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Medicine Government Politics Science

Soda Ban May Hit the Big Apple 1141 1141

An anonymous reader writes "NYC residents may soon be unable to buy big gulps. In an effort to curb obesity, New York City's Mayor Bloomberg is seeking a ban on oversized sodas in restaurants, movie theaters and stadiums officials said on Wednesday. 'Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the U.S., public health officials are wringing their hands saying, "Oh, this is terrible,"' Mayor Bloomberg said. 'New York City is not about wringing your hands; it's about doing something. I think that's what the public wants the mayor to do.'"
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Soda Ban May Hit the Big Apple

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  • Get a refill.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drafell (1263712) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:32AM (#40166295)

    Seems like a pretty redundant ban to me. Most places offer free refills on soda...

  • Nanny State (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:35AM (#40166327)

    The nanny state is here!

    Let us know how it goes, NYC!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:36AM (#40166345)

    When a libertarian wants to do something, he does it without bothering anyone
    When a liberal wants to do something, they make everyone do it

    When a libertarian doesn't want to do something, he quietly doesn't do it
    When a liberal doesn't want to do something, they make it so no-one may do it

    Think about that next time you post some anti-libertarian trash on Slashdot. We just want to let you do what you want to do (unless you want to ban people from doing things, I guess that we won't let you do).

  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:37AM (#40166371) Homepage

    Just you wait. This whole thing will blow over once he gets his cut from the sugar and corn lobbyists. Then, he will say it was all an unpopular misunderstanding and how he really cares to make NYers voice be heard. Oh, and he really cares about your health too. Win win win all the way for that man.

  • Carbonated? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by macraig (621737) <.mark.a.craig. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:40AM (#40166407)

    Sooo... JUST carbonated soft drinks? Does that mean he's banning beer, too? The phrase "beer gut" didn't just arbitrarily appear in dictionaries. What about those "fruit juices" spiked with fructose, the nicotine of food additives?

    What a hypocrite.

  • So... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:41AM (#40166427) Journal
    Any bets on how much hand-wringing about 'big government' 'nanny state' and 'paternalism' there will be now that Bloomberg is targeting large sodas rather than the terrifying marijuana, assassin of youth? [villagevoice.com]

    I honestly don't much care for either reefers or Fructose-Extreme Big-Gulp Edition; but I find it endlessly curious how mere time seems to change perception of given public health and public safety crusades. Some city tells smokers to do it outside, or restarauants to cut down on their trans-fats, on pain of some paltry fine and the editorialists are ready to tell you that fascism has finally come to America; but the ones that get hunted down by actual cops and sent to real jail? Apparently not a concern...
  • by ArcherB (796902) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:42AM (#40166433) Journal

    It's all good until the fatties want free healthcare.

    DING DING DING DING DING!!!!!! We have a winner!

    That's problem with government funded health care. Whoever pays the bills gets to make the rules! If you let government take over your health care, you are giving the government control over your health.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:43AM (#40166445) Homepage Journal
    ...for people to leave NY.

    I've been seeing reports that over the past few years, there's been an exodus of quite a number of people leaving NY for other states to get away from the high taxation there....many going to states with no state income taxes, or estate taxes (like FL).

    Now the state is trying to tell you wtf you can drink or eat? Sheesh.

    Are people so fucking stupid now...they cannot fathom that behavior such as drinking a ton of sugared beverage a day....to wash down nothing but greasy, fat laden burgers...will make them fat? Even if it is the case....why is it the govts responsibility to protect stupid people from their own stupid actions?

    Seems like we're trying to circumvent natural selection.....let these people take themselves out of the gene pool....and maybe we'll have fewer stupid people in a couple of generations?

    I've honestly started to wonder, with all the problems we're seeing in modern kids, autism on the rise...so many of them with food allergies (I never heard of anyone almost dying from PB&J sandwiches at school when I grew up, and we ALL ate them)...etc.

    Maybe we ARE doing too much to protect weak genes in the pool....that might have weeded themselves out in the past....and allowing them to continue to proliferate?

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:44AM (#40166481) Journal

    When our society seemingly turns to government to protect us from the consequences of our stupid decisions*, eventually we end up with a government that is going to want to control our every decision. It makes sense in a world where the government subsidizes your health care, that the government gets a voice in your unhealthy choices.

    *to wit:
    - I had unprotected sex, the govt should pay for my abortion
    - I had kids I can't support, the gov't should pay to help me care for them
    - I'm an addict, the gov't should pay for my treatment
    - I made shitty life choices and now I'm poor, the gov't should pay for me to have a decent life
    - I have a $25,000/year job but signed for a mortgage on a $500,000 home that I now understand I can't afford, the gov't should pay to help me renegotiate
    - I'm a bank and I've made a catastrophic series of worthless investments, the gov't should pay to keep me running because I'm "too big to fail"

    It has been going on at all levels of American life since at least the Great Society programs, and we as voters have cheerfully voted consistently for the government to 'cushion' more and more of life's hard knocks from our sensitive existences.

