Super-size soda to be banned in New York under obesity plan

At the NYT, Michael M. Grynbaum reports on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to abolish sales of large bottles or cups of soda outside of grocery stores.

The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.

Presumably, refills and the purchase of multiple smaller sodas will also be banned, in order to demonstrate that this isn't empty hot air that just happens to increase the price- and profitability-by-volume of soda.


  1. FTA, page 1: “At fast-food chains, where sodas are often dispersed at self-serve fountains, restaurants would be required to hand out cup sizes of 16 ounces or less, regardless of whether a customer opts for a diet drink. But free refills — and additional drink purchases — would be allowed.”

    So, the last bit in the article blurb here isn’t quite correct.

    1. I think the comment about banning refills and multiple small volume purchases was an expression of (slightly cynical) hope and a musing on the hidden consequences of this new policy, not a statement of fact.

    2. Good Catch.  This is an important point.  All restaurants that currently don’t have Self Serve Soda Fountains may be motivated to get such machines to bypass the law. 

      Governing human behaviors like this rarely end up with the desired goal. 
      This is just Corn Syrup Prohibition – people are gonna drink sugar. 

    3. The problem ISN’T 12 or 16 oz. or even the 32oz big gulp buckets of the swill.

      The problem is the heavily subsidized HFCS that EVERY FRIGGIN’ soft drink maker in the US uses which nobody’s body knows what to do with except to isolate it in fat and deposit on your belly.

      Corn products, aka pig slop, is the problem here.

      The USDA and the FDA are not your friends.

  2. “Presumably, refills and the purchase of multiple smaller sodas will also be banned, in order to demonstrate that this isn’t empty hot air that just happens to increase the price- and profitability-by-volume of soda.”

    I never want a 20+ oz drink but I frequently end up with one anyway because of meal deals.     I assume this is the point of the ban.    They can’t reasonably control refills or multiple purchases if that’s what people really want but I think they are  betting that many people will often be satisfied with less.

    1. “For MORE!’ said Mr. Bloomberg. ‘Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?’
      ‘He did, sir,’ replied Bumble.
      ‘That boy will be hung,’ said the Mayor. ‘I know that boy will be hung.'”

          1. Since Dickens cut out the shower scene at the orphanage, we may never know… :-(

    2. Same here! I’ll always ask for a small drink… which could still be 20 freaking oz….

      Maybe we should start asking for the Kid size drink. Hopefully that will be less than 12oz.

      1. When I went, I used to take the “Bucket O’ Swill” and immediately pour most of it down the waste basket.

        The problem is that it didn’t matter.

        As long as HFCS is a heavily subsidized sweetener, and one that your body only knows how to encapsulate and deposit as fat on your waist. you’ll get obese.

        Even an 8oz glass is too much.

      1. And if you get a 10oz with free refills, no-one’s stopping you drinking 20oz of soda, either.

        However, I’m pretty confident that studies would conclusively show that a group given 20oz cups would drink more soda on average than one given 10oz cups (regardless of whether free refills are available to one group, or both, or neither).

        People tend to finish what’s put in front of them. That’s just how people act.

    1. …while charging two more bucks for the burger and fries, yeah!

      Now when the article blurb says “outside of grocery stores”, do grocery stores include 7-11, Circle K and the like?

  3. Seriously, Bloomberg?

    I’m all for Government intervening when the “Free Market” fails to accomplish something,  but unless whatever is happening  is outright toxic, the intervention should be educational.

    People get obscenely obese, people die — fine. It’s their right to get obscenely obese and die.

    Okay, okay — there’s a health (and probably others — infrastructure, park benches, subway turnstile widths, etc) expense borne by the rest of the populace. But is this still in the same category as dumping PCB’s into the water-table?

    UPDATE: a more appropriate comparison might be cigarette smoke. I support (most?) smoking bans — as the smoke invades my airways, and I am allergic , thus it has a negative impact on my health. But, when I’m not around — eg, not in a public place where non-smokers might be — go ahead and kill yourself smoking. But don’t try to get my taxes to pay for your [self-induced] cancer treatments. [aaargh, this is a rabbit-hole — should _some_ cancer-treatments be publicly subsidized, then? Are there other health conditions that should _not_ be publicly subsidized? Ugh.]

