Loathsome nutritionist thinks loathsome nanny-state mayor doesn’t go far enough

posted at 2:01 pm on March 10, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Michael Bloomberg has received more than a few broadsides for his seemingly endless parade of new, nanny-state laws designed to tell you how to live. (You know… for your own good.) And now he’s taking another shot across the bow from New York University professor and nutritionist Marion Nestle. But unlike most of the criticism that you’ve read here – or from other sane sources – Ms. Nestle feels that Bloomberg’s reign of lecturing simply doesn’t go far enough. Let’s take a look.

Barring any late legal surprises, Mayor Bloomberg’s 16-ounce cap on sugary sodas goes into effect on Tuesday, March 12. After that, restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and food carts will not be permitted to sell extra-large portions of sugar-packed drinks.

Stay calm. This does not signal the end of democracy in America. This is not the nanny state gone out of control.

If we want Americans to be healthy, we are going to have to take actions like this – and many more – and do so soon.

First of all, I’ll find some common ground in this debate by agreeing with Dr. Nestle on one point. This is not the “end of democracy.” In fact, this is democracy in action… at its very worst. Leaving aside, for the moment, the fact that we don’t actually have a textbook “democracy” here, the scene playing out in the Big Apple is democracy taken to the extreme. It’s a lesson in what happens if you keep electing the same type of nanny-state, big spending, “government is the answer to all problems” types over and over again regardless of the consequences.

As to the second part of her assertion, yes… this is the nanny state gone out of control. But the professor disagrees.

So-called “nanny-state” measures – like bans on driving while drunk, smoking in public places and, now, selling absurdly large sugary drinks – help to level the playing field. Such measures are about giving everyone an equal opportunity to live a safer and healthier life.

At the moment, it is up to you to make healthier choices, but that’s not easy in the face of relentless soda marketing. Governments have a responsibility to provide healthier environments for their citizens.

Trying to design some sort of equivalency between drunk driving and buying soda is so far afield from reality as to be offensive, but the real question comes in the second paragraph. Trying to say that it’s difficult to make choices of beverages other than soda or heavily sweetened coffees is absurd. If you actually want to make the “healthy choice” in a beverage, you should probably drink water. Has anyone noticed a shortage of bottled water lately? If the real problem is “marketing” then you are assuming that the American people are so brainless, helpless and hopeless that they can not resist anything being pitched in television commercials and we need Big Brother to shield us. Why not just outlaw advertising for things you don’t agree with? (That’s probably next.)

So what are these “many more” things Professor Nestle thinks we need to be doing? Here are a few.

Close the loopholes. The city does not have jurisdiction over sales of sodas in convenience stores and supermarkets.

Fix the price differential. A 7.5-ounce can of soda costs twice as much per ounce as a two-liter bottle, and you can’t buy just one; it comes in an 8-pack. Price determines sales. If a 16-ounce soda costs a dollar, a 32-ounce soda should cost two dollars.

Tax sodas.

Remove vending machines from schools.

Restrict marketing of sodas to children.

Don’t let SNAP (food stamp) benefits be used for sodas.

Almost all of these proposals fall into two categories. They are either more regulations to restrict human behavior or – the wildly popular idea on the Left – using taxes to modify behavior by driving the price of things they don’t like to unaffordable levels. The latter is one which crops up all of the time with predictable results. When they can’t take away your guns, they want to tax the ammunition. Rather than trying to make tobacco illegal, they tax it until piracy takes over the market. And now, if they can’t ban soda outright, they’ll tax it until only the richest people can afford it. The next development after that, I assure you, will be the appearance of black market soda and a new parade of citizens being dragged into court over nonsense.

Welcome to New York. Now get out while you still can.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Go ahead, make my day.

I’ll sell Soda Stream quarts with bootleg syrup. Should make a killing.

morons

iconoclast on March 10, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I can shut up the ignorant fascist red_herring very very quickly.

red_herring insists that government should ban anything that raises health-care costs.

Fine.

A study by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has found that large parts of the city are plagued with soaring rates for multiple STDs – including HIV/AIDS.

And:

Sexually transmitted diseases cost $16 billion each year to treat in the U.S., with 19.7 million infections diagnosed annually, the nation’s health agency found.

But of course, since the Obama Party and Bloomberg endorse and support promiscuous and irresponsible sex, as we see from the Obama Party’s endorsed show “Girls”, it seems that you and your fellow Obama supporters are total hypocrites.

northdallasthirty on March 10, 2013 at 5:49 PM

I can shut up the ignorant fascist red_herring very very quickly.

red_herring insists that government should ban anything that raises health-care costs.

hmmm… I don’t recall ever saying that, but if I did I take it back. Anywhos I can say for a fact that a sex ban would violate the 14th amendment.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 5:54 PM

These people display an astounding ignorance of basic biological principles!!