    Welcome to your self-designed Nanny State.

    As they would say in Firefly: "Nee mun doh shr sagwa".

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tronbradia (961235) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:45AM (#40166489)
    It's a nudge. The law will induce people to drink less soda even though people are allowed to drink as much soda as they want. A variety of studies have shown that people's eating behavior are highly impacted by serving size.
  • there's two definitions of freedom:

    the teenager definition "i can do whatever i want with no concern for the consequences"

    the adult definition "i can do anything i want that doesn't harm someone else"

    for example, the "right" to speed is freedom according to a teenager, as a teenager will never crash their car and hurt an innocent driver who had the ill fortune of sharing the road with the idiot

    the "right" to smoke is freedom according to a teenager, as a teenager only exhales pure filtered air in the face of fellow pedestrians and housemates and doesn't raise the healthcare insurance costs of anyone else

    likewise, the "right" to mainline fructose is freedom according to a teenager, see healthcare argument above

    please note: the term "teenager" in the context of this comment is a mental function measurement independent of chronological age. there are plenty of chronological teenagers who are mental adults and morally mature, and there are 40 year old gasbags who still define freedom according to a mental teenager's definition

  • by alen (225700) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:49AM (#40166547)

    its legal because people like me who rarely go to the doctor and dont have these problems support it because we don't want to pay for your endless supply of drugs, sleep aids and other nonsense

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:49AM (#40166551) Journal
    In the imaginary humans-are-rational-animals land, I'd agree with you.

    Empirically, I'd strongly suspect that only relatively strong tugs of either appetite or repletion drive most people to either get a refill or discard a partially full cup. You just sort of suck on the straw until the fluid stops coming out, without thinking about it much, across a surprisingly large set of cup sizes.

    The consumer psychology research people seem to consistently be able to pull hilarious stunts in changing the amounts people eat just by changing their cutlery, or using different sized plates, or changing whether or not the waiters clear away used dishes in an 'all-you-can-eat' scenario...
  • by mapkinase (958129) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:49AM (#40166565) Homepage Journal

    Banning plastic bags in LA was one of them, now NYC banning soda...

    NYC ban is a disgrace epitomizes nanny state transition US is undergoing, stomping at elementary liberties: including a freedom to eat whatever I want, and private transaction between consenting adults: not about selling drugs, not about exchanging sexual favors, Taliban literature, arms, bombs or anything else, just an item of food.

    Where are all the Niemoller loudmouths?

  • by IceNinjaNine (2026774) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:50AM (#40166581)

    Maybe we ARE doing too much to protect weak genes in the pool....that might have weeded themselves out in the past....and allowing them to continue to proliferate?

    Watch the movie Idiocracy [imdb.com]. It's coming, and I don't know if there's anything we can do about it. I'll paraphrase something that I once read (can't come up with a cite, sorry): "I say we take the safety labels off of everything and let nature work itself out."

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ArsonSmith (13997) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:51AM (#40166587) Journal

    It's a nudge, but nothing to do with curbing eating habits and much more to do with getting people used to government intervention in their every day life.

  • by Paul Carver (4555) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:52AM (#40166607)

    This seems like it goes too far. I'd rather just see a ban on mandatory soda purchases. All those places that require you to buy a big gulp the moment you enter the door and refuse to allow you to leave until you've drunk it.

    Oh, wait, you mean there aren't any places like that? We're only talking about banning voluntary purchases? Well we don't need the government to do anything in that case. If "the people" want to stop voluntary purchases they can do that themselves with no government effort or expense at all.

    Mission accomplished! Good job mayor.

  • by Marrow (195242) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:53AM (#40166615)

    Its interesting that the bad food is so cheap, in part, because the ingredients are subsidized by the US government. In some neighborhoods, its impossible to purchase food that is actually good for you. Or the pricing structure makes it too expensive.
    Not only that, but farmers are going out of business trying to grow stuff that is good to eat. They are not eligible for the subsidies. So they learn to grow stuff that is bad for us instead. Its also greatly slanting the system towards huge factory farms.

    If he wants to fix something, put a high state tax on Federal farm subsidies. And put the proceeds towards opening markets for healthy foods. Level the field.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alphatel (1450715) * on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:55AM (#40166657)

    It's a nudge. The law will induce people to drink less soda even though people are allowed to drink as much soda as they want. A variety of studies have shown that people's eating behavior are highly impacted by serving size.

