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Mar 11, 2013 02:28 PM

Rejoice New Yorkers ... your sugary drinks are safe! (for now)


Says the judge to the mayor, "No ban for you!"

  1. Yesss! I knew that Big Gulps are constitutionally protected. Just wasn't sure which amendment.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl

      To me it's clear it's the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

      All drinks are created equal.

      No drink should be excluded simply based on the sugar content of its syrup mixture.

      Every drink has the immutable right to be sold at all Dunkin' Donuts regardless of the size of its cup.

      And no drink shall be denied the liberties and freedoms we all enjoy simply because it contains a day's worth if calories in one serving!

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I was thinking more 2nd Amendment.

    2. A huge win for obesity, diabetes, cavities, etc.

      Another smart decision. Freedom, fuck yeah!

      27 Replies
      1. re: linguafood

        Wait, are you saying sugary drinks leads to obesity and diabetes?


        Where did you read about this? It's really the first I've heard of such a thing. Do tell.

        I'm always the last to hear about these things. No one tells me anything. Damn it.

        1. re: linguafood

          That was a clear case of Gov't overstepping it's authority, I'm elated that such BS got slapped down. If you want the government to have power over what you eat, what you say, what you think, what you wear, and how you make love then you're in the wrong place.

          1. re: alkonost

            Ah, yes. The slippery slope argument. Let's not have *any* government regulations, because then *everything* will be regulated by the gubmint.

            Hey, if 'murrcans want to die soaked in sugary soda, so be it. I won't lose any sleep over it, for sure.

            1. re: linguafood

              Um sorry but the govt telling you what you can't or can eat is already *major* intrusion when it comes to the slippery slope.

              1. re: alkonost

                Nobody is stopping you from drinking as much soda as your desire. Order another 10 16 oz sodas in a restaurant. Go to the supermarket and but 50 bottles of soda and drink them all in one night. Who's stopping you? Not "gov't".

                1. re: kurtt

                  The ban was put place by the city government- so yes the governent was indeed the obsticle. You can rationalize it any way u want to in order to make yourself feel better about blessing government overreach.

                  1. re: alkonost

                    The government was no "obsticle". You would have been free to buy as many sodas as you wanted.

                    It would be great if we had a country of rational citizens who could understand why diabetes and metabolic syndrome are bad.

                    Let me guess - medical science is a librul conspiracy?

                    1. re: Josh

                      Regulating to prevent/hinder/slow sale is the definition of an obstacle.

                      You know much less about diabetes type 2 and metabolic syndrome than I do. Don't even go there.

                      1. re: alkonost

                        How was the sale of soda prevented, hindered, or slowed by the passage of this law?

                        1. re: Josh

                          How does a ban not hinder/slow purcasing, or make the purchase less difficult, costly and accessable?

                          1. re: alkonost

                            The only thing banned was a cup larger than a certain size.

                            Your purchase of a pint of flavored sugar water is in no way hindered, slowed, etc.

                            It's interesting how people get so upset about this but are perfectly fine being fleeced by bank bailouts, crumbling schools, etc. We're fast becoming a third-world country, but whatever you do don't take our Super Big Gulps away.

                            1. re: Josh

                              <are perfectly fine being fleeced by bank bailouts, crumbling schools, etc>

                              How in the world did you come to that conclusion? As a matter of fact, how about the mayor focusing on these issues?

                              1. re: latindancer

                                I would love it if the mayor did focus on those issues. However his cozy relationship with Wall St. would seem to make that highly unlikely.

                                I am generalizing, of course, but I find it endlessly amusing how often the issues that really motivate people are things like the size of soft drink cups.

                                1. re: Josh

                                  Well, you see, I find it endlessly amusing how a mayor, with all the ills of his city, chooses to focus on the 'size of soft drink cups'.

                                  1. re: latindancer

                                    If NYC is paying a lot of money for health care due to complications from obesity then I think it makes a lot more sense.

                                    1. re: Josh

                                      For whom? The subset of city workers who don't contribute to their own healthcare costs? The majority of everyone else has private insurance towards which the city does not contribute. Poor citizens and the elderly are covered by Medicare and medicaid- both of which are federally funded programs. So you're saying that the fraction of city workers for whom the city must provide healthcare to are soo fat and sick that NYC is going bankrupt.. is that right?

                                      1. re: alkonost

                                        Medicaid is a split Federal / state cost so it is sorta local.

                                        Do you also oppose the gevernment trying to get people to smoke less (taxes are meant as a disincentive, perhaps they should just tax soda)

                                  2. re: Josh

                                    Its equally amusing to see how many people put blind faith in the government's "health initiatives" at the expense of their personal autonomy, when they're the ones to blame for the pervasive use of corn syrup. If high fructise corn syrup is so bad for you, why are the feds subsidizing it?

