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What do the Nerds think about the soda ban?


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I think instead of banning it, adding a "sin tax" might've been appropriate. Like with cigarettes. That won't kill the problem, but it might put some brakes on it, while putting a small dent in the cost to society.

Personally, I can't imagine consuming such a big bucket of soda, and I am slightly sickened by the idea. But then, I am also sickened by a whiff of cigarette smoke, and I think the idea of lighting something on fire and sticking it in your mouth has to be one of humanity's stupider ideas. That doesn't mean I would care to outlaw it. In my view adults should be free to poison themselves. Unfortunately, with our mockery of a national health care system, there is this problem: people who poison themselves ultimately cost everybody money. But until we get single payer healthcare, that is something we may have to live with.

I think it's funny that beverages which are mainly milk got an exception, though. What about chocolate milk and milkshakes?

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There are more obese people than starving people at the moment.

Technically you are correct (if you rely on the statistics):

According to the world health organization, there were 1,200 million people who are obese.

According to the UN, there are 925 million people who do not get enough to eat in the world.

but it's pretty close and obesity is a problem of the wealthy (relatively speaking) and hunger is a problem for the poor in the world. also consider the harrowing hunger and starvation statistics in the link and consider whether you would want to excacerbate their plight to make it more costly for overweight people to control their self-inflicted condition with only marginal effectiveness.

those numbers also each comprise about 15% of the world's population...

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How about removing subsidies on corn (and, by extension, HFCS) rather than limit the quantity of soda a person can purchase? That would allow the -actual- cost of the product to be reflected in the purchase price, so instead of $1.99 (or however much a 5-zillion oz soda costs) it would likely be much more expensive and disincentivize purchasing.

Now THAT makes sense. AND it goes along with less gov't intervention (since the subsidy comes from the gov't) instead of more gov't control.

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1) Terrible thing to do from a personal freedom POV.

2) No argument that less soda is the right idea for health.

3) Those who want a 32 oz soda will just buy 2 16 oz sodas.

At most FastFood restaurants, you can refill as many times as you want.

4) Doesn't even address one of the major contributors:

"Only establishments that receive inspection grades from the health department, including movie theaters and stadium concession stands, will be subject to the rules. Convenience stores, including 7-Eleven and its king-size Big Gulp drinks, would be exempt, along with vending machines and some newsstands."

A Big Gulp can be 32, 48 or 64 ozs.

5) It's hypocrisy. Bloomberg and most with his social ideology want no limits on any kind of sex with anybody in any way you want (which also has been proven to be dangerous to the public health - STDs), but they demand that you eat and drink ONLY what they deem to be safe and healthy. Ban trans-fats and large sodas, but is sex without a condom illegal? That has a HIGH public health cost (STDs, abortion, adoption).

6) The US now has a very serious problem with a lack of personal responsibility. If people actually took the time to do what is right for themselves, there wouldn't be a market for sodas, cigarettes, trans-fat foods, etc. and the gov't wouldn't have a need to regulate. (my personal opinion is that many politicians are politicians because they like to control people and will always find something to regulate in order to show how much power they have).

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But is sex without a condom illegal?

Uhh, and how would you increase the population if this law were to be implemented?

(Not really on topic, I know.)

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1) Terrible thing to do from a personal freedom POV.

2) No argument that less soda is the right idea for health.

3) Those who want a 32 oz soda will just buy 2 16 oz sodas.

At most FastFood restaurants, you can refill as many times as you want.

4) Doesn't even address one of the major contributors:

"Only establishments that receive inspection grades from the health department, including movie theaters and stadium concession stands, will be subject to the rules. Convenience stores, including 7-Eleven and its king-size Big Gulp drinks, would be exempt, along with vending machines and some newsstands."

A Big Gulp can be 32, 48 or 64 ozs.

5) It's hypocrisy. Bloomberg and most with his social ideology want no limits on any kind of sex with anybody in any way you want (which also has been proven to be dangerous to the public health - STDs), but they demand that you eat and drink ONLY what they deem to be safe and healthy. Ban trans-fats and large sodas, but is sex without a condom illegal? That has a HIGH public health cost (STDs, abortion, adoption).