    Don't worry more nudges to come.
    Next the city will levy fines on all 8-slice pizzerias. A new mandate will dictate they be cut into 16 slices to reduce the amount of fat consumed by New Yorkers.

    Thank god for the law-by-fiat of the Mayor and his self-appointed Health Dept. No need for a City Council when you can just bypass them.

  • by Jaysyn (203771) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:56AM (#40166669) Homepage Journal

    Seems like we're trying to circumvent natural selection.....let these people take themselves out of the gene pool....and maybe we'll have fewer stupid people in a couple of generations?

    If only it worked like that. Unfortunately, the dumber they get the more they breed. And they always do so before the heart attack or cancer gets them.

  • by tgd (2822) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:58AM (#40166713)

    It's all good until the fatties want free healthcare.

    DING DING DING DING DING!!!!!! We have a winner!

    That's problem with government funded health care. Whoever pays the bills gets to make the rules! If you let government take over your health care, you are giving the government control over your health.

    Society, and the government as a proxy of society, already funds healthcare because hospitals aren't allowed to turn away people who can't pay and let them rot and die. (Or, I suppose, the other way around.)

    As long as society feels obligated to help those in need, society should feel absolutely justified in putting strict limitations on the ways that people can take advantage of that.

  • by sacdelta (135513) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:02AM (#40166775)

    Please! Take action so we don't have to take responsibility for our own lives. Heaven forbid we ever have to think for ourselves.

    A better solution may be to force anyone who complains about how this type of thing negatively impacts them to take a class in self control.

  • by lxs (131946) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:03AM (#40166789)

    Don't you mean:
    When a libertarian wants to do something, he posts about it on Slashdot.
    When a liberal wants to do something, the Libertarian quotes Ron Paul.
    When a libertarian doesn't want to do something, he whines about it on Slashdot.
    When a liberal doesn't want to do something, the libertarian loudly protests that his freedoms are being taken away.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdgeorge (18767) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:04AM (#40166797)

    You don't get it. This is a proposal that curbs the ability of Machiavellian vendors to profit because of people's misunderstanding of basic economics. It's a regulation of the vendors, not the buyers.

    Here's how it works:
    Most people don't really want the oversized cup. The theaters, stadiums, etc sell it because people will pay $1 more for a larger amount that has an incremental cost for the vendor that is significantly less than selling another cup.

    In other words, the vendors sell it for no other reason that it's insanely profitable to get people to pay more for something they don't need at all (but feel as if they should want because it seems like a good price for the excess amount). People see that the second 16 ounces cost significantly less than the first 16 ounces, so they feel compelled to buy it in order to get "a good deal". However, most buyers don't consider that the value to them of the second 16 ounces is close to $0, but they're paying close to $1 for it.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:05AM (#40166825)

    As long as the government is intervening in their every day life by providing a safety net for their irresponsible decisions, how is this a bad thing?

    Who is the government to tell people that they're being irresponsible? And, if they are but aren't harming anyone else, so what?

    Do you really, seriously, truthfully believe that the Nanny State banning big sodas won't prevent soda addicts from... drum roll please... buying two of them?

    All this really does is prove that politicians are stupider than people who drink ten liters of soda in a day.

  • by archen (447353) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:07AM (#40166853)

    I was about to say the same thing. Those numbers probably don't mean much to most people. If they don't know, the only way for that to happen is to give them context - basically a public health bulletin on what your dietary intake should be, and how this is bad, blah blah blah. You put too much text on it and people won't read it. You put arbitrary numbers on it and people don't know what they mean. Either way people don't care, or you're preaching to the choir. If people wanted to be educated, they would be. It's not like that information is hard to find. Which is unfortunate, but that's the culture we have.

  • by Dancindan84 (1056246) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:08AM (#40166877)

    Yes, that's why here in Canada where we have had government funded healthcare since the 60s I have to go get my lunch at Kentucky Steamed Rice & Vegetables...

    No wait. This is the country where we have our fries covered in cheese and gravy.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:08AM (#40166881)

    Really? You can't do something without cramming shit into your mouth every 20 minutes?

    Sleeping must be a bitch, what with getting up 20 times a night to eat more lard and drink more diet soda.

    *You* (the obese person) are the reason that we get this ban. *You* ruined it for everybody by being incapable of regulating your elementary bodily functions so fundamentally, that you have to be legally prevented from harming yourself, for the good of society. You should be ashamed.