                                    1. re: alkonost

                                      The feds subsidize it because we have a broken government that's for sale to the highest bidder. I'd love to see those subsidies end.

                                      Keep in mind that NYC's mayor's ordinance was a municipal ordinance, and that there's a big difference between local and federal government.

                        2. re: Josh

                          <It would be great if we had a country of rational citizens who could understand why diabetes and metabolic syndrome are bad>

                          ...and so a mayor is elected to save the collective irrational "dumbasses" who don't understand the importance of eating healthy and staying away from excess amounts of sugar?
                          He's NYC's savior? Like Jesus?

                          1. re: latindancer

                            Do you mean to say that it's *not* stupid to continue to suck down high-fructose corn sweetener?

                            1. re: Josh

                              I know what's good for me. I'm not interested in what anyone else drinks or eats. It's their body, their life.

                          2. re: alkonost

                            This is the reason why our government is so ineffective. There's this disconnect between what is good for the group, and what is good for the individual.

                            Governments, by their nature, have to look at a problem with a macro lens, because they're looking to affect entire populations, not just one or two people.

                            They set a goal that says, for example, "we want to improve the health of our population by reducing obesity by 10% in the next five years." An admirable goal. So, they set out to find ways to accomplish this task.

                            There are different ways to approach this problem. You can put the clinical facts out there and let people decide for themselves. Fine. This is what the beverage industries want, and for good reason. It's ineffective in reducing obesity, and they know this. People don't overeat or eat crap food because they are ignorant of mechanical facts. People eat for other reasons- some physiological, but many of them are actually emotional. So to put the info out there, tickling the intellectual side of the brain and "letting people decide for themselves" gets us to where we are today... the fattest nation on earth. It's because the emotional side of the brain, the one actually responsible for the obesity in the first place, fell asleep during the lecture.

                            Bloomberg knows something else needs to be done other than lecturing facts. He looks at the studies which absolutely show if you give someone a small sized bottle of soda, they will drink it and be happy (ask your grandparents if they ever felt slighted when they could only get their Coca Cola in 6.5 oz bottles). The problem comes when the people with the small bottle see the people with the big bottle, and decide (against their own best interests) that they want a bigger bottle too. This is an emotional, territorial decision-- not a physiological (e.g. thirst satiety) or intellectual one (e.g. needing to store up liquid beverages for a drought).

                            So, Bloomberg goes out and says "OK, let's just give everyone smaller sized cups." It's a no-brainer. If this had been allowed to happen, there would have been actual health results, because real world studies bear this out. Instead, the soda industry and its amazingly willing unpaid advocates (the "free choice" crowd) loudly proclaim "it's my right to be 600 lbs if I want to" and the Coca Cola company quietly cheers them on. And we get bigger, and fatter, an unhealthier. Hooray for the free choice crowd-- another victory! Enjoy your cardiac seizure on the way out.

                            We work against our own best interests in this country in so many ways. It really, truly makes me sad.

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              Considering that mankind has been eating sugar in various forms for hundreds of thousands of years, but we've only run into this obesity "epidemic" recently, sugar isn't the problem. If you want to make a case against high fructose corn syrup and processed food additives then that's fine but I don't see how it merits getting in the way of ones personal choice of what to eat. I will remind you that it is the feds (and the ag industry) that pushed the low-fat/high carbohydrate and corn syrup onto the populous in the first place. So the government is the last ones who I would trust since their public policy revolves around which lobby group is floating the most cash. The beverage industry only uses high fructose syrup because its cheap. Punishing them (and citizens) by attempts to limit their consumption because of the obese minority (who may or may not be obese due to sugary beverages) is nothing short of futile and pathetic not to mention overreaching. Just because my neighbor has a weight problem doesn't give any entity license to put the whole country/city/locale on a sugar free diet.

                              I'm certainly in no need of a government imposed diet. I eat and drink just about everything and my heath is better than my own doctors. So pass the bacon if you please, and tell bloomberg that he can kiss my skinny foodie ass...

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      The ones that sell drinks and who sponsored the campaign against the law. They spent millions (per NY Times article today).

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          The agricultural lobby and the corn farming industry (flush with government subsidies) are the men behind the curtain. Gov't subsidies make corn cheap, and corn syrup cheaper than sugar- which is why beverage and food companies use it as their primary sweetener. High fructose corn syrup isn't a conspiracy of beverage companies hoping to make America fat. It's incidental of the low corn product prices, companies use what's cheap.

                          1. re: alkonost

                            The last time I checked, and I just checked again right now, but "corn farming industry" and "agricultural lobby" are not either public companies (traded on any recognized exchanges) or privately held entities.

