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In the News: Ban against sugary drinks in New York City

Joined: 4/25/2013
Posts: 1
Bryce Jenkins
In the News: Ban against sugary drinks in New York City

Obesity continues to rise in the United States. What do we do about it? Do we take away a person freedom to make a decision, or do we encourage the person to make the more healthy decision? Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York since 2002, proposed a ban of the sale of sugary drinks larger than sixteen ounces in restaurants in September of 2012, but a state Supreme Court judge overturned it as “arbitrary and capricious.”
High school and college students should care about this news story because our country is founded on freedom. Throughout history the government has tried to control people’s behavior with legislation. Sometimes, this legislation is necessary. For example, it is against the law to commit murder. When you kill someone you deprive that person of their right to life. This cannot be reversed and affects other people in society. This law has real reason. In the case of legislation interfering with 16 ounce sugary drinks, the cause and effect is not so obvious.
The legislators say obesity in people is an epidemic. He states the effects and cost of obesity warrants this legislation to outlaw supersize drinks, however, history has taught us the “feel good” legislation is not effective. Many times these laws allow the politicians to say, “Look how much we care”, but the laws do nothing to change the obesity problem. For example, people will buy two sixteen ounce drinks, and the law does not even address refills or how often they can buy sixteen ounce drinks. The true answer is often more complex than just passing a new law. I often heard people say, “You can’t help ignorance.” I say different. I believe we can educate people on the effects of obesity and teach them healthy lifestyle choices. This education needs to start in our schools. Many of our public institutions have decreased physical education classes. At the same time, society has changed. With more single parent homes or families where both parents work, kids are left on their own to make poor nutritional choices. This complex problem will not be easily solved. It will require us, high school students or college students, to learn proper nutrition and be motivated to make lifestyle changes to attack this obesity epidemic.
This problem will not be solved by a law. This problem will be solved by our generation being educated on nutritional benefits and healthy lifestyles. This knowledge must then be spread through society. Knowledge has been and continues to be the cure for societies’ problems. It starts with us.
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