Today's guest post is by Peppercommer and RepChatter Co-host Deb Brown. Be sure to check out Deb's blog, StandUpExecutive.com.
How is it possible for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to say, yesterday, that he wants to ban the sale of any sugared soda larger than 16 ounces and, in practically the next breath, say that New York City supports National Donut Day?! Bloomberg is obviously a smart man; after all, he built his own empire from the ground up. Yet, how can he not see this as a HUGE public relations gaffe – not to mention he just undermined his own reputation as the Mayor trying to create a healthier New York.
Bloomberg claims that he wants to take away New Yorkers’ choice to drink over 16 ounces at a time, yet is happy to support the fact that the sugared, fried treat will be given away to New Yorkers today. According to a report on WNBC-TV this morning, one donut has more sugar and calories than a bottle of soda (It looked like a 12-ounce bottle that the reporter held up).
Whether you agree or not with the Mayor on the soft drink ban issue is irrelevant. The issue is that you simply cannot say one food group is bad for you and causes obesity while another food group, which appears to have even more calories and sugar, is fine to stuff in your mouth.
Yet, for New Yorkers who believe that we have every right to decide what we want to eat and when, this gaffe actually comes as a blessing. How is it possible to take the Mayor seriously about his proposed ban on sugared drinks when he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth?
When a reporter asked Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs about the mixed messages, she stated, “The work of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reflects the mayor’s public health agenda. The celebratory events, the naming days in honor of individuals or items, or frivolities that are fun and [bring] exceptional joy are quite distinct from a public health agenda."
Really? Come on Ms. Gibbs. We weren’t born yesterday. Your comment is definitely too hard to swallow.
So, if you want to eat a box…or two…of donuts today…or any day…that’s fine. Just make sure the soda you drink with it is under 16 ounces. Or better yet, save a few calories and drink a diet soda.
Hi Bubbles — I completely agree that all things should be in moderation. And, I never said Bloomberg is banning all sugary drinks…I clearly state that it’s drinks over 16 ounces. While I agree that some people need to eat healthier and exercise, I don’t think telling people what they can eat and not eat is the way to solve this issue. If that’s the case, then why not get rid of everything and anything that is considered unhealthy and only allow vegetables, fruits and multigrain carbs on the supermarket shelves. But, you cannot say that sugared drinks over 16 ounces should be banned while stuffing your mouth with a donut. There’s definitely a credibilty issue there.
Well said, Julie. I completely agree that everyone should make his/her own choices. If you start with sugared soft drinks, what’s next? Plus, you can’t say sugared sodas over 16 oz. should be banned while stuffing your mouth with a fried, high-caloric, cholesterol-laden donut.
Thanks for your comments and for sharing Hamill’s column, Peter. The Mayor actually tried to impose a hefty tax on sugared drinks about a year or two ago but failed. The difference with cigarettes is that second-hand smoke can affect others’ health. And, regarding the sugared drinks and donuts, I agree with you that it’s pure hypocrisy.
Way back in the Dark Ages when I worked for RepMan, a Fuqua School of Business professors was a strong advocate of the sin taxes for unhealthy behaviors that the rest of society bears the social costs of.
Those taxes have increasingly becoming the norm, particularly with cigarettes. I’m all in favor of these because they encourage healthier behavior, spare the health effects of things like second-hand smoke on others, while also filling the public coffers.
Bloomberg’s latest plan, though, looks like an epic fail. It’s both a blatant attempt at regulating human behavior and lacks any revenue consequences that I can see. And as you point out, telling lower-income fat slobs that they can’t order a 32 oz. Pepsi at Mickey D’s while celebrating the donut as a patriotic American foodstuff is pure hypocrisy.
Here’s Denis Hamill’s “working man’s” take on Nanny Bloomberg’s latest scheme, which I found interesting:
It’s not the Mayor’s job to dictate to New Yorkers what the should or should not eat or drink. He’s not a Nutrition Czar. And why single out soft drinks? There are plenty of worse unhealthy foods lining the aisles of supermarkets.
If people want to drink unhealthy sugary drinks and eat a box full of Krispy Kremes, that’s their perogative. Bottom line: I don’t want the Mayor (or anyone else) telling me what I can or cannot eat. That’s my choice.
Next he’ll be telling me who I can or cannot date. Hizzoner needs to get a life.
He is not saying don’t drink ANY sugary drinks, he’s just saying don’t drink so damn much. All things in moderation. Bloomberg has led the charge for a healthier New York (extreme smoking bans, no trans-fats) and this is just another step in the right direction.
Don’t you see fat slobs roaming the streets with their Giga-Gallon Gulp of Glop from 7-11 and want to rip it out of their chubby hands? These are the people who eat a dozen donuts in one sitting and consider the pickle on a BigMac their green vegetable of the day. Pigs will be pigs. Bloomberg’s just trying to help.