Although Alex Garfield will probably never drink a larger than a 16-ounce glass of anything except wine or Scotch or vodka in my books, I couldn’t resist commenting on this week’s court ruling over drink size in New York.
First, let me start with a piece of advice to Mika Brzezinski — it is likely that you are going to keel over from stress and high blood pressure if you keep getting so apoplectic on air over dietary issues. I think you need to ask your doctor for a Zanax! We could see your veins beating on the television over your fury at the court knocking down the restrictions on soft drink sizes. I know that health is your big issue, but most of us who do not drink sodas at all, who do exercise, who are very healthy, do not feel the need to become mother to every person on earth — or even in our own home towns. Michael Bloomberg, who tried to enact this law, didn’t even get that excited when he was interviewed after the court deemed the law illegal.
Second, although obesity is a drain on all of our society, I doubt it is solely the fault of soft drinks that have sugar in them. It seems as if every couple of decades some new health problem becomes the focus. So now the major issue is sugar in our food and drinks. When I was young, I ate a great deal more sugar than I do now, but I also had hours of running around, playing sports at school (how I hated field hockey but it did get my legs moving), walking the family dog, etc. TV and computers and electronic devices were not an option for amusement so we found other activities that actually included active movement.
If one wants to try to control the obesity epidemic in this country, how about schools bringing back physical education and playground time every day? Another thought, how about parents restricting time with electronic devices? And for those who claim the poorer Americans don’t know any better, how about some good organization making fun commercials that teach good eating habits? Those commercials now exist that remind us of how to be polite to the elderly on a bus; how to be honest in a basketball game; etc.
As with any situation, there are lots of ways to be creative about solving the problem. “Big brother” and “The Nanny State” often seem the easiest and obvious way to shove an idea down the throats of others, but quite often those solutions create unforeseen issues. It would make me happier to see Bloomberg use his power and money to educate and promote healthy activity instead of making someone carry two 16-ounce cups (just think of the extra litter that causes) instead of one 32-ounce cup. He has the ability to fund a major campaign on TV and on every public vehicle in New York City to make his point. And in reality, do any of us think a diet drink is truly any healthier? The chemicals in those will probably turn out to be worse than real sugar. Then what will he do? Make us all drink New York water because it has been rated so highly? One never knows.