6) The US now has a very serious problem with a lack of personal responsibility. If people actually took the time to do what is right for themselves, there wouldn't be a market for sodas, cigarettes, trans-fat foods, etc. and the gov't wouldn't have a need to regulate. (my personal opinion is that many politicians are politicians because they like to control people and will always find something to regulate in order to show how much power they have).

6) Most people become politicians because there is money to make. Specialy in a system that forces politicians to raise money corruption is a big problem.

5) Banning soda (what hasn't happened) because you think it is poison is something compleatly different than forbidding sex because there can be a virus. You can still drink soda, it is not gone you just have to get up and refill more often.

But than there are some things that we forbid. Heroin, Cocaine and other drugs. Nobody has a problem with that. So why big outrage when the same is done to other drugs?

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i guess it all depends of how you interpret what "accutely unhealthy" is...

http://www.cdc.gov/features/TobaccoControlData/

Smoking costs Americans in dollars and lives

All Americans—smokers and nonsmokers—pay the price for smoking. Smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing 443,000—or nearly 1 of every 5—deaths annually. These include 46,000 heart attack deaths and 3,400 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke.

Smoking is also a major contributor to many chronic diseases that are driving up the nation's health care costs. Each year, diseases caused by cigarette smoking result in $96 Billion in health care costs, much of which is paid by taxpayers through publicly-funded health programs.

And the all americans part is the problem. You want to smoke..fine. no healthcare coverage for any of the obvious related diseses, no disability,etc. Same for motorcycle helmet laws. Ride without a helmet, taxpayers ain't picking up the tab when you slide down the road. Stop transferring responsibility from the individual (and their relatives/heirs) to the rest of the population.

We've moved to many of the effects of bad decisions to the "rest of us".

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And the all americans part is the problem. You want to smoke..fine. no healthcare coverage for any of the obvious related diseses, no disability,etc. Same for motorcycle helmet laws. Ride without a helmet, taxpayers ain't picking up the tab when you slide down the road. Stop transferring responsibility from the individual (and their relatives/heirs) to the rest of the population.

We've moved to many of the effects of bad decisions to the "rest of us".

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It is the responsibility of the strong to take care for the weak. And the stupid are weak. By the way healthy people are the real problem for society. Fat smoling couch potatoes die before they get the real expensive deseases. So actualy if we only want to save money, make smokes cheaper get people to eat more sugar and just let them die when they turn 60.

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Controls and limitations are not hypocrisy: you already have loads of them in your life. Try driving on the left and see how much freedom you have. So ixnay on the absolutes. There are no absolutes outside of fiction.

As for stupid and weak, watch out, or you'll be using "sheeple" and you're wrong: type-2 diabetes is heinously expensive over a lifetime.

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i think this thread has the potential to become an ideological and political

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we can just agree to disagree on things right...?

also... did you know that there's a site called ratemyvomit.com?

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As for stupid and weak, watch out, or you'll be using "sheeple" and you're wrong: type-2 diabetes is heinously expensive over a lifetime.

There was a recent study done that compared the cost of diabetes lungcancer and other diseases linked to obesity and smoking to the costs for diseases of age. And Alzheimers, dementia, a broken hip and so on and so on did beat the self induced. The cost for obesity smoking and co explode early, but then stop, getting someone to his 90est birthday with serios problems is much more costy.

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Smokers cost 220 000€

Obese 250 000€

and the healthy people 281 000€

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[Disclaimer - I'm from the UK, don't know about that particular issue other than the link in the OP. It's not my country, not my culture, not my business]

However.....

I think when considering issues of this kind there are two levels that need to be considered.

1. Individual/personal health

I'm overweight. I'm significantly less overweight than I used to be, and in time I won't be overweight at all. I blame no-one else for me ending up overweight, as I could have done something about it long ago - as I'm proving now. If I chose to drink buckets of diluted sugar, that's my fault. However....