If you ban every food some “authority” figures is not “healthy” and prohibit the ability to choose to pursue diverse diets, all you are doing is assuring that huge numbers of people will die from your mistakes!!!

Diverse diets assure that some of us will live to carry on.

Who ARE these “authorities” and how do they know what they profess to know??? Dietary advice from anyone under the age of 130 should be completely ignored!!!

landlines on March 10, 2013 at 6:09 PM

the police power inherent in sovereign states

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 4:32 PM

The Federal government does NOT have plenary police power.

Resist We Much on March 10, 2013 at 6:11 PM

It has annoyingly come to my attention that there are quite a few of you who post here regularly who are always making fat comments about obese people and comments about ugly people especially of women who don’t fit their male ego’s position of an anorexic/skinny female they think attractive.

Keep your damn thoughts to yourself…

If fat people and ugly women are not your cup of tea, do we all need to know it!

Keep your damn opinions about attractiveness and body size to yourself…

Thank You!

No, this is not sarcasm… :-)

Scrumpy on March 10, 2013 at 2:49 PM

…oh oh!…I’m in LOTS of TROUBLE!

KOOLAID2 on March 10, 2013 at 6:12 PM

The Federal government does NOT have plenary police power.

Resist We Much on March 10, 2013 at 6:11 PM

the state of new York does.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 6:14 PM

hmmm… I don’t recall ever saying that, but if I did I take it back. Anywhos I can say for a fact that a sex ban would violate the 14th amendment.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 5:54 PM

You implied it with your vigorous defense of soda bans.
Why would a sex ban violate the 14th Amendment when a soda ban wouldn’t? They both deal with bodily functions and how you wish to satiate them. In fact you can live a very long life without sex but deprive the body of calories and it will die fairly rapidly.

chemman on March 10, 2013 at 6:29 PM

I have to wonder how many ‘ethnic’ foods would be banned under Bloomie’s concept of better-health-through-government-control, if he wanted to look into all those dishes. Salt content and other ingredients could easily come under his watchful eye, I’m sure, even though many have been consumed for hundreds if not thousands of years. Or would that be ‘discriminatory’ somehow?

Liam on March 10, 2013 at 6:30 PM

hmmm… I don’t recall ever saying that, but if I did I take it back. Anywhos I can say for a fact that a sex ban would violate the 14th amendment.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Wrong.

You stated clearly that the state can ban whatever it wants.

the state of new York does.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Liar.

northdallasthirty on March 10, 2013 at 6:31 PM

You implied it with your vigorous defense of soda bans.
Why would a sex ban violate the 14th Amendment when a soda ban wouldn’t? They both deal with bodily functions and how you wish to satiate them. In fact you can live a very long life without sex but deprive the body of calories and it will die fairly rapidly.

chemman on March 10, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Again, just to be clear, this isn’t a soda ban. New Yorkers can buy/drink as much soda as their hearts and bellies desire. Though they can’t buy a 32oz soda from certain stores, they can buy 2 16oz sodas. In fact, they can buy (and drink) unlimited numbers of sodas if they so desire.

As I stated earlier, a complete soda ban of the sort you imagine, would probably be unconstitutional (i’m not a constitutional scholar or supreme court justice so I can’t say for certain).

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Wrong.

You stated clearly that the state can ban whatever it wants.

the state of new York does.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Liar.

northdallasthirty on March 10, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Bold statement there. I think you’re confusing “police power” with “unlimited power.” They’re not the same, and I’ve never implied that they are.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 6:42 PM

northdallasthirty on March 10, 2013 at 6:31 PM

I realize that I made an error. My appolgizes.

I didn’t mean to imply that New York has unlimited power. That’s my bad. My snarky reply to your post was my bad as well.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 6:44 PM

the state of new York does.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Yes, but even states’ exercise of plenary police powers have to survive strict scrutiny.

The Federal government does not have plenary police powers. See Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908); Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Company, 272 U.S. 365 (1926); Erznoznik v. City of Jacksonville, 422 U.S. 205 (1975); United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000); Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 U.S. 1003 (1992); Whalen v. Roe, 429 U.S. 589 (1977); Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corporation, 458 U.S. 419 (1982); em>Gitlow v. People, 268 U.S. 652 (1925); Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, 483 U.S. 825 (1987);
Maryland v. Wilson, 519 U.S. 408 (1997).

