16 oz. TO FREEDOM: NYC “SODA BAN”
By Keola Warren x @unclekeola
Forget hologram Tupac. We are going to get hologram Bradley Knowles and Sublime to come sing their newly dubbed protest song, 16oz to Freedom.
Bradley will be singing in protest with one fist up, “16 ounces to freedom, so I take that walk…it’s the only chance I have, to feel good even though I feel bad.”
In New York City many citizens are crying foul on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed “soda ban,” which will prohibit the sale of sugary drinks that are larger than 16 ounces in “restaurants, mobile food carts, delis, and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums, and arenas.” Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed “soda ban” was approved by the New York City Board of Health based on a vote of eight to one with one abstention.
This is a very bold move on Mayor Bloomberg’s part, however, he is known as a political maverick in the public health arena. Under his guidance as Mayor of New York City he has worked with the New York City Board of Health and helped to mandate the posting of calorie counts on menu boards as well as the ban of trans fats in foods. Mayor Bloomberg was also a driving force behind the ban of smoking in bars and restaurants in 2002. While many of Mayor Bloomberg’s initiatives have been met with resistance from corporate America and lobbyists they have since become accepted social norms.
Lobbyists such as Eliot Hoff of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices say they plan to fight the ban. Hoff himself stated that, “We’re smart enough to make our own decisions about what to eat and drink,” adding that the ban is “against the wishes of a majority of New Yorkers and we will not let that fact go unnoticed.”
While Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to increase the general health of New York City citizens is admirable, it is also worrisome to think that laws like this could eventually overstep their boundaries. Civil liberties are a pillar of our society and legislation like this could set a dangerous precedence for what citizens are allowed to eat and drink in the future. California has outlawed foie gras and yet the atrocities of mass produced chicken and beef remain the same. Ultimately, it is food education not legislation that will save our country and its health.