retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Advertising Age reports that when the New York City Board of Health convened a meeting earlier this week to hear public comment on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on the sale by restaurants of jumbo sugary soft drinks, it got a packed house and an extended session.

"Early on," the story says, "a number of elected officials made passionate cases for why they opposed the ban. But as the hearing progressed, a number of university professors and public-health officials came out in support of the ban. More than 30 had spoken by the three-hour mark, with over half in support of the ban."

The board is expected to rule on the proposal in September. Since all the members have been appointed by the Mayor, nobody will be surprised if they approve it.

"If the ban is instituted, Ad Age writes, "it would be Mayor Bloomberg's most aggressive move yet to curb obesity rates and improve New Yorkers' health. Many of the measures adopted in New York have become models for other cities, such as restrictions on smoking and trans fats and the requirement that restaurants post calorie counts next to prices. The city has also been extremely aggressive in running graphic advertisements that criticize smoking and the consumption of sugary beverages. Mayor Bloomberg also supported a state tax on sodas and other sugary drinks, though that effort failed."
KC's View:
I understand all the good and honorable reasons why a ban makes sense, but I just cannot wrap my head around the idea that a ban is appropriate, that government ought to be putting limits on soft drink sizes. I would never drink one, but that ought to be my decision.