Coke, Pepsi shrug off New York soda ban
The decision to limit soda serving sizes will almost certainly be litigated, which will delay its enactment for months, it not years.
The decision by the city's health board to enact Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to limit soda serving sizes will almost certainly be litigated, which will delay its enactment for months, if not years. Such a regulation will be an enormous burden on businesses and will be extremely costly and difficult to enforce. What's to stop someone from buying two 16-ounce sodas instead of one 32 ouncer? Moreover, it will do little to make fat New Yorkers thin since a vast majority of Big Apple residents think it's a bad idea.
Shares of the beverage companies barely budged on the news, indicating that Wall Street may think this issue will blow over. That is a mistake. In these tight fiscal times, soda companies are too tempting a target because they are well-heeled and their product has almost no nutritionally redeeming qualities.
"I hope that New York's action emboldens other health departments and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to limit serving sizes and use other measures to reduce consumption," said Michael Jacobson, head of the Center for Science and the Public Interest, a fierce critic of the soda industry, in a statement.
Blaming soda in the war on obesity takes a very simple answer to a complex problem. People become overweight and stay that way for a variety of social, cultural, and in some cases medical reasons. Singling out one cause, such as drinking soda, is bad policy and even worse science.
For one thing, per-capita consumption of carbonated beverages has been on the decline for years. It also gives other beverage makers a pass. Take the Starbucks (SBUX) Caramel Macchiato, which in its grande size packs a whopping 240 calories -- 60 from fat -- more than double the calories of a can of regular soda. While milk and orange juice have some nutritional value, unlike soda, the argument that can be made that they bear some responsibility for America's expanding waist lines. Let's not forget diet soda. There is considerable evidence that it's not great for you either. There is even evidence linking diet soda consumption with obesity, a condition with which I am well acquainted.
It's nobody's fault but mine that I am overweight. Efforts such as Bloomberg's smack of the nanny state at its worst. Since when does government to decide what I eat and when I eat it? Adults need to take responsibility for what goes in our mouths.
--Jonathan Berr is long Coca-Cola. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr
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I think Coke should offer a product called Coke 16/24. You would get all the sugar and caffeine of a 24 ounce soda in only 16 ounces. They could even dub it the Bloomberg formula.
It used to be no booze, that did not work, it went underground then the smoking police in 1964, people switched to cigars, then the greece police, every thing went no fat calories etc. The mayor needs to be the mayor and stay out of the food business. Does he want to limit drink sizes because he is fat,or some he feels it wouild help? . . It is just like the obesity police and pickiing on children. Go to any school, dr office, hospital and they set the example and wonder why the nation is getting bigger. All this education, even TV shows telling everybody how not to be fat and eat and drink. My dad, bless his soul, used to tell me don't do as I do, just do whatI I say. That really works!!!!
If you want to drink Cokes to eat your liver away(as a friend of mine did) and rot our your teeth, and damage your immune at the cellular level, then are you willing to give up govt subsidized healthcare and prescription drugs? Because by doing whatever you want to with your own body sounds fine, then you alone should bear the burden of paying for it when you crap out your body early and it breaks down with heart disease or cancer (both of which are primarily nutrition issues rather than big bad mystery diseases).
By the way, if you don't like the sound of that...its called personal responsibility...then wait until you have full blown Govt sponsored Obamba-care...or whatever name in will go by. If the govt owns it...then they have a right to tell you how to live, what to eat, and what to drink. If you never thought of that before, then start thinking right now.
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