                            So, I'm confused. Which corporations was this a "big fat" win for again?

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Ingredion, Penford, Roquette, Tate & Lyle, and Monsanto - to start.

                              1. re: NE_Wombat

                                Interesting, and do you know who owns these corporations?

                                  1. re: NE_Wombat

                                    Would you mind sharing your knowledge?

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      Is it that you don't have the ability to answer these questions on your own - or are you trying to make a point?

                                      I can certainly teach you how to research company ownership, but if your goal is to make a particular point, it would be easier if you just stated it.

                                      1. re: NE_Wombat

                                        Please bear with me and I apologize for my apparent obtuseness.

                                        I'm just not as knowledgeable about these things as you, as it appears you have all the answers -- and all the right answers no less!

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Well then, you should respect that and move on.

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                Didn't say they were- just pointing out that the wrong tree was getting barked at.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  You're being deliberately obtuse.

                                  Lobbying organizations and trade groups are funded by their members for the express purpose of consolidating their political influence.

                                  The opposition to this ordinance came from companies that manufacture soft drinks and from businesses that make money by selling soft drinks. Soft drink sales are extremely profitable due to the cheap cost of the ingredients. Businesses make a lot of money by selling super-sized beverages.

                                  No doubt you would have been similarly approving of the tobacco industry's manipulation of nicotine levels in cigarettes to keep people hooked.

                                  1. re: Josh

                                    What makes profiting or making money a bad thing?

                                    And please do enlighten me on how the soft drink industry has "manipulated" ... ugh, what exactly so as to make the comparison to tobacco analogous, much less an apt one?

                                    You seem to be very well versed in these things. So please do tell.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      There are lots of activities that make money which we as a society have deemed to be "bad". Child pornography, human trafficking, drug dealing, prostitution, organized crime.

                                      Food scientists understand how our brains are hard-wired to respond to certain flavors. They know that we will consume sugary foods and that consuming them will cause us to crave more of them.

                                      The tobacco industry manipulated similar mechanisms, with a similar understanding for many years of the health damage caused by their product. The processed food industry is well aware of the dangers of their products, but they sell them anyway and continue to try to get them in front of more captive audiences, like public schools.

                                      You seem to be very well-versed in Ayn Rand philosophy. Please explain for all of us why it's so necessary to sell 64 oz. cups of high-fructose corn sweetener. Does it have to do with what the brave men and women in uniform died for? Our right to die from obesity so that some guy in a suit can make a few more million dollars?

                                      1. re: Josh

                                        <well-versed in Ayn Rand philosophy>

                                        Hell yes. Thank you for mentioning her. Anyone who chooses to "die from obesity" from drinking too much sugar is free to do so...their choice.

                                        1. re: latindancer

                                          Ayn Rand was a sociopath whose "philosophy" is well-suited to people in high school.

                                          People who engage in high-risk behavior that receive help from the public should at least help to pay for their care. This is the reason cigarette taxes are so high - to help defray the cost of smokers' illnesses.

                                          Considering the large body of evidence which shows that consumption of large amounts of sugar leads directly to serious health problems it seems reasonable to try to mitigate that.

                                          But I realize that trying to do anything rational about health in the US is futile because of know-nothing "individualists" who think it's their non-existent-God-given-right to eat Twinkies all day.

                                          1. re: Josh

                                            <Ayn Rand was a sociopath>


                                            Says you.

                                            1. re: latindancer

                                              Says anyone who understands what sociopathy is, what her philosophy dictates, and knows about her obsession with a serial killer.


                                              1. re: Josh

                                                Why would I care about this politician? I have no interest.

                                                I started reading/collecting Ayn Rand novels about 40 years ago. I have no idea what your 'find' is all about and couldn't care less.
                                                Her history and the reason behind her philosophy is the only reason for my interest.
                                                You're certainly entitled to believe what you want.

                                                1. re: latindancer

                                                  Would you say the same thing about a personal philosophy espoused by Ed Gein?

                                                  There is some connection between messenger and message - especially when the message is clearly a sociopathic one devoid of any kind of empathy for her fellow man.

                                                  1. re: Josh

                                                    <clearly a sociopath one devoid of any kind of empathy for her fellow man>

                                                    You appear, not only more intelligent than most, but also a much better human being.
                                                    Thank you for that.

                                        2. re: Josh


                                          You are obviously very smart, and a lot smarter than I can ever hope to be, or will be.

                                          But you still haven't answered my question.

                                          Why is a company that makes money selling beverages, sugared or not, a "bad" thing?

                                          And, how, exactly have these companies manipulated the sugar, or sugar content, (by the way, which one is it?) in their foods?

