As Mayor Bloomberg courted the wrath of the beverage industry yesterday by reminding them all how poor they were in comparison with him, New Yorkers trembled their mighty stomachs in fear that the new ban on sugary drinks over 16 ounces would ruin their hard-drinking soda ways in movie theaters and fast food outlets.
But even Bloomberg’s far-reaching proposals couldn’t touch the most sacred of all distended cup sizes: 7-11′s Big Gulp.
The passionate opposition of the pro-obesity lobby pro-soda-size-choice lobby has already assaulted Mayor Bloomberg with a ‘Million Gulp March‘ for Big Soda. What’s next? Fashion, for people and drinks of all sizes!
If Mayor Bloomberg has his way, super-size portions of sugary drinks will go the way of cigarettes in restaurants. And that’s not a bad thing.
The mayor has a way of upsetting those who believe that government has no role to play in policing unhealthy private consumption. Critics charged that the mayor’s controversial ban on smoking in restaurants and bars would lead to an economic calamity, and, what’s more, showed that the mayor was just another operative in so-called “nanny-state” government. His insistence that fast-food outlets display the number of calories in their meals inspired more complaints about government intervention in private consumption habits.
Now, the mayor is targeting the purveyors of sugary drinks. Again there are cries of outrage from the live-and-let-live (or live-and-let-die) crowd who believe that elected leaders have no business telling the rest of us what we should drink, eat or smoke.
Here’s the problem: We all pay for the poor eating, drinking and smoking habits of our fellow citizens.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi have been battling for brand supremacy for decades through advertisements, slogans and celebrity endorsements. The cola wars have brought us “The Choice of a New Generation,” “Can’t Beat The Real Thing” and the short-lived, inexplicably bleached Crystal Clear Pepsi with accompanying Van Halen soundtrack. And back in the ’90s, we even watched as two of our most iconic pop idols sold their names to each soda: Britney Spears to Pepsi and Christina Aguilera to Coke.
Now, Coke and Pepsi have done the previously unthinkable and banded together to fight a common enemy: the New York City health department.