In the latest government attempt to limit free will, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to pass a bill to limit the size of sodas sold in New York City to 16 ounces or less. If the legislation passes, the “Big Gulp” may fade into obscurity, but what’s to prevent customers from purchasing two slightly smaller “Gulps”? While obesity surely represents a problem both in America and abroad, does Mayor Bloomberg really think sinking money into ineffective, misguided legislation will curb the growth of New Yorkers’ waistlines? Rather than solve anything, this bill simply contributes to another well known problem – that of frivolous government spending and wasted funds.
While Coca-Cola and other soda company representatives obviously have the best interests of their companies in mind, their arguments against Bloomberg’s proposal, even when taken with a grain of salt, only increase the doubt concerning the bill’s potential effect – or lack there of. As noted in an article from the Detroit Free Press, Coca-Cola’s U.S. President Katie Bayne recently argued that “there is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity.” It seems hard to believe such a grand generalization, but this pointed statement one would expect from a soda company executive should not detract from a hard fact included by Bayne that, if true, significantly discounts Bloomberg’s plan. According to Bayne, “sugars from soda consumption fell 39% even as the percentage of obese kids jumped 13% and obese adults climbed 7%” between 1999 and 2010. Of course Bloomberg’s own representatives fired back at Coke with accusations of erroneous statistics, but if the soda company’s figures prove true, Bloomberg may face an insurmountable amount of justified opposition to his legislation against “Pop Culture.”