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Friday, June 8, 2012

Freedom of Choice vs. Sugar: What is more important?

Courtesy of

I should have addressed this whole Bloomberg soda ban last week, but alas, I missed my newsworthy time frame. So now I will simply address it because it is interesting to me.

Mayor Bloomberg announced that he plans to enforce a ban on all sugary beverages over 16 ounces in restaurants, theaters and other establishments. This caused an outrage from people who think this is an infringement of their rights and freedom of choice. I feel ya people. I am a full supporter of freedom of speech. Although hateful speech is sickening, if I support freedom of speech, I have to support this right for all people even if I don't agree with them. So, in turn I have to support people's freedom of choice, even if I think it is stupid to drink a 16 oz soda or to be able to offer it in the first place.

I see soda as evil. I consider myself lucky that my parents did not raise me on soda, as a lot of kids are. The only time I do indulge is when I have a sore throat or upset stomach and only then do I crave ginger ale. The recommended daily dose of sugar is no more than 40 grams. According to, in a 12 oz Coca Cola, there is 39 grams of sugar, so a 16 oz soda is well over the suggested amount. Not to mention there is added sugar in a lot of food that you might not even realize, such as cereal. In a regular 7-11 Big Gulp (28 oz), there is approximately 91 grams of sugar. Apparently there is also a super big gulp and an extreme big gulp. Seriously? This research made my stomach hurt and my heart feel bad for society. Sugar is high in calories but not filling which is why it contributes so much to weight gain.

There are additional reasons why sugar is bad for your health which are explained nicely on the Nutrition Diva's Web site. The stop five reasons it is bad for you are:

1. Sugar suppresses the immune system
2. Sugar promotes inflammation
3. Sugar suppresses the release of human growth hormone
4. Sugar promotes glycation
5. Sugar raises insulin levels

Admittedly it is hard for me to imagine ever drinking that much soda. I live for water. As humans, we all do, but I actually love it. I have one of those fancy pitchers that hold fruit in the middle to give it flavor, courtesy of my brother and his wife because they got too many for their wedding shower! However, things like that make me happy. Not soda.

I understand both sides of the argument regarding Bloomberg's policy. It may seem like it is constricting on freedoms, but the guy means well. He is watching out for the health of his people and I respect that. I understand that if people really want 16 oz of soda or more they will just buy two sodas, but that is also more money out of their pocket, so hopefully they draw the line when they start to see their bank account slim down, and in turn they will see their waste slim down as well.

The soda issue hurts me most when it comes to kids. There was a pre-teen boy who would come into one of my restaurants with his mom every week. Every week he would gulp down no less then 6 sodas. He was an obese child and my heart ached for him and my anger mounted toward his mother for letting him continue to order another soda. There were times when I would ignore them so I did not feel obligated to bring another soda and contribute to this kid's health decline.

In conclusion, Bloomberg might be pissing some people off, but his heart is in the right place. I know when I have a family all soda will be outlawed in my house. This policy doesn't directly effect my life routine, but to all those who are feeling the pain from this, please take this opportunity to consider cutting back on the added sugar from soda. I promise after a week you will feel better.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Like you, I don't understand the obsession with soda. The ban won't have any effect on me, but I'm all for it anyways!