    1.  What I would like to see is the cost-benefit analysis behind the ban [I couldn’t find any financial impacts in the linked-article].

      And if there ain’t one, there shouldn’t be one.

      1. *dingdingding* We have a winner! The first post in this thread that actually makes a good point! Congratulations!

        (I’m dead serious, that’s a really good point. And yes, I’m knocking myself as much as the rest of us.)

    2. Thank you for your level-headed comment.  In the grand scheme of things, this is small beans, but I’m seeing a trend of heavy-handed “government” (not said with an angry libertarian voice) overreach coming from Bloomberg.  Not only OWS, but his insistence that Stop & Frisk isn’t horribly racist, and the ridiculous public parks smoking ban.  Again, show me a study that my smoking in a public park harms others in anything more than an insignificant way, and I’m all aboard.  But we haven’t gotten to that point, the [social] science research isn’t there and pretty foul principles are being set.

      1. Personally, as a smoker and as someone who used to live in NYC, I never could understand the rationale behind trying to ban smoking in public places.  I mean, if you’re so worried about my cigarette, why don’t you go someplace where there aren’t fourteen thousand cars and trucks idling 24 hours a day?  And don’t say anything about the butts, or I’ll tell you to go talk to the guy relieving himself in the Grey’s Papaya cup across the street first.

        1. And you like so many other smokers will never seem to understand that the smell of cigarette smoke is about as pleasant to most non-smokers as drying paint or the smells of a dirty bathroom. In fact it’s worse, since it tends to get in our hair and clothes meaning we can still smell it on us later.

          There is a reason it’s regarded by non-smokers as a “disgusting” habit, because quite frankly, I am disgusted by the smell of cigarette smoke.

          As you are likely addicted to cigarettes, I imagine it’s regarded by you very similarly to an essential biological need, like eating or going to the bathroom. I understand that you have a *need* to smoke and attain relief doing so, much like I get a certain amount relief urinating, but in consideration of those around me, I don’t do it just anywhere, like behind a tree in the park, because most people don’t enjoy the smell of urine.

          1. NYC smells like garbage for months of the year. Don’t get me wrong. I fucking love that city, but as a tourist during summer. God that whole city could just smell foul at times.

    3. outright toxic

      Nailed in ONE.

      Drinks are make out of highly subsidized HFCS and your body wasn’t evolved to dispose of it so it encapsulates it in fat and deposits it right on your waist.

        1. Cooking foods was part of our evolution, it’s just that as part of the adaptiveness that basically defines the human species we did it by evolving techniques rather than physical traits to expand our food base; and every single mammal is evolved to process dairy for the very reason why they’re called mammals –  more specific to what you’re driving at, adult lactose tolerance was independently evolved by several different ancestral groups.

          Alcohol we don’t ban because the entire purpose of drinking it is its toxicity ;)

  4. Can’t be any worse then the Corporate democracy that we currently have where greater good is determined by whatever increases shareholder value.

  5. When are wacko San Francisco extremist nanny-state liberal Democrats going to stop telling us what we can or can’t eat?

    Oh, wait.

    1. Why cant they? You seem to have no problem with mega-corporate tax subsidized industrial complexes telling you its OKAY to eat something.

      This is needed. It might not be the best way to start, and it will most certainly be struck down by the interests I cited above, but its needed.

      1. There is a difference between companies offering an item for sale (and even advertising it) and the government outright banning something. It’d be a different situation if NYC was starting some kind of education program or even putting limits in schools, but private businesses and consumers should not be subject to idiotic nanny laws. And I say this as a pretty big lefty.

        1.  These massive corn sodas exist precisely because “private business” has demanded handouts.

        2. Okay, then private companies getting money for the base of their product from tax dollars to sell back a product cheap that is bad for us but in EVERYTHING we eat should have those first subsidies take away, right? Or are you fine with paying 3 times for the same product (tax subsidies, the drink, medical bills)?

          Extra sweetener is in everything, from bread to fruit, but in liquid from, its the fastest way to consume more than needed calories. Its the first and largest head on the Hydra.

    2. When are wacko San Francisco extremist nanny-state liberal Democrats going to stop telling us what we can or can’t eat?

      Oh, wait.

      When the wacko Texas extremist nanny-state conservative Republicans stop telling us it’s a crime to smoke a joint?

      Oh, wait.