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:11AM (#40166909)

    *to wit:
    - I had unprotected sex, the govt should pay for my abortion
    - I had kids I can't support, the gov't should pay to help me care for them
    - I'm an addict, the gov't should pay for my treatment
    - I made shitty life choices and now I'm poor, the gov't should pay for me to have a decent life
    - I have a $25,000/year job but signed for a mortgage on a $500,000 home that I now understand I can't afford, the gov't should pay to help me renegotiate
    - I'm a bank and I've made a catastrophic series of worthless investments, the gov't should pay to keep me running because I'm "too big to fail"

    Not that I disagree with your sentiment, but I feel that you are way off-base on some of the justifications for the programs you deride.

    Government support for programs like daycare are for the good of the child, not the parent (though the parent may benefit as a byproduct). It is not the child's poor decisions that landed him with shitty parents, and the child should not be condemned to a miserable upbringing. The same thought process that leads to public education is what leads to things like child subsidies.

    Addiction programs are not for the good of the addict, but for the good of society. Addicts spread disease and crime. If someone wants a ticket to a rehab center, that's a bargain for society.

    The mortgage default situation was caused in part by the government's 30-year mortgage programs. While there is probably some merit in an argument that government should not have gotten into housing in the first place, they are there now and need to clean up their mess. If renegotiating mortgages is a cost-effective way to clean up, then pragmatically I have to support it.

    Too big to fail is a similar situation. I'm not willing to watch the entire economy completely melt down just to uphold an ideal. The government had to step in, and where the criticism should be aimed is at the politicians for not having the capacity to correct the underlying problems. If it's any consolation, the stockholders of the bailed-out banks took a serious bath. If you were the unlucky stockholder of Citibank in 2007, your stock is now worth about 5% of what it was. Bank seizure would not have really changed things much for the stockholders, and the government would have been stuck with their toxic assets. Instead, the government made a small profit...

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:12AM (#40166931)

    So let's hear your solutions...

    -I had unprotected sex, I should go get a clothes hanger stuck in me in some back alley, and die of an infection if it doesn't work
    -I had kids I can't support, they should be forced to live a life of squalor and misery for my mistake
    -I'm an addict, I should continue to spiral downwards until I die in the streets
    -I made shitty choices and now I'm poor, I should be forced to turn to crime to avoid starvation
    -I have a $25,000/year job but can't afford my mortgage, the government should watch the entire economy go down in flames rather than help me out
    -I'm a bank and I've made a catastrophic series of worthless investment, the government should stand aside while others suffer horribly for my actions. Meanwhile I'll retire in luxury, since I've already collected millions in bonuses.

    The government's job is to promote the common good. That sometimes means helping people who've made mistakes. You seem to be more interested in making people suffer for them. I wonder if your tune would change if you or someone you cared about ever slipped up. But no, that would never happen. You don't make mistakes. You're a god.

  • by drwho (4190) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:13AM (#40166947) Homepage Journal

    Israel bans skinny models; new york bans unhealthy foods. What's next, a ban on unsafe sex? Israel is a screwed-up country so I can't expect much out of it, but the US has some feet in reality. I think that Bloomberg ought to be banned.

    List of things that are illegal (or soon may be )which I believe should be legal:
    unhealthy foods
    skinny models
    gambling
    file sharing
    politically sensitive speech
    beer
    weed
    shrooms
    modifying a consumer device which you own

    I used to say nudity should be legal, but I have changed my opinion on this since to many people are now fat. I think only the good-looking should be allowed to be nude in public. The problem with this is; who gets to decide? So, let's cover it up for now. For some of you, a niqab or burka should be required.

  • by rich_hudds (1360617) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:13AM (#40166949)
    You do know that healthcare in the US costs about twice as much as say the UK where everybody is covered by the government including unemployed fatties?

    The actual outcomes are pretty similar but in the UK you just don't worry about your 'cover' at all. It rarely merits a thought. In the US as I understand it, lack of health cover is a real impediment to starting your own business or changing a job. Particularly if you have an existing chronic condition.

    I'm not saying you don't have a point about who makes the rules, but ultimatley the rules in the UK are made by a government that has to be re-elected, how much say do you have over your rules?
  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by omnichad (1198475) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:14AM (#40166975) Homepage

    Not to mention getting one size up is much cheaper than buying two separate drinks for yourself and significant other. Very often at fast food restaurants when trying hard to save money, I'll buy the large drink and split it rather than paying almost twice as much to get two smalls. This "ban" is just making more money for the vendors when people have to buy two separate drinks or two drinks for themselves if they're really addicted.

  • by Dishevel (1105119) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:17AM (#40167005)

    If you quit giving them medical care, checks for their children, welfare, food stamps we would be better off.
    I am not saying that we make them starve. But how about we go back to big colorful fake money looking food stamps.
    That way there would be a bit of stigma attached. More incentive to get a fucking job.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by savi (142689) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:19AM (#40167035)

    Who is the government?

