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Tipsheet

New York Times: We Deserve the Soda Ban

Do New York City residents deserve Mayor Bloomberg's ban on large sodas because they voted him in in the first place? No, it's because they (and the rest of America) has gotten too fat and piggish:

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While Michelle Obama focused on carrots, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg brandished a stick. It’s what we deserve. Cry all you want about a nanny state, but as a city and a nation we’ve gorged and guzzled past the point where a gentle nudge toward roughage suffices. We need a weight watcher willing to mete out some stricter discipline.

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We’re fat, folks. Seriously, dangerously fat. And you don’t need statistics to tell you that; you just need to look around. All three people ahead of me in line in a food shop in Des Moines last month qualified as morbidly obese; they had 900 pounds — easy — among them. One of every two people in line with me at a Coney Island concession stand last weekend were carrying at least 25 extra pounds. When this many people are this overweight, you have not only an epidemic. You have a new normal, a context in which each obese person is less likely to recognize and appreciate the magnitude of his or her health problem because it’s entirely unexceptional.

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Bruni seems to either forget or chooses not acknowledge that there is an opportunity cost here. The more government is expected to pick up the slack for our health, the less responsible people will learn to be. His own acknowledgement that government needs to create harsh regulations in order to keep us healthy suggests as much. 

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