    3. [deep sigh]  Irony fail.  I guess I’m the only person who read the article?  Hell, who read the full quote?

      The law is for New York City, and the instigator is Thomas Friedman’s most favoritest centrist.

  6. “…this isn’t empty hot air that just happens to increase the price- and profitability-by-volume of soda.”

    It’s water with sugar in it.   It’s all profit.  That’s why they love the super-sized drink: you pay for more than you actually want, while their expense is generally flat.  Left to their own devices, even with free refills, most people will actually drink less.

    1. A store only gets so many retail opportunities based on their sunk costs: advertising, floor space, staff, inventory logistics, etc.  The incremental cost to provide a bit more soda is very small compared to that. 

      The transaction becomes more efficient for both store and customer.

  7. I’ve been warning people about the greed of Big Soda for years. It’s not uncommon for lower income families to purchase a super sized drink and share it amongst multiple people. Big Soda is trying to stop such communal practises, forcing the purchase of a drink for each individual. Plus, they are forcasting Syrup prices to skyrocket this summer. How convenient.

    1. And that is the point. We have oversized our food system to the point of killing ourselves. Its not just ‘eat less exercise more’. Its country wide education, re-training our bodies to know when we are full, and getting rid of that tired old mantra of ‘eat everything on your plate’.

      1. Our portion sizes of unhealthy foods have increased as “fillers” are added while nutritious food portion sizes have decreased.

    2.  I work at a higher-end coffee shop. The biggest cup we have is 16oz and a lot of people go “Wait, THAT’s a large?” Because they are used to being able to get 20 oz. of coffee from Starbucks. We don’t do hot milk/espresso drinks over 12oz, and people always get all huffy about it. I can’t imagine wanting to down 16oz of hot milk, but there you have it.

      That said, this law is a little silly. Bloomberg is well on his way to banning cigarettes city-wide. As someone who can actually smoke in moderation, say when I have a couple drinks and feel like it now and then, this kind of law is bananas. “Violence of the state?” no. Irritating and unnecessary? Probably.

    3. I assumed that was an error, but the replies indicate otherwise.

      That’s a lot for a ‘medium’. At a guess the medium in a UK Starbucks is about 300ml, which is about 10oz. I think 500ml sounds more like a large (verde or whatever they call it).

  8. Goddamn, I hate bullshit like this. This is reactionary stupidity at its finest that does nothing to address the actual problem: people do not monitor what they eat and exercise. Until you can find a way to make them want to do that, obesity will continue to be a problem. This stupid restriction is not going to fix that. It is not the job of the government to be someone’s fucking babysitter.

    1.  It is not the job of the government to be someone’s fucking babysitter.

      Actually, in many cases it is, and it’s a great function of civilized society.

  9. People joke about it because it sounds frivolous, but obesity has a death toll, and the beverage companies have become just like the tobacco companies.  I think Bloomberg’s actions to rein them in are overdue.

  10. If somebody actually wants 32oz of soda, they can get a 16oz soda plus a refill.  So nobody is being horribly inconvenienced.

    On the other hand, people often eat & drink what’s put in front of them without thinking — they usually over consume.   There are some illustrating popcorn experiments:  if you hand people a single large popcorn they eat a lot more than if you hand people the same amount of popcorn split into two smaller portions.

  11. No cups or bottles bigger than 16oz, but it says nothing about cans. Will they start putting soda in tall-boy cans? Arizona Tea already does this with its sugar drinks.

    1. Actually I’m wondering about 2 liters…  I mean does this just screw anyone who wants a soda at home (obviously you can buy bottles and can, which I do from time to time when they are on sale, but price wise 2L is usually the best &/oz cost.)

      Besides I remember a time when soda came in 3 liter bottles.

      1. From the NYT article: “The measure … would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.”

        You can buy all the 2L bottles you want at a grocery store and drink all the soda you want at home.

  12. Any head of administrative department who can  come up with such nonsense should be held accountable for misuse of public resources.

    This is plain bullshit

  13. I see this being framed around the web as a “freedom of choice” issue when it’s really a “people are easily deceived and conditioned by ubiquitous advertising from a young age” issue. Freedom of choice assumes a level paying field and an informed consumer. In this case we have neither. Healthy food choices do not receive nearly the advertising dollars as unhealthy food choices. People may have some vague idea that soda is bad for you but most have never actually talked to a nutritionist to know how many calories they should be consuming, etc.

