Mayor Bloomberg The Parent?


Felix Mizioznikov/iStockphoto

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]

I also wrote a couple of posts about Junk Food Taxes that you can read here, here and here.


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  1. Emzr says:

    Sooooooo funny.
    So I’m sitting in a condo in Sedona with my family last weekend & I start talking about the hbo series “weight of our nation”.
    I should have brought my gun for protection.
    My sister went all ape shit on me saying its wrong to NOT allow kids a choice to drink soda. Then my dad kinda backed her up.
    Then she said…….it’s starts with the soda. Then what Emily? Then what?

    Omg. “it all starts with soda”.
    All I could do was laugh because I seriously thought it was hilarious.
    She wasn’t impressed.
    But c’mon.

    • CTER says:

      I treat ridiculous with more ridiculous. Well I would start with soda, then I would move onto candy especially at halloween. Ban that shit. All houses can only give out apples to kids under 10 and if they don’t they get fined and potentially thrown in prison.

      After that I remove Happy Meals and replace them with Sad Meals. Once I get done with that I move onto the next item and that is Disney. No Disney or cartoon character for that matter can be on a box of cereal or cake or candy or ANYTHING. As a matter of fact there can be no product placement at all.

      If that still doesn’t work then I start taxing companies that make anything that is food related and has more than 1 calorie in it.

      From there we see how it goes……HA HA HA HA!!!!!!
      CTER recently posted..Mayor Bloomberg The Parent?My Profile

  2. misszippy says:

    I personally like me some Mayor Bloomberg and Mark Bittman. I completely support what he is doing here and I hate, hate, hate the argument that it’s too much government to ban big stupid slurpees. Drinking 75% of your day’s calories in one cup is just obscene!
    misszippy recently posted..The runs of summerMy Profile

  3. Kevin says:

    Pop (it’s not soda) certainly has become far too accessible in today’s society. Growing up, I remember pop being a treat. And when I got that treat, I usually had to split a 12oz can with my brother, so a 6oz sugary treat maybe once a month. Not 32oz. Could you even get a 32oz pop back then?? I remember it being a big deal when they started offering the 1-liter bottles along with the 20oz bottles.

    I’m torn on this issue. While, I understand the justification that because you and I are subsidizing the health care, we should have a say in what is acceptable. Sadly, that is not how our government works. I’m not for our country being at war with Afghanistan, but I can’t just say I don’t want my tax dollars being spent on it. I think that the government is currently doing way too much in the area social services. I do believe in supporting/funding a “safety net” for those that are truly in need, but we really need to redefine what “in need” is. Being too fat/lazy/stupid does not make you “in need”. It makes you fat, lazy, and stupid. Fix yourself.

    My biggest thing is why pop? Why not deep fried food? Why not processed food? To me, this just seems like political BS to try and appease a group of people that really isn’t going to do a damn thing.

    Rant over.

    PS: Did you see this clip?
    Kevin recently posted..A Race PlanMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      I have to watch that Jon Stewart video in a moment. But you are good because nobody wants to ban Pop to children.

      I think that you have to pick one thing and not all things. If he were to try to ban those items to children it would never get there. He starts small and works from there, at least that is what I would do as Mayor.
      CTER recently posted..Mayor Bloomberg The Parent?My Profile

  4. High Five Jason! The fact that this is even a DEBATE stuns me. How can you defend something that is 100% pure crap and costs everyone money through health care problems? I understand freedom and having the right to choose, but either you make EVERYTHING legal and tax the beejezus out of it OR outlaw the crap that’s bad for you. If others are responsible for YOUR healthcare, then they DO have a say in what you do to your health. Heroin is illegal and without a doubt – it will severely screw your life up if you do it. People do not realize the severity and danger of sugar, fat, cigarettes, too much alcohol, too little exercise…

    The decisions we make as adults are one thing. In theory, they are educated choices. The choices kids make are often more primal – want sugar craving yes give me now! To allow your children to drink soda (never mind big gulp sized sodas) is setting them up for failure and a life of health problems.
    Rose @ Eternal Recess recently posted..St.Croix 70.3 Race RecapMy Profile

  5. Natasha says:

    How about just taxing certain “junk” or empty calorie foods that way you can still make the choice yourself but then the money made from the extra tax can go towards subsidizing health care? Either way in the end it all comes down to choice.
    Natasha recently posted..To sprint or not to sprintMy Profile

  6. Peter says:

    Instead of dictating what and how people eat, maybe insurance companies should have more latitude to charge higher premiums to people who are overweight or use tobacco.

  7. Jeff Irvin says:

    Wow, Kevin summed it up perfectly. Him and I have been agreeing on politics way too much lately! He even attached the Stewart clip that I thought about when your post title appeared in google reader.

    And then Stewart summed it up in one awesomely sarcastic sentence: “It combines the draconian government overreach people love with the probable lack of results they expect!”

    Think about that because it is very true. Bloomberg is tossing a pebble at a tank.

    Here is the thing: Your either for Gov’t intervention or against it. You can’t pick and chose what makes sense to your given set of values. We are a bunch of runners and triathletes, most of us stay far away from soda and we know first hand of the benefits of not drinking soda so in our little world it would make sense to support this proposition. Unfortunately, that is not how it works in the real world, not when politicians are involved and the outcome is more taking of our liberties.

    Remember the article that went up a couple days ago about excessive running causing damage to your heart?

    Now take Bloomberg’s proposition and swap out the term “soda” with “running”.

    What if Bloomberg or another “Do-Gooder” politician comes up with a proposition that says in order to save lives we must limit runners to 20mi per week or less?

    Think that sounds ridiculous and would never happen?

    I bet the fat slob that heads to his local McD’s every morning for a 32oz soda though Bloomberg’s Prop would never happen.

    People like Bloomberg have no idea what the term Liberty means. And nothing pissed me off more than when our Liberties are taken from us with the explanation attached that, “it is for our own good.”

    You can take this prop and shove it up your ass Mr. Mayor.
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..2,160My Profile

  8. IronBob says:

    I was in Chicago a couple weeks ago running 4 miles in the hood around my hotel. I guy who weighed at least 450 pounds was coming out of the Mickey Ds with a bag of what appeared to be 4 or 5 big macs and (2) 2 liter bottles of “pop”. I don’t think they were diet drinks. What was really encouraging about this scene was he was walking to his hotel next door… Obviously he was trying to do something about his situation..

    Aren’t convenience stores great? ANY size “soda” for 69 cents (Circle K). Race Track here is Florida can’t compete with giving away 44 “cokes” for this so they offer 59 cents for 32 oz.

    I say we implant a calorimeter (input/output) into everybody at age 5 with data log down load to “big brother”. The possiblities could be endless in taxation, social standing…. and ultimately longevity (self imposed and State mandated)…..

    Now excuse me, they are having a sales on Big Breakfasts and McDonalds, gotta go…..
    IronBob recently posted..No shortcuts to KonaMy Profile

  9. IronBob says:

    Oh above, it was “a” guy….. not “I” guy…. I am only half his weight….. for now..
    IronBob recently posted..No shortcuts to KonaMy Profile

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