    We the people. We the people, as a community, have identified a behavior in the community that is unhealthy and expensive due to healthcare costs. Since, in this case, the community is not a small community in which members can exert direct pressure on each other through personal relationships, the community is exerting pressure in another way. If you think this is new or somehow restricted to governments, then you're not paying attention to all of human history. If you want to be free from the pressures of your community and have no responsibility to other people, you're free to live in the wilderness. This has nothing to do with government. It's fine to disagree with this, but framing it as a "nanny state" issue is misleading. Ever since humans evolved culture (and probably before that), we've developed ways to curb the detrimental behaviors of our fellow community members. People are idiots and they're addicted to sugar. It places a cost on the rest of us. I see no reason why your right to be a lardass trumps the community's need to keep healthcare costs down.

    People CAN buy two drinks, but I think quite a few people won't. Humans eat/drink what is set before them without noticing. They won't be trained to desire so much soda if they aren't handed so much to begin with.

  • by brian0918 (638904) <brian0918 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:19AM (#40167039)
    Want to curb consumption of high fructose corn syrup? You can start by removing all government subsidy of the corn industry.
  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rezalas (1227518) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:19AM (#40167049)

    The weight of the people around you is :: drum roll :: none of your business! Yes, if someone works to earn a paycheck, they get to spend it in any way that they want. If a 450lb man wants to buy a 600oz mega-ultra-gulp I guess he's going to die of diabetes, but the transaction is between him and the seller. Similarly if you don't want to be around fat people then don't be around fat people. Leave, walk somewhere else. It isn't like 8 of 10 people standing on the sidewalk are giant tubs of lard. You notice fat people because they aren't the norm and are not nearly as common as people think. If they were, you wouldn't call them "fat", you'd call them "normal".

    If you don't like what people spend money on then change careers and become a financial advisor so that the people who care to listen can receive your sage-like advice. Otherwise you need to realize that how people spend their money is between them and the people they spend it with. If you don't like it, well tough shit. Life is hard, get a helmet.

  • by tnk1 (899206) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:20AM (#40167053)

    Having lived in the state, it's pretty clear that even people in the City can't tell the difference. I am convinced that they believe that Albany is actually somewhere in Manhattan... in a slightly less prestigious neighborhood than City Hall.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cajun Hell (725246) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:21AM (#40167069) Homepage Journal
    Reread the comment you replied to; he actually had an excellent point.

    Who is the government to tell people that they're being irresponsible? And, if they are but aren't harming anyone else, so what?

    Who are these people to demand a safety net? Why do the LIE by saying they're harming no one else, while reaching into everyone else's wallet to pay for their safety net in order to subsidize their own decisions at public expense?

    All this really does is prove that politicians are stupider than people who drink ten liters of soda in a day.

    No, it proves that people who drink ten liters of soda in a day and then go crying to Nanny Government if the Emergency Room doctor turns them away unless they pay in advance, are hypocrits.

    Health micromanagement is not the beginning of Nanny Government; it is the logical conclusion of Nanny Government. You can't say the public is responsible for individual people's health, and then not also give the public power to use force to make individuals be healthy despite their wishes.

    When you vote for government responsibility, you are voting for government power. That power will come at the expense of people's liberty. It has to. I'm not saying this is good or evil (though I certainly have an opinion), but it is the reality.

  • Re:Nanny State (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:23AM (#40167111)

    Wow, shocking, a gentrifying northeastern city where few use cars to get to work and declining polluting industry is slightly ahead of the median of the country in life expectancy...

    A question to you is, if you could live to be 100 as opposed to 80, but someone got to tell you what you could and could not do, would that be worth it?

  • What a Vapid Post (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <{eldavojohn} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:24AM (#40167131) Journal
    I think your cause and effect logic is deeply flawed.

    I had unprotected sex, the govt should pay for my abortion

    The government does not propose to pay for abortion because people should be able to have sex. The logic arises from studies conducted [wikipedia.org] that suggest that legalized and subsidized abortion results in fewer unwanted children and therefore less crime. While you might debate that, the reasoning is that it's cheaper for society to pay for an abortion than it is to have a criminal interred on and off for life. Are you against taxpayer dollars being used to teach contraception in schools? What about tax dollars to hand out free condoms to those most at risk? Subsidizing abortions is a step further in that direction. It is not designed to give people the ability to have sex without protection.

    I had kids I can't support, the gov't should pay to help me care for them

    Are you aware of what a "dependent" is on a tax form? Again, it's cheaper for society to issue welfare and food stamps than to deal with the societal harms that come from malnourished children and the state assuming control over a child. What exactly is your ideal scenario in this case? That we have street urchins that occasionally die in our streets? That we have social services taking care of tens of thousands more children?

