by Wilson G.

Ok, I’ll admit it. I love living in New York City. I’m one of the few of Glenn’s employees that actually like it here. There’s a bunch of us that are still here and haven’t made the move down to Texas, but a lot of those in the NY office live in places like Connecticut, New Jersey, and even Pennsylvania.

But I have to say, the news this morning about Bloomberg wanting to ban sugary drinks over a certain size in restaurants has me wondering how much longer I can take it. Not because I necessarily want to run out and chug a Big Gulp of Mountain Dew – I know it’s not good for me and I cut out sugary drinks a long time ago to lose weight. If I drink a soda, it’s usually Coke Zero or Diet Coke, which wouldn’t even be affected by the ban.

My problem with the whole thing is that the city is taking away the choice.

The New York Times explains:

“New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.

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.”

There are a lot of things that Bloomberg has done that I don’t really mind. He’s made restaurants post ratings on the front door so you know if they’ve been violating health codes. He and the city have forced chain restaurants to post calories on the menus. These things help me make a more informed decision (and knowledge is POWER!).

But arming me with information apparently isn’t enough for NYC. No, they want to make it illegal for me to purchase a giant Coke if I’m out at a ballgame (or dinner, or a movie etc). They are taking away the choice – and who’s to say this isn’t the first step towards even more bans? After all, it wasn’t long ago that Bloomberg banned trans-fats.

And while we’re at it – why are we New Yorkers still allowed to buy cigarettes but huge sodas are an issue? In NYC, a pack of cigarettes costs over $10 – a cost that really makes you think before you CHOOSE to spend the money on something that will give you horrible breath and probably kill you. But at the end of the day, I still have the CHOICE to buy them (if I wanted to) – even though NYC and Bloomberg are making it tough to do so.

So there’s my frustration in nutshell – you can tell me something is bad for me all day long. You can educate me. You can give me the information I need to make healthy choices.

But at the end of the day, it still should be a choice. If I want to go out and chug a whole bunch of soda and eat food loaded with trans-fats, I should be able to do it. It’s my money, it’s my body, and I’m not hurting anyone but myself.

So back off Bloomberg or I’m going to start seriously looking at joining Glenn down in Dallas and you won’t be able to collect the insanely high taxes I have to pay because I CHOOSE to live in NYC! I may be one person, but judging by the reaction to your big ban I’m not the only person who has a huge problem with this.