Mayor Bloomberg made an announcement regarding soda and children. With all the fervor around this topic you would think that he proposed to strip people of their right to bear arms. I think it is nuts to put such a huge context on something that should be done by parents, but clearly is not. Parents should not be allowing their 7 and 8-year-old kids to drink the Big Gulp. That is just absurd and in my opinion bad parenting (I’m sure I’ll take flack for this but I don’t care.)
To allow your child to guzzle 32 oz of soda is just crazy. The amount of extra sugar in a 12 oz can of Coke is 65g or 360 calories. Does that make sense to feed a kid? 360 calories of pure nothing…..nothing good anyway. If the kids want something sweet give them an orange or a celery stick with honey on it but don’t serve them soda at that size. I am not professing to take away all soda from all people…..they do have a right to choose what goes into their system. Or do they?
I heard this argument on the radio the other day and it made total sense to me, so I’m going to run it by you. In a society where there is a public health system the people have the right to choose what can and cannot be consumed. See if I am now paying for your health care I can tell you what you can and cannot eat. If it is not subsidized by me then feel free to consume all the bacon double cheeseburgers you wish since you will be paying for your own angioplasty out of your own pocket.
How many people would go for this? It works for me either way. I eat cleanly and don’t have any medical issues and have not had a can of soda to just have a can of soda in I don’t know how long. I have not had any alcohol or beer in nearly 1 and 1/2 years. I’m ok with going to a subsidized health system because then I can tell you what you can and cannot eat or drink. If we keep it private then I don’t have to worry about you since you are paying for it yourself. I win either way.
If it were only that easy. See it is not just the health system being taxed. Our natural resources are as well. If it takes (I’m making this part up) 100 cotton balls to make a size 32 pair of pants, then wouldn’t it make sense that it would take 100X cotton balls to make a size 50 pair of pants? We are using up more cotton, that is not to mention more oil to run the machines to make the pants and transport them to the local stores for purchase. Or how about the addition timber we need to strengthen tables and chairs because our society can’t seem to keep their hands out of the cookie jar?
Let’s get back to Mayor Bloomberg for a moment. I don’t like the man. I lived in New York when he was Mayor the first time and he rubbed me the wrong way. He wanted to do things for the city and I commend him on that but what he wanted to do and how I thought it should be done didn’t see eye to eye. I couldn’t complain though because I did not vote in city elections even though I spent nearly 10-12 hours per day in the city working and spending my hard-earned money on city stores (that’s for another time.)
In this particular instance though we do see eye to eye. The Mayor is not saying to adults that they can’t drink the 32 oz Big Gulp, and he isn’t even saying that the kids can’t drink soda at all. He is just saying that these oversized drinks for children are providing no nutrients and doing nothing but promote the obesity problem. Can we all see that? If parents were doing their jobs and policing their own kids this wouldn’t be a discussion, but they aren’t doing that and so it is.
I have a 6-year-old step-son and I can tell you that he has had a total of 0 oz of soda while in my house. Does that mean that his father is not giving it to him? No, but there is nothing that I can do outside of telling his father that it is no good for him. Does he feel like he is being shorted on the soda? No, because he gets his sweet tooth taken care of with fruit. Now we are not perfect parents and he gets M&Ms from time to time but 90%-95% of the time that he is with us he is eating very clean. This is because we are parents. We look out for the well-being of this child and will do what we can to ensure that he lives a long healthy and happy life.
I’m sure all parents want that for their kids and most will tell you that. So my question then is why would you want that on one hand and yet feed them the Super Sized Soda on the other? Take responsibility and say no. They will grumble and call you names. They may even say that they hate you. When I hear my step-son pouting or complaining or thinking that I am the bad guy I tell him the following:
I Know I’m Doing The Right Thing Because You Don’t Like Me Right Now. In The Future You Will See That I Took Care Of You And Will Love Me More Then. I’m Patient, I Can Wait For That Day.
Here is an op-ed written by Mark Bittman in the New York Times that I think sums up the Mayor Bloomberg scenario perfectly. [Click Here]
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