Appearing on The Today Show, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his administration's support of National Donut Day while also defending a ban on sugary drinks that exceed 16 ounces.
"In moderation, most things are ok", he explained to host Matt Lauer. "One donut isn't going to hurt you."
Bloomberg went on to explain that the ban on large sugary drinks was meant to remind people of the importance of moderation, and that anyone who wants to drink 32 ounces of soda is still free to do so.
"This isn't exactly taking away your freedom, this isn't something that the Founding Fathers fought for, this is just reminding you, and all the studies show that if the glass is smaller or the plate is smaller, you'll eat less."
So the proposed ban is meant to be a public service announcement. But as even the New York Times points out, there are better ways to conduct one of those. An advertising campaign could remind people how many calories are in a 16 ounce soda. Or better yet, since this issue is clearly near and dear to the Mayors heart, why not create a privately run health campaign focused on it, instead of using residents tax money to save them from themselves?
As David Boaz so eloquently puts it:
Mayor Bloomberg has lots of facts at his fingertips: Many Americans are overweight. Consumption of sugar can cause weight gain. All true, and a good reason for Mike Bloomberg to watch his diet.
But why should he watch MY diet? And the diets of 8 million New Yorkers, most of them adults? If he thinks New Yorkers should consume less sugar, let him hold a press conference. But giving people information isn’t good enough for him. Sometimes he gives people information,and they still don’t act the way he thinks they should. So what’s a billionaire mayor to do? He could bribe them, I suppose. But as Otter said, that could take years and cost millions of lives. Well, millions of dollars anyway. So, like Otter, he’s decided to go with “a really futile and stupid gesture” instead.