2. Society/public health

The level of society and the general public needs to be considered too. The average and the totality of all human and human behaviour and social factors. Without considering these factors and their influence, we struggle to explain why there's an obesity problem (in the UK and the US) - unless we think that people have somehow got more greedy and more lazy within a generation. Now that's possible, but it doesn't seem likely. So there has to be something else going on. And I think it's things like portion size and the availability and type of food that's produced and marketed. It's also the way that certain jobs lead to sedentary lifestyles, the design of cities, the availability of exercise and sports facilities. What seems normal and reasonable in terms of choice of diet and amount of consumption. All these factors surround us, and they effect and influence (but not control) our ability to live a healthy lifestyle. On an individual level, reaching for these excuses won't work, but it's a serious mistake to rule them out when considering matters of public health policy.

I'd say that limiting portion sizes could be effective. Sure, it won't stop people ordering two, or going for refills, or going elsewhere, or whatever. But there's a degree of greater public shame in ordering two drinks for yourself, rather than a single large one. Personally, I remember finishing large drinks (not bucket sized) because I'd paid for it therefore I was going to finish it, rather than because I still wanted it. (Always finishing your food is something that's deeply culturally engrained in the UK for reasons I won't go into here, but which almost certainly don't apply elsewhere). If I'd had a smaller drink and an option of a refill, I wouldn't have had a refill because I didn't want one. Other factors at play are a belief that if something is available, it must be okay, otherwise someone would have stopped it. It's naive, but it's there. I've also read research linking portion size (and buying the largest on offer) with a demonstration of social status - you buy the largest available as a sign that you can afford it, that you're worth it, and that you can handle it. Rinse and repeat over a whole population, and small changes could make a big difference overall. Not to each person, perhaps, but to the average, overall.

Whether the benefits warrant government intervention is another question, and one that's so ideologically fraught I'm not going to touch it, other than to tentatively note that this seems to me to be an issue of corporate freedom - the freedom of corporations to sell stuff - rather than individual freedom. We can still drink as much as we like, it's just that certain corporations can't sell it to us all in one go. But as I said in my disclaimer.... it's none of my business. But if you don't want government regulation, might a voluntary code work? Could companies be persuaded of the PR benefits of mutually agreeing not to sell drink by the bucket any more?

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Well, I think the intention is good, but it won't help at all. Unless it was changed somehow (don't see how that'd happen), people can just buy 2 x 14 oz drinks if the limit is 15 oz, and so on.

It won't actually do anything. And some stores are exempted from the soda ban, aren't they? Pointless.

(I've read about this before, but my connection is slow today so I didn't bother reading the link you provided, sorry if this is all mentioned in it)

Plus a decision like this... well; where's the limit for what a government can decide? The intention is good, but it's not something that they should decide, and it's not something they ever will be able to decide.

I think this sums up my thoughts pretty well. Good intention, but not the right way go about improving the diets of our nation.

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Am I the only one who's imagining that this goes the way of Prohibition?

Think about it: people with drink containers hidden in coats, backpacks. A high-speed chase of a police car following an old rickety car stuffed full of 2 liter bottles. Secret "speakeasies" where you can get mega cups, as long as you're not seen leaving with them. Creepy guys near public transportation saying they might know where you can get the "sweet stuff" if you've got a little scratch.

Maybe people will start dressing in 1920s style again. People other than hipsters, I mean.

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I think it is terrible. I understand that they have good intentions but it is an overstep of governmental powers to limit the size of a drink. If I want to drink a 64oz big gulp of sugary beverage, I should be able to.

This^^

Me having a 64 oz sugar filled beverage has no bad effects on anyone around me and therefor should not be regulated. If I want to kill myself with sugar filled nummyness then that is my business. I think the only reason any beverages/food/etc. should be restricted/regulated for consumption is if by consuming them you can endanger others i.e. alcohol.

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Am I the only one who's imagining that this goes the way of Prohibition?

Think about it: people with drink containers hidden in coats, backpacks. A high-speed chase of a police car following an old rickety car stuffed full of 2 liter bottles. Secret "speakeasies" where you can get mega cups, as long as you're not seen leaving with them. Creepy guys near public transportation saying they might know where you can get the "sweet stuff" if you've got a little scratch.

Maybe people will start dressing in 1920s style again. People other than hipsters, I mean.

Remember that the fashionable body type back in the 20's was rail-thin.

And they'd have to completely ban soda syrup for the smuggling to get any worse than having 2-liters in a backpack.

