect they would have to limit the size to 16oz at all places that sell soda/pop, make it illegal to offer free refills and then raise the tax to the point that it is unaffordable to the average person to buy pop/soda at 16oz or larger.

I'm surprised that alcoholic drinks are excluded considering the problems that drunk people cause in public.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Isn't limiting to 16oz kind of defeated out the door when these same restaurants offer unlimited refills?

No, it's psychological. Studies have shown that when people are allowed to eat as much as they want of an item (say, sandwiches), overweight people will eat more when the sandwiches are out on the table than if they have to fetch them from the fridge, while naturally non-overweight people tend to eat the same amount (enough to cover their hunger) whether the sandwiches are on the table or in the fridge.

To take another example, people who eat Weetabix for breakfast eat either one, or two. (Maybe three of four, if they're lardarses). People very, very rarely break a Weetabix in half to match their appetite. They eat one, or they eat two, even if what they need is only a half, or one and a half.

So people who order a 16oz bucket of sugar are likely to stay satisfied with it, while if they order the larger bucket in the first place they will tend to drink it all whether they actually want it or not. (No one needs a quart of sugar with their meal).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@LFRAgain. For the record, I said that your use of the term "arse" suggests that you are from Europe. "Suggest" and "assume" are not the same. I also used the phrase "if you are British.." as both an attempt at courtesy and trying not to be presumptuous because I do not "assume" to know anything.

As for your comments about the Constitution, no where in my post did I say that US citizens have a consitutional right to consumer choice. I said that the Constitution guarantees freedoms to prevent elites from making daily decisions for its citizens. "Congress shall not regulate commerce" is one example. Granted, the Constitution does not mention soda pop explicitly so you may have a point.

Your comments about "weight-challenged" people who are trying to avoid guilt were just plain mean. I have never met any obese person from any country who didn't feel immense shame and guilt for being they way they were.

And where is this "outrage" you speak of? People disagreeing with government officials is "outrage"? Nothing has been broken, no one has been killed...there have been a few protests but nothing that could reasonably be defined as "outrage." I know Freedom of Speech is allowed in the Constitution!

Finally, we agree on something; if I want another 16-ouncer I will buy one. Maybe two! But that's not the point. The point is most Americans do not feel the need to have government officials making these decision for them. Probably for two reaons; 1) Americans like freedom and 2) most public officials are not as competent as they would have us believe. You wrote that a vast number of citizens support President Obama's health care initiative and I should not pursue a career in something because of my procastination skills or something might influence my compensation or.... this sentence in addition to assuming I am a procrastinator was also incoherent...but we'll soon find out how much America trusts the government in their lives as an election is just around the corner. History has shown us that most big government presidents do not see a second term and big US government programs don't perform nearly as well as they are adveritised. Now, before you call me right-winger, remember that I am a Socialist who loves Japan national health care system.

Either way, like I said to Cleo (who was polite enough to debate me without getting nasty), we can agree to disagree.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The point is most Americans do not feel the need to have government officials making these decision for them. Probably for two reaons; 1) Americans like freedom

....It amazes me how the Americans here vociferously demand their 'freedom' over a rather lame piece of legislation that doesn't actually stop them doing whatever they want to do (you could always bring your own slop bucket from home to pour multiple drinks into), yet say nothing about the decision made by the government to allow the food manufacturers to slip unlabelled GMOs into their shopping baskets. Where is the outrage over that compromising of precious freedoms? You demand the 'freedom' to drink buckets of sugar (which of course none of you are going to drink, because you can be trusted to take care of yourself and your family, but not a whimper over the lack of basic freedom to choose what goes into your food.

"Congress shall not regulate commerce" may be a freedom for the food business, but it's a denial of freedom for the consumer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Cleo. "It amazes me how American here vociferously demand 'their freedom'...."

I'll honestly try to help you understand why a lame piece of legislation gets such pushback. 1) Legislation is law which can be enforced. 2) Legislation set a precendent. Maybe today it's soda pop (or its size), tomorrow it will be legislation forcing AMericans to exercise so many hours a week. Then the next day it will be a law demanding every person has a BMI of a certain number. If you want an example of this kind of "mission creep," look at airport security. 3.) Either way, we (tax payers) have to pay for this legislation. If you think these government officials got together and created this legislation for fee and out of the goodness of their heart, you're wrong. These committees are expensive and they often become permanent departments in government, further draining our coffers and..well... no, thanks.

