Tony Katz

Not be be eclipsed by New York Mayor-Nanny Bloomberg and his proposed limit on soda serving sizes, Los Angeles Councilman (Nanny-In-Training) Mitch Englander is trying to banish soda from vending machines in LA parks and libraries. In a city with a $222 million budget shortfall, it's good to know that Councilman Englander has his, and LA's, priorities straight.

In his own words:

"Here in the city of Los Angeles, one in four children is obese...In many of our communities, it's one in three."

"This stands in stark contrast to a generation ago, when less than one in ten of our children were obese."

Yes, childhood obesity is on the increase. But is banning soda an effective way to fight childhood obesity? According to reports, Englander, "...wants to see the drinks replaced with fruit juices or water."

The Harvard School of Public Health tells us juices have as much - if not more! - sugar as soda. A 12 ounce Coca-Cola has as much sugar (41g) as a 12 ounce orange juice, as well as 20 more calories than the soda. A 12 ounce cranberry juice has 48g of sugar, and 190 calories, which is 40 more calories than the soda.

As this chart shows, most all "healthy" juices have equal amounts or more sugar than soda.

Bloomberg also readily admits that those who can afford it can easily buy two smaller sodas. so the ban penalizes the poor, who can no longer get the financial benefit that comes with a 64 ounce soda.

Los Angeles will also suffer financial implications. If enacted, Englander's ban is likely to substantially reduce the income to the City of LA that these vending machines generate.

More to the point, though, these rapidly multiplying regulations on food and drink sales replace personal and parental responsibility with governmental micromanagement.

Soon after Bloomberg announced his Orwellian plan to regulate the size of fountain soda servings (the New York City Board of Health now wants to ban movie popcorn and certain coffee drinks,) Mayor Henrietta Davis of Cambridge, Massachusetts proposed a similar ban.


Tony Katz

Tony Katz is a radio talk show host, writer, public speaker and cigar enthusiast. His show can be heard on 93.1FM WIBC in Indianapolis, and at TonyKatz.com.