Super-Sized Nanny State Reaches Big Gulp Proportions

BlogHer Original Post

Happy National Donut Day.

That was the message from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg just a day after he announced his proposal to ban large fountain drinks because they're bad for you.

Even Today show host Matt Lauer scoffed at the hypocrisy: "It sounds ridiculous."

Bloomberg countered that "one donut is not going to hurt you."

So, the beverage lobby's bad? The donut lobby's good? Got it.

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I believe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Being a health nut and a gym rat, I fully support living a healthy lifestyle.

But of course, this is the same government that brought us that lousy nutritional health pyramid now thought to have contributed to weight gain.

Nobody put the government's stupid meddling in our health better than the hilarious comedian Lewis Black: Is milk good or bad?

[WARNING: This video's really funny.]

Having dealt with similar health concerns via government at the County of San Diego, there's much that elected leaders can do to educate the public on prevention options and making communities conductive to outdoor activities.

However, you cannot force people to live your life. In other words, you can lead an American to milk...

Bloomberg equates his quest to end obesity-related illnesses to the cancer-cigarette movement.

Not the same.

Research shows no positive health outcomes associated with either cigarettes or soda, but in the case of soda, there's no research to show ingesting soda alone takes years off your life.

It's been linked as related to a pattern of behavior.

And yet, as a singular-cause linked to life-threatening illnesses -- cigarettes are not illegal. Packages of cancer sticks warn users of the risks to their health, but if they still want to smoke -- smoke away.

I'm sick to death of an overreaching government jerking around with personal lives by legislating and criminalizing virtually any and all acts perceived as harmful to self.

If we accept that Darwin was right, then let his theory pan out.

Of course, what's at the crux of Bloomberg's crusade is how this affects the soda industry (READ: the economy).

Just today, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney slammed President Obama over the latest jobs numbers.

Romney called the 8.2 percent spike in unemployment a "harsh indictment" of the current administration's failed economic policies.

I'd argue further that it's incessant and costly government mandates, like the soda ban, regulating businesses nationwide quite literally to death.

The good folks over at the Huffington Post picked up on this money tussle with Big Beverage, but of course, they seem to be proud that a mayor of a major city would intentionally knock the legs out from under a job-creating industry.

Of course, politics plays a major role in Bloomberg's power play and it's not the first time he's gone toe-to-toe with the American Beverage Association.

Image Credit: Bruce W. Martin III, Flickr

Here's the interesting part: Bloomberg's proposal includes "beverages that have added sugar, contain less than 51 percent milk or milk substitute by volume and have more than 25 calories per 8 fluid ounces."

Does that sound like a fancy coffee drink?

Just might be. Mess with people's Starbucks, and New Yorker's might just go bonkers.

But here's the part of Ms. Huegnergarth's piece that makes me shoot Coke Zero out of my nose: "Consumers need more help than nutrition education and being told to take "personal responsibility" for making the right choices."

Hello China. When does the government start making house calls to inspect our pantries?

Whether the author cares to admit it, she lives in America and our government protects everyone's right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

I'm an adult who believes I've earned the right to make decisions for myself, my child and my family. There's no end in sight when government starts undermining our ability to think and act for ourselves.

What's next? Too many kids in foster care. Solution: government-mandated sterilization.

As President Reagan once quipped: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

Erica Holloway is a BlogHer contributing editor and principal of Galvanized Strategies, a San Diego-based public relations firm. Contact her at erica (at) galvanizedstrategies (dot) com or follow her @erica_holloway.

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