    I'm an addict, the gov't should pay for my treatment

    Again, you seem to imply that the government is being lobbied by the addicts. Instead it is the cost/benefit of dealing with addicts that have already developed dependencies on illegal addictive substances. You implement awareness programs with taxpayer dollars and the final unfortunate step is helping these people control their addictions so they're not mugging or killing people for money. A lot of these people have to support their habits with crime. Our jails are already overcrowded so the alternate step is to try to treat them and keep them from engaging in such behavior. Again, what is your ideal scenario? That you shake your finger at an addict and say "Welcome to the school of hard knocks, now go beat someone for money for your habit so you can spend the rest of your life in jail where I can pay more money for you to live."

    I made shitty life choices and now I'm poor, the gov't should pay for me to have a decent life

    Right, because everyone who is poor is poor because of shitty life choices and they should starve for those choices. We have the ability to provide them basic food and subsidize their housing but your ideal scenario is what exactly? You do know that they do not live like kinds and queens?

    Welcome to your self-designed Nanny State.

    If the alternative is crime ridden neighborhoods, I'll take a little bit of a nanny state. You people that demand one extreme over the other are really annoying and short sighted. Did you know that buildings have to make fire code in order to be constructed? God, what a nanny state we've found ourselves in! Why aren't we working to remove any sort of building and safety codes? PROTIP: A happy medium exists somewhere in between the extremes. When society's total cost is drastically lower to implement a nanny state law, we start to weigh the pros and cons.

  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:25AM (#40167147)

    Education doesn't work and the recommended daily intake numbers have more to do with politics than nutrition.

    Every single person ordering 20+ ounces of soda knows that water would be a better choice.

    This is a regulation of vendors, not consumers. I predict that within 20 years, the executives of major food companies will start facing scrutiny and lawsuits in the same way that tobacco executives did a few years ago. If current trends continue, the damage that companies like Coca Cola and McDonald's are doing will dwarf anything that the tobacco companies did.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarkTempes (822722) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:28AM (#40167203)

    I'm not sure I agree with this soda ban but it's LOCAL GOVERNMENT so I can't really get upset about Nanny State or the government being too large or anything.

    And people being dumb and getting fat IN MASS does harm other people. They drain money and time from society for healthcare costs which has all sorts of side effects (how long you wait for an appointment, availability of appointments, insurance prices, etc).

    And it's a nudge, not a prevention. I'm actually kind of ok with this kind of law if it is done right. Do a study beforehand that shows that large servings impact how much people eat, try a law to help people not eat as much, and then do another study to see if the law is actually helping and if not let it expire.

    Would you rather they did what they typically do when they don't like when people do something: tax it more?

    The perfect world scenario would probably be to educate parents and children but then again in a perfect world people would all have perfect self-control.

  • by Dripdry (1062282) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:29AM (#40167231) Journal

    While what you mention is somewhat true, what you fail to mention is the opposite: The eras before we created a social net were horrifying by today's standards. One bad crop season, or loss of a job, or getting on the wrong person's bad side could easily leave you a starving wretch (can still happen, but less common).

    Also, it's not government that's running a lot of this, it's corporations. I'm sure the corn lobby is loosening up as their dollars are less effective than the military and IP racket these days, and Biggie B (as his friends call him) in teh Big Apple has to do something to make him look good after all this police nonsense and Occupy.

    Look, I don't disagree with you that government, in some ways, is getting its mitts on some things it shouldn't. However, maybe looking at what risks government should cover and what they shouldn't ought to merit consideration, not just making a statement implying that you're somehow superior because you happened to be in the right circumstances to make "good" life choices (I assume, though I may be wrong). Check out stuff on the sociology of deviance, I suspect you'll find the subject infuriating to what sounds like your fairly uncompassionate world view (this does not include too big to fail. we can all agree that was pure crime)

    BTW..... why don't we worry about the incredible amount of money spent blowing up brown people and spying on and jailing our own citizens before we start moralizing and saying we shouldn't help our Fellow Man because of "blah-di-blah" and then quoting a stupid fucking TV show that too many people worship anyway.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jiro (131519) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:31AM (#40167263)

    That's not an argument for government control over soda, it's an argument against socialized healthcare.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tnk1 (899206) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:32AM (#40167283)

    Taxing the shit out of cigarettes has probably ended no tobacco addictions whatsoever, given that I see a large proportion of poorer people smoking frequently. People will pay for their addictions, whether it is tobacco, hard drugs, or soda. You only stop those addictions when you can show the addicts what it does to them and what kind of life they can lead without it. At that point, it is then up to them.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:37AM (#40167379) Journal

    Most people don't really want the oversized cup.

