It is finished.

New York City’s Board of Health opened up a new, experimental front in the war on obesity Thursday, passing a rule banning sales of big sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, concession stands, and other eateries.

The regulation, which was proposed in the spring by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and approved by panel of health experts after several months of review, puts a 16-ounce size limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas, and other calorie-packed beverages.

The ban will apply in fast-food joints, movie houses and Broadway theaters, workplace cafeterias, and most other places selling prepared food.

It doesn’t cover beverages sold in supermarkets or most convenience stores.

I like the way it’s couched as a brave new front in the war on bad health. One member of the health board dared to abstain from the vote saying, “I am still skeptical. This is not comprehensive enough.” DOES HE WANT PEOPLE TO DIE?

Opponents of the measure will continue to fight:

Opponents, who cast the issue as an infringement on personal freedom and called Mayor Michael Bloomberg an overbearing nanny, vowed to continue their fight, possibly by going to court in the hopes of blocking or overturning the measure before it takes effect in March.

“It’s sad that the board wants to limit our choices. We are smart enough to make our own decisions about what to eat and drink,” Liz Berman, a business owner and chairwoman of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, said in a statement.

Ah yes, opponents “cast the issue as an infringement on personal freedom,” whereas the nanny statists “[open] up a new, experimental front in the war on obesity.”

I may never understand why people routinely tolerate these everyday, ever-present intrusions from those who think we’re too dumb to take care of ourselves while also being very cross indeed about a fabricated ban on contraception, which amounts to my “blocking access” by not going personally to the CVS, slapping my $20 down, and delivering access unto their doorstep. The score remains: 2 liberal mayors who tried to ban a fried chicken joint in major U.S. cities, 1 liberal (Independent) mayor who banned sodas, and 0 conservative mayors who’ve tried to ban contraception. This is why the podcast is called The War on Bacon. It is coming, and we must gird ourselves for battle if we wish to save cured meats.

After all, obesity is the biggest threat to national security.

Meanwhile, a Massachusetts pie maker opted out of the EBT (food stamp) program at her local farmers’ market saying:

“The EBT program, or the SNAP benefits, it’s the old food stamp program, and they’re originally designed to provide nutritional foods for folks who can’t afford to buy them on their own. Fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, cheese, products like that. What we make are a luxury or a gourmet dessert, which does not fit that criteria. And I just don’t believe that the taxpayers’ money should be spent buying luxury or gourmet desserts for people who are having trouble putting nutritional food on their table in the first place.”

Andrea Taber’s decision about how to run her private business in order to discourage taxpayer funding of unhealthy eating caused a bit of a firestorm. I’d love to see a Venn diagram of those who support Bloomberg’s pioneering nanny-state work via government force but oppose Taber’s decision. Here’s Ever So Humble pie company, if you’d like to show her some love. The owner of the farmers’ market, who implemented the program, has released a joint statement with Taber saying she’s welcome to opt out and remain part of the farmers’ market, and Taber says the e-mail feedback she’s gotten has been overwhelmingly positive.

In other news, organic food isn’t that much better for you, food labeling doesn’t change food choices, and salt’s not really bad for you. Bon appetit!

Front page photo courtesy of Jake Brewer.