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This^^

Me having a 64 oz sugar filled beverage has no bad effects on anyone around me and therefor should not be regulated. If I want to kill myself with sugar filled nummyness then that is my business. I think the only reason any beverages/food/etc. should be restricted/regulated for consumption is if by consuming them you can endanger others i.e. alcohol.

since health conditions that are preventable consume public health resources, this isn't exactly true... in the aggregate anyway... perhaps not for you specifically.

say you get diabetes from drinking all the 64oz sodas you want. if you use any gov't subsidized resource, you are using public health resources. if you have insurance, you are consuming a socialized resource...

even if you don't use any public health or private insurance resources... which would be difficult to do in modern society... even having a preventable condition treated using only private resources means that you are consuming a scarce resource that did not have to be provided (because it is preventable). the resources used to treat you could have been used for more productive endeavors...

in the end you could argue that in treating any preventable condition, you are taking away something that could have used for a more productive purpose.

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As an outsider looking in, it could be the begining of a culture change, and probably thats what the Mr Bloomberg is hoping for, to get the ball rolling. While it is not a perfect piece of legislation/law, it is a start.

Example: Our government over the past 20+ years has succesfully changed the populace's mindset about smoking, firstly by restricting advertising, then with further health awareness campaigns, now they are trying to install plain packaging on all packets. (And yes i understand that smoking and fizzy drink are two completely seperate products)

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last time i checked, being fat or unhealthy was not a crime. governments can sod off with all this coddling, nanny-state hogwash. that includes adding taxes to 'unhealthy' foods. now if you want to talk about how the healthcare system should treat/charge obese people, or people who smoke, or whatever, that's a different story. you can't have it both ways; you can't tell the government to go screw themselves with health legislation then expect them to pick up the hospital bills. so leave the drinks on the menu, but change the way the medical system works.

we even kill out old grains that could be used as seed the next year because we mutate it so it becomes impotent. The world is starving because it is good business.

Now this is something that should be legislated against. but then again thats actually a patent law issue (GM 'suicide' grains), and i take issue to a whole lot of patent law.

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so leave the drinks on the menu, but change the way the medical system works.

that's well and good in principle until you realize that most people cannot afford the real cost of health care. most people are cavalier about this issue until they are faced with a procedure they cannot afford on their own and death. if all people were perfectly informed about preventable conditions, this argument would play better, but say an 11-year old who starts smoking doesn't really have a grasp of the consequences of their actions... and cigs are addictive...

when it comes to preventible conditions, it is much more cost effective to prevent diabetes and lung cancer than to treat the disease after is onset... :)

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it is much more cost effective to prevent diabetes and lung cancer

depending, again, on the method used to 'prevent'. if said method involved government bans on legal goods, services, or practices, then id say the cost is far higher.

but that's only looking at a healthcare system that refuses to help 'avoidable' illness. if you wanted to put in a 'tax', this is where id put it; so medical bills are higher for people with type 2 diabetes, smoking-related illness, etc. in australia we have medicare, so you could easily just limit the % reduction medicare offers for people with preventable illness. you could probably also extend that out to things like skin cancer though, so everything is a slippery slope i suppose.

at the end of the day, there needs to be a balance between what the government provides, and what the government can deny. Personally, im an advocate for more civil liberty, and that means being prepared to pay the price of independence. this includes paying taxes, contributing to the society that you live in, and being socially and personally responsible for your actions.

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First, Bloomberg is an over-reaching nutcase that needs to get thrown out on his head. Second, I'm glad to see that New York has solved all the important issues like crime, corruption, the homeless, etc. that they can now concentrate peoples diet. Third, I'm afraid to see what he targets next.

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i think bloomberg implemented the ban, not to over-reach for the sake of a bloodthirsty power grab, nor to curb unnecessarily anyone's civil liberties, but because the leading public health advisors probably advised him that when it comes to preventable conditions like obesity and related diseases like diabetes and heart disease, prevention is a much more cost-effective policy option than the outlay for treating these conditions and diseases after their onset. bloomberg's a self-made billionaire (worth $22 billion) and he's no fool. he simply saw the cost-benefit analysis and concluded that the city of NY would exert its health care policy more effectively preventing preventable diseases rather than treating those diseases after their onset.

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