    ...and those who don't, won't buy one. Not my place to tell folks what or how they should buy something.

    I often buy the smaller ones (or better, a small bottle), since the soda in a cup would go flat long before I'd even make a dent in, say, a typical 64 oz. demi-bucket of the stuff. Nothing really to do with economic analysis; it's just common sense.

    But you know? I do find it hilarious that those who look down on folks who buy a monster-sized $1 soda at the fountain are often the same types that will happily walk to the cooler and pull out a $2 bottle of water for purchase.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:40AM (#40167443)

    Make the man pay the cost of the firefighters' bill.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Krojack (575051) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:48AM (#40167607)
    I don't think that chick has a weight problem.

    Also I have been a HUGE soda drinker all my life and I'm underweight. This ban is going to do nothing but waste even more government money. Can't get a 32-ounce ? Buy two 16-ounce drunks! Will the ban prevent that?

    What's next? 1 twinkie a month limit?
  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:49AM (#40167621) Homepage

    It has been going on at all levels of American life since at least the Great Society programs, and we as voters have cheerfully voted consistently for the government to 'cushion' more and more of life's hard knocks from our sensitive existences.

    Yeah, I mean, look at all these people who want to be cushioned by society. Like NYC banning soda. Or NYC having a health department that makes sure there are no rat feces in your food. I mean, let that be between me and the restaurant. If there's a restaurant that has rat feces in it, I just won't go there anymore. You don't need a health department.

    And then they have laws that are prevent landlords from kicking deadbeats out of their apartments. Like, who cares that you've lived in your apartment for 20 years, the price of rent has gone up old lady! You can find another place to live. Just live within your means!

    Oh, and let's not forget about the fire department. I mean, if you don't want to install sprinklers and other fire protection in your apartment building, that's your own fault, and you're the one who's going to burn alive. If you want to live in an apartment with sub-standard fire protection, that's your choice. We should all do our own research before you buy into these things.

    Don't even get me started on the police. They're always butting into everyone's business. I know, you're going to say, "But what if I get robbed?!" That's why guns need to be legal. We should all be settling these matters ourselves. And traffic lights? Why does the government feel the need to get involved in how I drive my car?

    This is all just the nanny state running amok. Look, I test all of my kids toys to make sure the manufacturer isn't using lead-based paint. I do all my own scientific research on the medical procedures I undergo, so I don't need Mr. Government telling me which treatments are effective. I built a bunker under my house and I have a small arsenal in there-- I don't need your nanny-state army to protect me. We should all just go our own way.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by berashith (222128) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @11:53AM (#40167701)

    actually, there is a known range for this. As the price increases by a certain amount, then there is an expected and consistent amount of people who will quit. This obviously has bounds, but when I smoked and paid attention and cared about this, I was aware of the number of people that were expected to quit with the taxes. It was very relevant in the beginning of Clinton's presidency, when Hillary was tryign to push her health care package, and pay for it on the back of smokers. A very detailed model was needed to find out how many smokers would be there to pay for the system after the price doubled.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @12:48PM (#40168689) Homepage Journal
    You know....we had plenty of POOR in this country over the years before we came to this nanny state we have now....if you didn't take care of yourself back then, or your family didn't...you just didn't make it.

    We never had any uprisings back then....why would we have them now? Back in the day...no one owed you anything, not even the government, and we got along just fine. Most people, took this as incentive to work their asses off to survive...and even to succeed. Why should it be any different now?

    I mean, I'll go for a little modernization...if you're infirmed or old, and just can NOT work, ok...safety net there.

    But if you are able bodied at all....well, you must work, and if you fucked up, and had too many kids....well, you need to figure something out. Maybe after awhile with the govt NOT coming to give everyone welfare, etc....and it might take a generation for this lesson to sink in....but after awhile, these idiots might just figure out they need to quit having unprotected sex, having kids...because no one is going to pay them to stay at home, watch tv and breed even more. Let's end this vicious cycle of poverty and dependence which just feeds upon itself and breeds generations that know nothing MORE than the welfare system.

    Would it be tough? Sure...but, you have to start some where. We in the US weren't like this originally....we need to go back to that.

    And for those that refuse to work and make their own livings...well, lets also turn the clock back, and stop locking people up for ingesting whatever chemical they want for recreation. That would free up TONS of jail space for those few that refuse to learn a lesson and attempt to use crime as a means to earn a living.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @01:00PM (#40168895) Homepage Journal

    The problem is that when they get ill, the health system then has to cover that.

    Fuck'em....no it does NOT have to cover them.

