The administration should be focusing its energies on programs that educate and encourage people to make sound choices. For example, obesity rates have declined slightly among students in elementary and middle schools, with the city’s initiatives to make lunches healthier with salad bars, lower-calorie drinks and water fountains in cafeterias. Requiring students to get more exercise has also helped.
The city should keep up its tough anti-obesity advertising campaigns — one ad shows that it takes walking from Union Square to Brooklyn to burn off the calories from a 20-ounce soda. The mayor has also started adult exercise programs and expanded the program for more fresh produce vendors around the city.
Promoting healthy lifestyles is important. In the case of sugary drinks, a regular reminder that a 64-ounce cola has 780 calories should help. But too much nannying with a ban might well cause people to tune out.