September 13, 2012

Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) criticized New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial and ridiculous decree to ban the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages over 16 ounces in restaurants, coffee houses, stadiums, movie theaters, and arenas. The Board of Health formally voted to approve Hizzoner’s latest attack on personal responsibility this morning. The ban is set to go into effect March 12, 2013, 180 days after the official vote.

Bloomberg and his Board of Health are determined to curtail New Yorkers’ choices, regardless of public opinion or support. A poll from Quinnipiac University in August found that New Yorkers aren’t happy their mayor is treating them like children, with a margin of 54 percent to 42 percent opposing the proposal.

“Mayor Bloomberg claims the soda ban is ‘simply forcing you to understand,’ a notion that all free-thinking New Yorkers should take offense to,” said J. Justin Wilson, CCF’s Senior Research Analyst. “The misguided soda ban directly attacks consumers’ right to choose and has nothing to do with ‘understanding.’ Ironically, Bloomberg seems to lack his own understanding of hypocrisy, announcing this policy at the same time he was promoting ‘National Donut Day.’”

Bloomberg’s ban won’t have an effect on New Yorkers’ waistlines. Study after study has demonstrated that soda is not a unique contributor to obesity. A calorie is a calorie, and comparable efforts to reduce soft drink consumption through taxes have been found to be ineffective. A 2010 study from Duke-National University of Singapore determined that a significant 40-percent surcharge on soda would only reduce the average person’s daily energy intake by a measly 12 calories, equivalent to walking for a few minutes.

“Bloomberg’s soda ban sets a dangerous precedent for New Yorkers’ favorite food and drinks,” continued Wilson. “Residents of the Big Apple should really be asking Bloomberg what’s next in his seemingly endless crusade against any food or drink with calories.”