Presumably, popular opinion had nothing to do with a judge’s decision to sink the New York City ban on supersized, sugar-laden soft drinks one day before it was due to take effect. At least we hope it didn’t, because public hysteria over the minimally intrusive plan to curb obesity rates among New Yorkers sure seemed over the top.
And after reading Monday’s Gazette story about hospitals and funeral homes having to buy supersized waiting room chairs, operating room tables, caskets and the like to accommodate the obese, we certainly hope Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t give up his fight.
As with the state’s new gun law, opponents of the supersized soft drink law made it seem like they were being totally denied a constitutional right. Never mind that they could have still bought all the high-sugar beverages they wanted, only in smaller sizes (just as gun lovers can do all the shooting they want under the new SAFE Act, only with guns that take a little more time to fire and have to be reloaded a bit more often). They were mad as hell about Bloomberg’s law and no more willing to take it than the pro-gun lobbyists who’ve been browbeating local legislators ever Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed the gun law through.
Would Bloomberg’s law have made a difference with obesity? Not to someone determined to drink more than a pint of soda in one sitting. But it would have made it slightly inconvenient and maybe a bit more expensive for people to thoughtlessly overindulge in empty calories. So it might have done some good — just as the state’s new gun law might deter someone from shooting up a school or mall, Newtown-style.