Americans as a whole definitely need to lose weight. But while shedding pounds, we can’t be shredding our freedoms.
That’s exactly what the New York ban on soft drinks larger than 16 ounces did. It put the government in charge of how big our beverages can be. The New York State Court of Appeals recently
agreed with a lower court that the city Board of Health overstepped its authority in issuing the ban.
As well-meaning as the ban was, it was a misguided, and alarming, intrusion of government into our daily lives. If the government can tell you how big your drinks can be, what else can it dictate? How much you eat, and what kind of foods?
The ban also was maddeningly inconsistent, “affecting establishments such as fast-food franchises while leaving convenience stores such as 7-Eleven exempt,” writes National Review Online. “And though New Yorkers couldn’t purchase huge sports drinks for workouts, equally huge milkshakes and fruit juices remained fair game.”
It must be said, just because you can drink big, sugary drinks doesn’t mean you should. It’s bad for you, and bad for the country – which absorbs the health costs from diabetes and other obesity-related problems.
But in a free country, there is just so much the government can – and should be allowed to – do for us.
Living a healthy lifestyle is a choice. It’s the right choice. But thankfully, it’s still your choice.