    If people got the inkling that no one else is going to pay your tab for everything, including healthcare...then people my have a fire lit under their asses to work and save to provide for themselves and their families.....and keeping their family size in check so that these needs could be met realistically.

    When our country started, up until the entrechment of the nanny-welfare society we find ourselves in currently...it worked this way. You made it, or you didn't....and it wasn't anyones fault by your own.

    The US became a great nation due to reliance on the independence and self-reliance of the people....much of the reason it is going downhill, is due to us taking this 'need' for humans to struggle a bit, and be self reliant away.

    As I've posted before...I'm not completely without heart. If you are truly infirmed (mentally or physically handicapped) or elderly and not able to work...sure, lets have a safety net. If we reduced the welfare state to JUST this...we'd nip the debt problem in the bud in just a few years. If you're able bodied and don't choose to work....well, fuck'em, I'm not my brothers keeper.

    Our govt and society should be here only to set up an environment where you can survive and succeed with sufficient work (and yes, even some luck). It should not be (and wasn't set up to be originally) an entity that protects you from your own dumb ass judgments and actions. It should allow you to succeed, but if you fuck up, well, you should be allowed to fail.

    Life is tough....and no, you shouldn't get a trophy just for showing up.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tbannist (230135) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @01:02PM (#40168945)

    ...and those who don't, won't buy one. Not my place to tell folks what or how they should buy something.

    Did you read and understand the message you're replying to?

    It's a psychological trick that influences people to buy the larger size. If you had a business, you could try this out. If you increase the price of the small and the medium drink then more people will buy the large size. It should be obvious that as the price difference decreases more people will opt for the larger size. For example, I doubt anyone would be surprised that if you charged the same for small, medium and large, most people would opt for the large size regardless of whether they actually wanted that size.

    Part of the reason for the increase in obesity in America may be portion size. I remember seeing a graph that showed that the average portion size of a fast food meal has quadrupled over the last 60 years. The burger, the fries and the drink are each 4 times larger and probably contain 4 times the calories they used to. Combined the common "motherly" requirement that people finish everything on their plate if they want dessert and you have people programmed to get fat. It's not the whole story, but it is an issue.

    Having said that, I don't think this is the right way to approach the issue.

  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @01:23PM (#40169227)

    But these kinds of bans are just retarded, you aren't gonna fix obesity like this, the reason we are fat is because many of us are stuck in jobs sitting on ass in front of PCs all day.

    There's just as many people with jobs as keyboard jockeys in Europe, but nothing like the obesity rate. So that's not it.

    In the UK, where food and drinks become more like the US, obesity rates are rising faster than the rest of Europe. In continental Europe, where there's more real food and less fast food, and more sensible portion sizes, obesity is not much of a problem.

    It's not large sodas specifically, but they are certainly part of the large helpings of junk food problem.

    If they want folks to lose weight a few pieces of exercise equipment at work and exercise breaks would do more than this.

    No. A Big Gulp contains over 300 calories. That's going to take the best part of an hour to work off on an exercise bike. Very few people are going to average that much exercise per day. Even for people that do an hour at the gym, they don't tend to do it every day.

    Exercise builds muscle and stamina, and all round fitness. But it's a very inefficient way of losing weight. Very few people lose weight simply through exercise, it needs to be combined with reduced calorie intake. And reduced calorie intake alone will do it.

  • by IceNinjaNine (2026774) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @01:35PM (#40169387)
    But it becomes difficult (for me, anyway) to reject that humanity is headed to Idiocracy due to either a ton of personally observed anecdotes, or in some cases empirical studies: people often eschew well-reasoned arguments (hell, they often ditch any semblance of reason whatsoever) for what they "feel" to be true, or what they "want" to be true.

    I'm not saying that people in the past didn't face nuanced or complicated issues, but it seems nowadays that we have a culture wherein it's not cool to be smart, and would you please shut up, SportsCenter is on [youtube.com].
  • Re:Get a refill.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dunkelfalke (91624) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @03:24PM (#40171079)

    If you were a couch potato and start working out, you will gain a not so modest amount of muscles.

    And if you don't do sports, you won't need a lot of food. Trying to lose weight you'll feel like starving all the time because the food you actually may eat is not really filling. 120 kkal a day is not much at all. If you work out, you can eat more food, thus feeling more comfortable. If you do a good workout, you can even eat the normal daily amount of food and get the calorie deficit purely through sports. Not to speak of other benefits of a workout, like a better working heart, stronger muscles, larger lungs and so on. How much more efficient should it be to satisfy you?

    The increased metabolic rate you speak does exist by the way, just not for the rest of the day, maximum for a half an hour or until you eat something. As long as you breathe heavily after a workout or feel your heart beating faster than usual, that's exactly that increased metabolic rate.

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