As far as your claim regarding GMO's is concerned, I cannot answer intelligently because I was aware that GMO's were being put into products without our knowledge. But I do know that it is federal law that all ingredients must be listed on the container. And if that is not the case; it only proves my point that the government officials you seem to trust to so much are not as compentent as you seem to believe.

Let me run the risk of getting screened by the moderators for being off topic in the hopes of helping you understand why a ban on almost anything gets a negative response from Americans. What if the NY government decided to ban abortions only to cases in which the life of the mother on the grounds that abortions as birthcontrol often have severe psychological consequences for the mother (not to mention severe physical consequences for the fetus). Of how about no access to birth control for people under the age of 18 as available birth control might actually encourage out-of-wedlock sexual activity? Now allow me to play Devil's Advocate and say this is acceptable (which I don't believe because I will never have to walk in a woman's shoes so I am not qualified to make those broad decisions) because if you really want an abortion or birth control you can always head down to Massachussetts or hope over the border to Canada?

Now do you get it?

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@Cleo. Sorry, it's late. I should have written "...because I was NOT aware that GMOS's were being put into...."

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samwatters

If regulating the size of the bucket you can drink refined sugar out of has you worried about abortions and the banning of birth control, why does the GMO issue - much, much more important, invasive and and a real violation of freedom - elicit nothing more than a mild 'I didn't know'? This is what i don't understand. The really bad infringements of your freedom are the ones you don't even know about, and the ones you are led to believe are freedoms in themselves - like the freedom of Monsanto et al to put Frankenfoods in the shops, mixed in with regular food, and not even tell you about it. The federal law that all ingredients must be listed does not demand that you be notified of GMO - the label will say merely 'soya beans', not 'beans genetically modified to allow the farmer to swamp his fields in toxic herbicide'; merely 'corn', not 'corn modified to contain an insecticide-producing gene that 's still there when people eat it'. The freedom of the manufacturers to offload this stuff trumps, according to the big business interests that fund your government, your freedom to know it's even there.

Why is that gross violation of the basic freedom to know what you're eating not much more of an issue than the size of a cup which is still pretty obscenely large and that you do at least know about? (You only have to look at it). If I can borrow your abortion analogy, the GMO issue isn't simply akin to not letting people have abortions, it's akin to not letting them even know they're having unsafe sex with multiple, promiscuous partners.

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@Cleo "Why does the GMO issue elicit nothing more than a mild, "I don't know?"

Because, I don't know and I try to avoid making flammatory statements about issues I am not well versed in. I honestly was not aware of the issue. Maybe if you organize some people and make a demonstration (I'm already studying it!) you can increase awareness.

And if you believe that labelling GMO'S is that important, take the democratic steps afforded to you in the Constitution and demand that they be, Organize demonstartions, organize write ins, list the companies that do add the GMO's and name/shame them, etc. In other words, do what the people on my side of the soda pop issue have been doing; get angry and get moving! When I learn more about the GMO issue, I would like to work with you on it!

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Back on topic please.

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samwatters, your constitution affords me no democratic steps at all, not being American. Thankfully I live in a country where GMOs are an issue, people are aware, and products are labelled 'Does not contain GMO', so I do have the freedom to make the choices I want to make. Unlike the NYers who are getting so angry about whether their sugar drinks come in large, extra-large, super-large or ultra-super-duper-large sizes. Proper labelling (not only of GMOs) - giving you the freedom to make an informed choice - is way, way more important. I agree that having government trying to regulate how much you eat or drink is demeaning and insulting (or would be if you actually needed someone to tell you that guzzling gallons of sugar was bad for you), but if you're eating and drinking sensibly in the first place, I don't see how it can affect you. Sneaking stuff into your shopping basket that you don't know about, on the other hand, is not only insulting but a gross violation of your freedom.

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That would be ideal, but clearly it never has, and never will work, and the people who are obese to the point of serious medical illness will turn around and sue the companies that 'made them that way', not to mention the burden they put on the health system. People SHOULD take responsibility for themselves, but they don't. Plain and simple. There is absolutely no need for drinks that big and with that much sugar.

Yeah, but come on Smith - do you think it's going to stop at sodas? What's next - smaller twinkies?? Making light of course, but in truth do you really want the government telling you that you cannot order a 'super-sized' soda? Yes, of course I realize the implications - and cost - of American obesity. But I don't want the government legislating that sort of nonsense. But hey, what the hell? It's only soda - right? It starts small - it always does.

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