    1. I’ll agree with your point that on average people consume way to many calories and don’t even realize it.

      But at the same time up and limiting portion size isn’t going to do much other than make people spend more money.  It’s like asking someone if they have ever baked a cake or cookies at home?  They have?  WHY!? Cake and cookies are horrible for you, not to mention they taste great.

      People like sugar, and unfortunately we can get it cheaply and easily…
      If I could get prime grade steak at a $1 a pound you better bet that I’d be eating it every night.

      1. You’re argument contradicts itself.

        Firstly you say people aren’t going to drink less because all they’ll do is spend more money. Then you point out that you don’t eat prime grade steak every night because its expensive.

        1. Well it’s actually two arguments.

          -Assuming there is no price change and refills are free then all it really becomes is an inconvenience.  If all this does is make the large a 16oz beverage then some people may buy multiple drinks (for a to go order as an example)…I’d still wager not many would, but a few will.  Habits can be hard to break, and if having 24 or 32oz of drink with your lunch is what you are used to then many will find a way to continue that (refills, multiple drinks, or bringing drinks from home.)

          -Thanks to all the subsidies for corn, HFCS is cheap, and people already like sugar.  The down side to that is we can buy 2l sodas at the store for $1 instead of the $2 or $3+ price a free market system might require.  All that means is more people see soda as a daily drink instead of a treat/occasional thing.  Much like steak.  If it was subsidized by the government and could be purchased for a couple dollars a pound I’d eat it a whole lot more than I do now, simply because I like it.  (Yes my self control is weak…)  But I haven’t won the lottery, so to have a nice steak is a treat, not a daily thing.

          The problem isn’t directly the soda.  It’s the fact that the government makes corn/HFCS super cheap, and thus soda cheap.  Taxing it isn’t the answer, because you are already spending tax money on the subsidy…  Just eliminate the subsidy and see if the farmers have a market for it.  Everyone would bitch, but at least I see that as a fair trade off to what we have now.

    2. I see this being framed around the web as a “freedom of choice” issue when it’s really a “people are easily deceived and conditioned by ubiquitous advertising from a young age” issue. Freedom of choice assumes a level paying field and an informed consumer. In this case we have neither.

      I mostly agree with you, but the conclusion I draw from this is: this is a bad piece of legislation.

      As far as I can tell, prohibitionist reactions never really address underlying causes, and they never really work. Outlawing big cups does nothing to address the “people are deceived by advertising” thing, and in fact it may have the opposite effect: the fewer choices people can make, the less incentive they have for making them.

      Many people have had really bad outcomes from drinking alcohol, but prohibition wasn’t a good way of dealing with  that.

      Some people develop unhealthy relationships with drugs, but throwing people in jail for taking a hit on a doobie isn’t a good way of dealing with that.

      Drinking tons of sugar water isn’t good for you, but…..

      … I think you get my point.

      Some people seem to be arguing that the huge containers of sugar water come from government subsidies on corn production.  I think the situation is a lot more complex than that, but even if it were true, it would seem that the more reasonable way of dealing with that would be ending the subsidies. Again, the closer that the issue can be addressed the more effective the addressing could be.

      The bottom line is: you can treat people like they’re stupid, and in many cases you’ll be justified. But I don’t see how that makes them less stupid; if anything, they just need to rely more and more on people being smart for them.

      1. Thanks fro the reply.  I don’t believe that prohibitionist legislation is a good idea either.  I’m just saying that people aren’t making an informed choice on a level playing field. 

      2. I don’t see how limiting the size is prohibition. It’s much more akin to the sorts of regulations that exist for alcohol now.
        If you go into a bar and order a whisky it’ll generally be poured into a shot glass, because a shot is an appropriate size. If you order a beer it’ll be poured into a pot glass, because a pot is an appropriate size. You can order more, and in many cases you can order a larger size. But you’d be hard pressed to find a bar that would serve you a pint of whisky. 

        Of course you could always buy a bottle and take it home, just like you can buy your 3L coke and take that home.

      3.  “the more reasonable way of dealing with that would be ending the subsidies.”

        This.  To a googolplex power.

