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Large Sugary Drinks

Original post made by Goldilocks on May 31, 2012

Instead of regulating the upper limit of sugary drinks, I think vendors should be required to sell a small-sized drink. It's so maddening to go to a place like Great America or a movie theater and the smallest soda you can buy is enough for the whole family. I know there are those of you who will tell me to get water, but it just doesn't taste as good.

Comments (16)

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Of all the areas of government intervention, this has to be the least justified.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I would like to ask why single serving milk cartons are not offered wherever food is sold? I like to drink water during the day but often the only alternative to sugary drinks (including juice) is water. I would love to see low fat milk offered too. Kids need to drink milk too and it tastes great.

Posted by Weight loss and health, a resident of Greater Miranda
on May 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Walter: if reducing public healthcare costs, and having a stronger, healthier population (especially healthier children) to support America results, would that move it up your list of priorities?

Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on May 31, 2012 at 7:44 pm

This is not going to kill anybody, in fact quite the oppposite - in all probability. I see nothing wrong with trying it.

You can bitch and moan about the "nanny state" all you want, but what we have is a state that is purchased and run by the corporations who are the nastiest in terms of study human behavior and reverse engineering products, not to mention legislation, that is meant to take advantage of random built in negative genetic traits and then set the argument about how the ones without those traits are superior and should be able to behave like it. The "Predator State" as several books have called it in one form or another.

We are in a brave new world and there is nothing wrong with feeling our way around in it, and experimenting. The public needs a way to affect corporate behavior at times. Let's do it in one city, look at the honest uncooked results and see what happens.

Posted by Jarred, a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Michael Bloomberg: just another man obsessed with cup size.

I think he'd make a good mayor of Pyongyang when he's done hectoring New Yorkers.

@Anon: yes, those devilish corporations, constantly inventing and selling products that people want to buy. Root of all evil, ought not to be allowed. What can a mere person do when faced with those kinds of purchasing alternatives? Good thing we have enlightened people like you, ready to prevent free citizens from exercising their right to make their own choices.

Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Jarred, not all products that all corporations want to buy do people want. Millions of people wish that they could stop smoking, or eat reasonably … do you think people want to get sick and die?

This is not a black and white issue as you seem to pose it, there are situations such as this one where "regulation" can be a good thing.

Seems you would like to see everyone smoking of dying of cancer just to prove a point that not many really buy into anyway.

Posted by Interesting, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jun 2, 2012 at 10:38 am

This is such an interesting debate. It is easy to agree that regulating soft drinks is over the top. On the other hand, you can't argue that we don't have epidemics of obesity and diabetes, which are in no-one's interest - esp since Medicare socializes the cost of senior health care (sorry anti-Obama-ists, thanks President Johnson for that one). I can easily see looking back 20 years from now and seeing people shaking their heads over the lack of food regulation/taxation, just as we shake our heads about smoking in the '50s and '60s.

In the end, it seems worth a try. A nice thing about local and state government - we can experiment on a small scale and see how it goes.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm

The real problem is that the sweet sugary sodas and junk food are much cheaper than the healthy food that is available and fast food restaurants tend to be quicker for a quick meal than somewhere which serves predominately healthy food. It is also cheaper for a burger, fries and a soda, than a salad.

What is really troubling is that the corn farmers have political power and they want to keep selling their product. More often than not it is not sugar that is in our drinks but corn syrup which is cheap and plentiful. Banning corn syrup may help the health of the nation a lot, but they won't do that because of politics.

The type of person who orders a supersized soda is also the type of person who will also order a supersized burger and a supersized fries, and then they are the type of people who will be supersized themselves! Even if they can't order the supersized soda, they will still order the supersized burger and fries and probably ask for a refill on the soda too!

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm

It is reasonable to have a high tax on corn syrup and sugar,just as we have on tobacco and booze.

We have subsidized corn syrup since the 70s-thus the rise in obesity.

At projected rates obesity related diabetes will bankrupt the health care system.

Smokers die fast,young and cheap--obese diabetics suffer a host of chronic, debilitating incurable diseases and linger on for decades.

End the subsidies for corn syrup and tax it at a very,very high rate.

Banning sodas will not work----taxing sugars will work

Posted by Interesting, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jun 2, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Good points Sharon. That does seem like a better approach than trying to regulate end-use products.

Posted by Reasonable Person, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Sharon has it right is not the only one to have this view.

Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2012 at 12:16 am

Allow heath insurers to adjust rates based on obesity, and you won't need nanny state regulations.

Of course that must be predicated on having insurance or cash, or you don't receive health care.

Posted by Nanny nanny boo boo, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 3, 2012 at 5:47 am

Walter: Good to read something by you! I was wondering where you were and if you were ok!

Sarc on: For the "public good", if we are to use that as a metric, we really should ban all cheese on burgers, all burgers larger than a 1/4 pound, all french fries ( only baked fries!), no more desserts other than fruit, we must eat our salad and fruit before the restaurant gives us our meat. we will all be thin "for the public good".
Sarc off.

This whole idea is absurd. Somehow I am thin but have all the same food choices that have never been "banned". Gee..I wonder why?

Agree with Outside Observer: How about we each pay for the insurance that covers what we want to cover, from obesity to smoking to skydiving. Those who want to be fat, feel free to be so, just pay your own insurance.

That is the problem with tax-funded "health care". Suddenly, the taxpayers worry about their dollars, and feel free to tell you how to live, what to eat, how much to exercise,...What next? It is for "the greater good" to not have babies before you are married and can pay for your own kids, so I propose that all women and men have mandatory birth control until they are married and can pay for their own kids. ..hmmm...actually, not a bad idea! Think of all the money our society would save!

Stop this insanity. Take responsibility for your own choices.

Posted by Good point, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 3, 2012 at 11:43 am

While you guys are reforming and re-regulating the insurance business, taxing things that make us ill seems like a good way to go. It is true that the corn lobby has done well for its producers, which effectively subsidizes these products. They've done too good a job and it needs counter-balancing.

Posted by Nanny nanny boo boo, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

to good point: I would much rather stop subsidizing farmers and start taxing consumers of sugars,( fats, booze, cigarettes, meats..whatever..heck, I would rather just replace the whole darn tax code with a consumer tax than the income tax, but that is another thread), than "regulate" the purveyors of sugars etc.

we agree on this "good point".

Posted by Good point, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Thanks Nanny, glad we can agree on that. Unfortunately, the farm lobby (big agri and otherwise) is probably second only to the financial services lobby in its effectiveness, and has the added advantage of the senate's two-per-state structure. Perhaps there's a grand bargain of removing corn and sugar supports (plus a sugar tax) in exchange for additional finance re-regulation. I dream a dream..!

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