Given that nine states have attempted to pass bills to try to improve SNAP, (all failed thanks to a combined lobbying effort by the food industry and anti-hunger groups, which also stopped New York City's high-profile attempt) why not give the idea a chance?
Although we stand with Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to support New Yorkers in making healthy food choices, and recognize the city's outrageous rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, we remain deeply concerned about the soda ban proposal.
Last week, a so-called "grassroots" coalition, New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, emerged to oppose the mayor's measure. But an investigation by the Republic Report found that the coalition is entirely the creation of the American Beverage Association.
"My Plate! The New Food Musical Program," an educational production promoting healthy living that Helen Butleroff-Leahy, a former Rockette, has put on 47 times in New York City schools since she first staged it in 2005.
Someday, you will be able to tell your grandchildren that in the olden days, you could go to a special store where you could buy 64 ounces of soda in one single container. Their eyes will bulge and their jaws will drop.
Would one describe the policy as a ban or a limit? Would one include that the larger beverage would be available at certain locales but not others (i.e., a ban at certain locales)? Would you include 16-plus ounces in the question, or describe it simply as large?
You have to do your research to know which ingredients are good and which will make you sick. Sugar and chemical sweeteners don't have any redeeming benefits for your body. And you have to be the advocate for your body and its overall health.
While there is no doubt that New Yorkers, like the rest of the U.S. population, are drinking and eating too many highly caloric foods, there is a more serious health concern coming our way that doesn't seem to bother Mayor Bloomberg.
The NYC Mayor's career to date confirms that he is indeed a capitalist, and if we look one layer deeper at the sweetened beverage issue, it might well be that Bloomberg is helping to fight the "Nanny State" through this progressive effort.
We can make health a prevailing cultural meme by replacing our unconscious adaptations with conscious choices. It's true, we are adapted to like sweet. But we are also adapted to be terrestrial -- yet can learn to swim, and to hold our breath under water.
My rebuttal to all the arguments against promoting less sugary drinks is that it's time for a bigger helping of health justice. We need to create an environment where living healthy is the default choice.