If we want to reverse the obesity epidemic -- as we must -- then the policies we choose must be more nuanced and more positive. Copying the heavy-handed war on tobacco, as Mayor Bloomberg is doing with his war on soda, will fail.
I don't believe in pushing my choices on anyone, be it what to eat, who to vote for or what to wear. Shouting at people doesn't work. True, deep, integrated change is only possible when we're ready for it.
I believe that it's going to take all of us -- business, government, society, nonprofits, individuals -- working together to solve our obesity challenge. We need more holistic programs, not a narrowly focused, short-sighted ban that won't work.
If nothing else, such a ban forces the consumer to stand up to get a refill, which may allow time for the individual to exercise some self-control as well as actually get a moment or two of physical exercise.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) believes that the health risks of drinking soda should be viewed by U.S. health officials in the same way that they viewed the health risks of using tobacco in the 1960s.
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.
The mayor of New York City is not banning the sale of soda. Nor is he telling consumers that they can't drink soda. Rather, he is calling attention to how much should be considered a reasonable amount to drink at a time.
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.