So you agree or disagree that the government has the authority to regulate drugs and alcohol? Your answer isn’t clear.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 4:24 PM

This has always proven to be an interesting issue from a constitutional perspective. In order to regulate alcohol (actually, ban it), the Federal government had to amend the Constitution; yet, it passed the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which, while it argued was based on interstate commerce, was expanded to cover intrastate commerce later on without the constitutional basis. Of course, cases like Wickard v Filburn and Gonzales v Raich provided the dubious legal justification. “Hey, that wheat or pot you are growing and consuming yourself might affect interstate commerce if everyone acts like you!” If everyone decided not to buy a GM product, it would certainly affect interstate commerce and the auto industry. Thanks to Chief Justice Roberts, the Feds can’t force us to buy a GM produce, but – for the first time in history – it can just use this heretofore never discovered tax to punish you if you do not.

Resist We Much on March 10, 2013 at 6:48 PM

What I find interesting is their fixation with sodas.

Ever look up the calorie count on a 16 oz mocha cappacino or a latte coffee?
It’s equal to a 16 oz soda.

But upscale New Yorkers don’t require the nanny treatment only hard working middle class types.

sanjuro on March 10, 2013 at 7:20 PM

hmmm… I don’t recall ever saying that, but if I did I take it back. Anywhos I can say for a fact that a sex ban would violate the 14th amendment.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 5:54 PM

even if the government played no role in health care, your health choices affect everyone else. I’m sure you’re familiar with the law of supply and demand. If you demand more healthcare, the price goes up for everyone.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 2:49 PM

That’s pretty dang close.

GWB on March 10, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Texas to Bloomie and Co: F^&k off!

annoyinglittletwerp on March 10, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Oh, red_herring, as to the restrictions on the state governments? Try this, too:

Article. IV.
Section. 4.

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,….

In other words, no, the state cannot take away the freedoms of the people under the Constitution.

GWB on March 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Anywhos I can say for a fact that a sex ban would violate the 14th amendment.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 5:54 PM

In what way?

Solaratov on March 10, 2013 at 7:39 PM

hat I find interesting is their fixation with sodas.
Ever look up the calorie count on a 16 oz mocha cappacino or a latte coffee?
It’s equal to a 16 oz soda.
But upscale New Yorkers don’t require the nanny treatment only hard working middle class types.
sanjuro on March 10, 2013 at 7:20 PM

I’m fairly certain that sugary coffee drinks are included.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 8:06 PM

In other words, no, the state cannot take away the freedoms of the people under the Constitution.

GWB on March 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

The freedoms in the Constitution are protected through the 14th amendment.

The problem is, the Constitution doesn’t protect against soda-size bans.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Yes, but even states’ exercise of plenary police powers have to survive strict scrutiny.

The vast majority of the time it’s only rational basis.

This has always proven to be an interesting issue from a constitutional perspective. In order to regulate alcohol (actually, ban it), the Federal government had to amend the Constitution; yet, it passed the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, which, while it argued was based on interstate commerce, was expanded to cover intrastate commerce later on without the constitutional basis. Of course, cases like Wickard v Filburn and Gonzales v Raich provided the dubious legal justification. “Hey, that wheat or pot you are growing and consuming yourself might affect interstate commerce if everyone acts like you!” If everyone decided not to buy a GM product, it would certainly affect interstate commerce and the auto industry. Thanks to Chief Justice Roberts, the Feds can’t force us to buy a GM produce, but – for the first time in history – it can just use this heretofore never discovered tax to punish you if you do not.

Resist We Much on March 10, 2013 at 6:48 PM

The difference here is that the federal government isn’t acting. the question is whether states have the authority to restrict the size of sodas. I think the answer is yes.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 8:12 PM

the question is whether states have the authority to restrict the size of sodas. I think the answer is yes.

red_herring on March 10, 2013 at 8:12 PM

You people are so fu**ing loathsome.

tom daschle concerned on March 10, 2013 at 8:58 PM

If the real problem is “marketing” then you are assuming that the American people are so brainless, helpless and hopeless that they can not resist anything being pitched in television commercials and we need Big Brother to shield us. Why not just outlaw advertising for things you don’t agree with? (That’s probably next.)

But…. it’s RELENTLESS soda marketing! Nobody can stand up to that!!!

Hard to believe somebody wrote that with a straight face….

There Goes The Neighborhood on March 11, 2013 at 2:15 AM

I’m through accepting limits
‘Cuz someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!

J_Crater on March 11, 2013 at 1:22 PM

red_herring, please review Judge Tingling’s epic smackdown of Bloomie’s soda ban.

Resist We Much on March 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM

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