                                          And, how exactly is sugar "bad" for you? I know it *can* lead (not cause) cavities if your oral hygiene is bad, and may have effects on what I believe some people call "blood sugar" levels (sounds weird to me unless you're Dracula, but whatever) if you have certain preexisting medical conditions, but do tell.

                                          Please explain. You appear to know alot!

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            A company that makes money from selling an addictive product, that they have engineered specifically to be addictive, is behaving unethically. That is my opinion, others may disagree.

                                            The way the liver metabolizes sugar is the problem. There are many recent studies published that explain this. You're a lawyer, don't play dumb. Google is your friend.

                                            1. re: Josh

                                              I wouldn't wipe my behind with the NYT.

                                              1. re: alkonost

                                                I'm sure you prefer squirrel pelts.

                                                Glad to see you won't let any facts interfere with your beliefs. Have you considered applying for a job with Fox News?

                                              2. re: Josh

                                                Hey Josh, thanks for the link.

                                                Serendipity strikes again, because I did read that article. And, while I found it interesting, enlightening is not a word I would use.

                                                Since you found it so enlightening, perhaps you can answer some questions I had after reading the NYT piece. In fact, I read the entire book, but that's too long of a discussion for this space ...

                                                So, with that said, did you not find it a bit slanted that the author offered little insight explaining why food companies would want to harm the consumer, the lifeblood of their business. If sugar, salt and mouthfeel create addictive sensations, and that is supposedly bad for us, why kill off the golden goose so to speak?

                                                And what about that whole "supply meets demand" thing that someone mentioned a long time ago? Forgot who, but no matter. There is a lack of an appreciation of the role the consumer plays in shaping the marketplace. If the author is right that we, dumb humans, are "hard wired to crave sweets" then isn't the food industry simply meeting an insatiable (excuse the pun) demand?

                                                And what about the flip side? Aren't the same companies producing sugar-free products that actually *help* diabetics?

                                                Relatedly, how is reaching for the "bliss point" in terms of flavor creation and innovation a bad thing, if we as human beings (dumb lemming-like creatures that we are) are "hard wired" to want bliss? Adam, after all, took the first bite of the apple. No Monsanto around back then, or were they around profiting from growing apples back then too?

                                                Maybe we should ban apples too? Especially the large, supersized ones? That'll show'em! Yeah, who's with me?

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  Why do tobacco companies get their customers hooked on cigarettes? Could it be because it takes a very long time to die from that habit? A lifetime of buying packs of cigarettes means a lot of product sold.

                                                  The health problems caused by excessive sugar consumption take years to manifest. Your question is asked disingenuously. You know that this is true.

                                                  Your arguments are not serious. These are the kinds of things said by food industry lobbyists on cable news programs to obfuscate the obvious truth that any sentient being can recognize.

                                                  Foods that are engineered to engage our brains' subconscious drives for sweet foods artificially stimulate the demand side of the equation.

                                                  You also are conveniently ignoring the role of federal subsidies in artificially lowering the cost of additives like HFCS, which enables snack food and beverage manufacturers to sell their products for extremely low prices.

                                                  In my opinion the reason this reaching for the bliss point is bad is because if you eat foods that are engineered to do this it tricks your brain into thinking you're eating something nutritious. That's the whole reason these pleasure centers activate - because the forces of Darwinian evolution drove us to crave foods that were high in nutrients and calories that would help us survive. These foods are the worst of both worlds, in that sense.

                                                  They trick your brain into thinking you're eating something nutritious, when in fact you are eating something that is non-nutritive and is actually detrimental to your health.

                                                  Lastly, please don't cite religious texts. That's not evidence.

                                        3. re: alkonost

                                          Well then, I guess since these corporations only have the health of their consumers in mind, no government regulations, not even the slightest, are needed.

                                          Or do you expect them to regulate themselves and make less profit?


                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            Again, linguafood, I learn something new everyday from you!

                                            How wonderful!

                                          1. re: squid kun

                                            Can you enlighten me as to how a company like Age Defense Water, who uses no sugar in the products, wins in this case?

                                            Or how Canned Water 4 Kids, a non-profit, wins in this case when sugary beverages are no longer limited, or banned?

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              Nice cherry picking.

                                              I'm sure Age Defense Water and Canned Water 4 Kids couldn't have cared less about the lawsuit against NYC. I would also imagine that they represent a drop in the bucket compared to the other businesses on that list like Coca-Cola, Seven Up, Kraft, Nehi, Nestle, etc.

                                              I think if you're going to champion the glories of free-market capitalism and its relentless pursuit of profits at the expense of everyone's health you should just come out and say that.

                                  2. The birthplace of the egg cream knows a little something about healthy beverage choices.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. The gubmint can have my Big Gulp when they can pry my cold, dead, chubby hand from it.