|Photo Credit: New York Post|
What I cannot for the life of me stand is people complaining that this proposal is ‘an attack on personal freedom.’
I get so frustrated with this ‘personal freedom’ discourse around nutrition, so you’ll have to forgive me for a few minutes while I get this rant of my chest – it’s been building up for a couple of weeks!
First, 16 ounces is NOT a small soda. A small soda would be 6 or 8 ounces, a size you can’t even find in most retailers. As a nation we have completely normalized to a completely insane level of portion sizes. A bagel the size of your face, a dish of pasta that could easily feed four people is served for one, a 64 ounce big gulp (which by the way is HALF A GALLON of soda). We’ve been portion distorted for so long that we don’t even realize just how big some of these things are. And although it seems like common sense, apparently for some it’s not so I’ll spell it out: bigger portions = bigger calorie counts, bigger calorie counts = bigger waistlines. Easy math, really.
Second, sugary drinks are some of the most highly marketed products out there. Forget about the traditional marketing outlets (TV and radio ads), and just look around you. I bet you can see or find a branded soda vending machine in less than five minutes. I bet that in your grocery store there is a branded soda cooler at the checkout aisle. If you take public transport, there is a good chance there was a soda ad on the outside of your bus/train. It is everywhere.
But what does this mean? It means it’s no longer just about ‘personal freedom’ or ‘personal choice.’ It is argued that we have a ‘right’ to soda, in whatever size you want. Freedom of choice is an ingrained American value, and I’m incredible grateful to live in a world where I have freedom of choice. But is it really freedom of choice when you’ve been told by soda marketers that you need and want their product? Would you want a soda if it hadn’t been marketed to you from a very young age?
|Photo Credit: http://pharmagossip.blogspot.be/2008/05/advertising-good-old-days.html|
Never mind the all-important fact, which seems to be selectively forgotten, that you can still buy as much soda as you want in NYC. You’ll just have to buy more than one to get the insane amount that you feel is appropriate. Sorry for the inconvenience.
(If, however, you’re wise you’ll choose something way under the 16oz limit, like none).