  14. IT’S A GREAT DAY when I’m no longer corrected by a Starbucks’ barista for saying “Large coffee.”

  15. Why not just address the educational issue by mandating a nutrition class via the school system? Or hit the business incentive angle by levying a soda tax?

    Or, maybe Bloomberg can cut a deal with Snapple.

  16. I DO drink a 44+ oz drink with a meal. It is either Diet,  UNSWEETENED iced tea, or water. I’ll drink it, then go back for a refill. The reason is side-effects of my prescription drugs.  If I lived in NYC should I sue under the ADA to get a 44oz drink?

    1. The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.”

  17. The cost of obesity is externalized. Instead of a ban, what happens if we tax sugars? (Crazy, I know.)

  18. If this is really about supporting a healthier lifestyle Herr Bloomberg, remember this old Chinese proverb:
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

    1. Light a man a fire and he’s warm for a day. Light a man on fire and he’s warm for the rest of his life.

  19. I get a big kick out of this quote:

    “The New York City health department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top,” the industry spokesman, Stefan Friedman, said.

    As opposed to an unhealthy obsession with drinking soft drinks?

    The spokesman really should have known better than to throw a term like “unhealthy” into the ring.

  20. This feels similar to  the idea that if you can’t buy alcohol on Sunday then you can’t get drunk.  Hmm.  If I can’t get a large drink, then I can’t get fat on my own.

  21. I  fail to understand how this ban would even work in principle, assuming it’s a good idea (which it’s not).  They explicitly allow refills and multiple purchases?  Then you haven’t limited consumption at all, all you’ve done is raise the price of smaller beverages because the restaurants will lose more money on refills.

    Also, I usually drink iced tea.  Why can’t I get a 20+ oz. (unsweetened) iced tea?  And if I’m allowed to purchase a large cup if I state at the counter that I’m going to get iced tea, then who’s going to stop me from filling that thing up with Coke?

    This is just moving into the realm of the ridiculous, which will quickly become apparent once this law goes into effect.

  22. This is ridiculous. The government should not be in the business of banning oversize drinks any more than they should be in the business of banning drugs. People can make a choice. I consider the idea of a nanny state fairly disturbing.

    What I really don’t understand is why so many people here feel that the government should have the right to arbitrarily ban things. Why should the government be given this power if something is not a direct threat?

  23. “Stay where you are, and keep the beverage where we can see it.” 
    (shameless self promotion warning)

  24. Pot is illegal, and the corn syrup industry is subsidized.

    We’re a funny auld species…

  25. Prohibition doesn’t work.  Education does.  This is foolish and futile.  Educating the population on good eating habits would be far more cost effective.  There will always be people who ignore that education but it would go a long way.

    1. And now all sorts of people are talking about obesity, craptons of sugar in drinks, public health, the role of government in public health, and so forth.

      This is America, god dammit. Public edification begins with shouting and getting on the news.

  26. *sigh*

    Look, I understand obesity is a problem, but this won’t solve it, or even make an appreciable dent in it (even within the confines of New York).

    I DON’T think this is part of some overall “war on freedom” by some liberal cabal, it’s just a half assed attempt to improve public health, but that won’t stop Fox News from playing it up as more evidence of “those evil liberals”, and I will be asked to defend the law to conservative neighbors and relatives.  I can’t, it’s stupid, and we should all just admit it.

    Unfortunately even reasonable attempts to improve public health (like improving school lunches, or the First Lady’s vegetable garden) are also portrayed as part of some liberal war on freedom, so what can you do? 

  27. Speaking as a Brit, I must say I am pretty keen on this idea. I don’t think that drinks are widely available here in sizes above 500ml/17 oz (in restaurants, food stalls and the other places which this would affect in NYC) and a large McDonalds drink is 500ml. As has been pointed about above, you can always just buy two…

    As also mentioned above, why would you want to drink nearly a pint of coffee (which is mostly hot milk or water topping up the espresso) anyway (just personal preference there)?

  28. When they came for the trans fats I didn’t eat trans fat so I didn’t speak up. Then they came for the Big Gulps, but I did not drink Big Gulps so I didn’t speak up… you can see where this is going!

  29. I have no problem drinking over 4 litres a day if I’m working outside, but mostly go for water, or real iced tea without sugar. I don’t think the problem is the size of the drink if reasonable sizes are also available, the problem is people who don’t have the sense to not drink 200g of sugar without thinking about it. 

