Bloomberg’s soda grab: reactions

The NYC mayor’s plan to limit sizes of sweetened drinks meets with a hail of dead cats from commentators:

  • “Bloomberg is right when he says there will still be lots of opportunities for New Yorkers to consume large quantities of high-calorie drinks, which means he does not even have a sound paternalistic justification for his meddling. … it is patently absurd for Bloomberg to claim he is not limiting freedom when he uses force to stop people from doing something that violate no one’s rights.” [Jacob Sullum]
  • “Trans-fats –- we were told by New York City Mayor Bloomberg –- are an exceptional case because even the smallest intake hurts the human body. Ditto, it would seem, of salt and alcohol. But we all knew he wouldn’t stop there. And he didn’t.” [Stephen Richer, WLF]
  • “It’s well known, for example, that the heaviest consumers of sugary drinks are adolescent males — who also tend to be the thinnest and most active members of the population. (‘Unfortunately, increasing sugar consumption [is] unlikely to make anyone thinner, younger—or male,’ [researcher Adam] Drenowski notes.)” [“Bloomberg’s Attack On Big Soda Lacks One Thing: Scientific Evidence,” Daniel Fisher, Forbes]
  • “[Bloomberg’s] sarcasm about the inconvenience of buying two sodas is ironic, since that inconvenience is one thing that he’s counting on to drive the success of his plan.” [Mark White, Economics and Ethics]
  • “I’m afraid this proposal is targeted more at class than obesity.” — Cornell economist David Just, quoted on NPR.
  • “And speaking of the mayor’s commitment to freedom, who exactly is going to impose this sweeping ban? Not the people, in a referendum. Not a constitutional convention. Not even the city council. This ‘far-reaching ban,’ as the Times describes it, will be imposed on 8 million free citizens of New York by the city’s unelected Board of Health, all of whose members are appointed by . . . the mayor.” [David Boaz, Cato]
  • And the inevitable Twitter hashtag, #BloombergMovieTitles: The Appropriately Sized Lebowski, I Know What You Ate Last Summer, The Taking of Pepsi One Two Three, There Will Be Blood Sugar Tests, Diet! Diet! My Darling, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Flan, Sixteen Carrots, No Country for Old Menus, and All That Bloomberg Allows (h/t @JoshGreenman, @bethanyshondark, @AnthonyBialy, @robsolo, @RobGeorge, @JoshGreenman again, @KerryPicket, @Fausta, and @Ericatwitts).


  • Mayor Bloomberg proposes limits on high sugar soft drinks one day and signs a proclamation for National Doughnut Day the next. Only in NYC.

  • I might note that as a cardiologist, I have reseached the question of salt and fat in the diet. There is not relationship to disease state. As to transfat, no one knows. But transfats were developed as a method of not using animal fats. Animal fats are perfectly safe and should not be avoided. The whole concept of diet and disease has been so aborted that little real information is available and few absolute facts are known. When I comes to cardiovascular disease, we have likely been wrong about the role of cholesterol over the last 50 years and the illness is one of an unknown inflammation. If we had spent as much time trying to understand the inflammation, we may have been able to cure CV disease.