Critics of both policies claim that they are “nanny state” measures that diminish freedom of choice. The reality is quite the opposite: By gently and cleverly combatting some of the more aggressive effects of addiction and corporate marketing run amok, they actually make it easier, not harder, for people to exercise the choices they really desire.
The drink ban, had it not been overturned, would not have prevented people determined to do so from drinking as much soda as they like. Rather, it would have introduced what psychologists call an “interrupt” — a signal that triggers conscious thought — before a consumer moved on to a second 16 ounces.
People who really wanted to consume 32 ounces of sugar water in one sitting could easily just get up and get a refill. But those who would have consumed the second 16 ounces mindlessly, without the deliberate intention of doing so, would have been given the opportunity to exercise their own better judgment.