    In Canada, a medium coffee is 14oz at Tim Hortons or 16oz at Starbucks. An extra-large is 24-31oz. Only specialty shops sell coffee by the yard.

    Still, when a Big Gulp that  is bigger than a pitcher is marketed as a single serving, there might be a problem if someone tries to finish it off all at once, but the resulting nausea should be enough to teach them without the government having to get involved.

    1. The problem is people quickly get used to portion sizes and soon enough you don’t get that resulting nausea.

      The scene in SuperSize Me where he vomits from his car, that only happens once in reality as well.

  30. Ugh.  What a gimmicky, cynical piece of legislation.  Is this really about improving public health?  I don’t see anyone clamoring to reduce alcohol consumption (something with much more obvious health consequences).  Seems like people are super willing to restrict other people from doing things as long as it isn’t something they do themselves.

  31.  In fact that was the original plan – to simply add HFCS sodas to the list of products that get the junk food tax.

    But when the chemical lobbies prevented that from passing, the Mayor said “fine, I’ll just ban them.” He had no intention of banning them, it is all just an effort to snub the chemical companies that fought the tax.

  32. Make sure people are informed that too much soda is bad for them and give them the freedom to make their own health choices.

      1. Hell, why not?  Make ’em put a big honkin’ warning label on all cups larger than 6 oz: “Hey, Fatass!  The Surgeon General has determined that you’re not getting any younger, and God knows you had to turn sideways to fit through the door of this establishment in the first place. Why don’tcha put down the fries, order a salad, and hit the water fountain instead?”  Why ever not?  Drinking enormous quantities of HFCS- and cane-sugar-laden sodee pops is my life’s only chemical vice.  I have smoked precisely one cigarette in my life, shortly before my 41st birthday, just to see what I’m missing (not a damned thing, kids, as it turns out).  I don’t drink alcohol because no matter what form it takes, from wines to beers, ales to meads, whiskeys to tequilas to fruity concoctions festooned with flowers and umbrellas, it all tastes like dragster fuel to me.  Maybe I’m missing something there, but my life feels none the poorer for it.

        But I do have a sweet tooth, and I’m always thirsty.  I’m blessed with a pretty high metabolism, so my lifelong consumption of gallons of soda somehow hasn’t made me obese, or even actually fat.  Unlike Bloomberg, who half-guiltily confesses to sipping small diet sodas on hot days, I drink two 12 oz cans of the 150-170 calorie sugary stuff on my lightest days in winter.  Come summer, while working in the yard, I can swallow a half gallon in an afternoon, though I more usually will drink as much or more water than soda in a given day.  Maybe I share a gene with Warren Buffett, unless you believe his prostate cancer (at the age of 81!) can be blamed on his 60 oz daily consumption of Cherry Coke.

        But Jeez-o-Pete, America’s gotten chubby, so let’s pass a high-profile local ordinance that will succeed only in pissing people off, and will lower the average New Yorker’s weight by, I predict, precisely zero ounces.  Halfway through typing this post, I stopped to watch tonight’s Daily Show, and was heartened to see Jon Stewart spend the entire first act railing about the stupidity of this act.  I won’t rehash his points, but it’s worth watching when you get a chance.  Suffice to say that though you’ll have no problem at all buying several-thousand-calorie plates in NYC’s delis, and the beers at the ballparks are in no danger of being shrunk, if I want to see a movie in Times Square next year, I’d better tuck my small popcorn under my armpit since I’ll need both hands to handle my drinks.  I’ll be damned if I’m gonna dash out for a refill halfway through the second reel.

        If America has a weight problem that needs to be addressed through legislation, this is not anywhere close to the way to address it.

  33. I see a lot of “it would be better to do public education” comments.  This just shows how few people actually live in NYC, because otherwise they’d remember the multilingual “pouring on the pounds” ad campaign and multiple other public health moves, and realize that this is a broader initiative than what makes it through BoingBoing’s decidedly biased news filter.

    In response to the “get your government hands off of my Medicare” style comments: no one’s personal decisions affect only themselves. The only people I’ve met who truly believe that are teenagers…..and people who act like teenagers.

    Citizens and taxpayers shoulder the broader costs of personal indiscretions that accrete into mass actions. If we don’t want a “nanny state”, then we should stop acting like children.

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