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Jacob Sullum on Bloomberg’s Big Beverage Ban

Everyone expected that New York City’s Board of Health, all 11 members of which were appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, would rubber-stamp his proposed 16-ounce cap on servings of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, writes Jacob Sullum. But at a meeting in June, several board members zeroed in on the most obvious problem with Bloomberg’s plan to treat adults like children: It does not go far enough.

Given Bloomberg’s avowed goal of reducing New Yorkers’ waistlines by reducing their calorie intake, his soda scheme is indeed absurdly inadequate, as he inadvertently emphasizes every time he minimizes the extent to which it will restrict consumer freedom. Once we accept the premise that our weight is the government’s business, we open the door to meddling far more intrusive and oppressive than Bloomberg’s pint-sized pop prescription, which is bound to fail as an anti-obesity measure but could still succeed as a paternalistic precedent.

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