Now that the New York City Board of Health has ratified Mayor Bloomberg's plan to ban sugar-sweetened beverages (well, some such beverages, really) larger than 16 oz., we should be able to answer the question: Is this a big deal?
"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.
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.
Rather than alienate Americans from the freedom, perhaps the Bloomberg administration might attempt to work with the federal government and other groups to change the farm subsidy programs to reflect healthier eating habits.
If we want to get serious about fighting obesity, public health researchers would like us to understand, we need to look at the social dynamics that drive our bad health behaviors. And the most powerful driver of that unhealthy behavior? That would be inequality.
Given the health consequences and enormous cost of our country's obesity epidemic, it is time to return eating less. And banning the large sizes of unhealthy sugar-sweetened beverages is a good place to begin.