Cracking Down on Sugary Drinks

This is one of those points where I know just about every Feministe reader is going to disagree with me, but: I’m glad that NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has banned the sale of extra-large sugary drinks from some establishments.

It is irritating that the removal of giant-sized sodas from movie theaters, arenas and food trucks is tied to an OMG OBESITY EPIDEMIC campaign? Yes. But the truth is that soda isn’t just mildly unhealthy — it’s really incredibly bad for you, and it’s addictive, and it has no nutritional value whatsoever. And Americans are consuming more of it than at any other point in human history, with disastrous results for our health. Sugary drinks are particularly bad:

And if you take that sugar in liquid form — soda or fruit juices — the fructose and glucose will hit the liver more quickly than if you consume them, say, in an apple (or several apples, to get what researchers would call the equivalent dose of sugar). The speed with which the liver has to do its work will also affect how it metabolizes the fructose and glucose.

In animals, or at least in laboratory rats and mice, it’s clear that if the fructose hits the liver in sufficient quantity and with sufficient speed, the liver will convert much of it to fat. This apparently induces a condition known as insulin resistance, which is now considered the fundamental problem in obesity, and the underlying defect in heart disease and in the type of diabetes, type 2, that is common to obese and overweight individuals. It might also be the underlying defect in many cancers.

If what happens in laboratory rodents also happens in humans, and if we are eating enough sugar to make it happen, then we are in trouble.

New Yorkers can still purchase soda at all of these venues; the sodas just max out at 16 ounces. And New Yorkers can still purchase larger volumes of soda at grocery stores, so if you want to buy a liter of Coke for your whole family, you can do that. The ban just controls the sale of enormous amounts of soda in venues where that soda is being consumed all at once by a single person.

Accusations of nanny-statism abound, but the state regulates food and substances all the time. And it should. Personal choice is important, but in New York we regulate the “personal choice” to buy alcohol before noon on Sundays; to drink in bars after 4am; to buy cigarettes if you’re under 18. One thing I appreciate about many European countries is their insistence on accurate food labels. You can’t call cheese “parmiggiano” or “parmesan” unless it comes from Parma and is produced in a particular way; what Kraft sells in those green containers is “Italian hard cheese” or “table cheese.” You know what you’re getting, at least.

And a big part of the problem is American culture. There’s an entire book in my head about this that will someday get itself written, but Americans love to consume. We love a deal rather than quality — we want bigger faster more. If you’re going to spend $15 on dinner, many Americans will choose a giant plate of pasta and unlimited breadsticks from the Olive Garden rather than a smaller but better-tasting dish from the small Italian joint down the street, because the Olive Garden gives you more, even if the food is terrible for you and not particularly good-tasting. The pleasure comes from the consumption and the perceived value, rather than from the pleasure of taste. It’s a problem. And it’s not one that’s going to be cured by soda bans, but it is one that’s been exacerbated by the “new normal” of 20-oz Pepsis at the movies. Corporate interests have trumped basic health regulations, and are defended by accusations of nanny-statism and infringement on individual liberties. Big food companies have steadily re-set “normal” portion sizes to reach massive volumes so that they’ll move more product and keep more Americans physically addicted to foods that are killing us. They don’t care about “personal choice” — they care about driving us in a particular direction and calling it freedom.

Bloomberg’s soda rules will help to re-set normal. Now go ahead and tell me how wrong I am.

Author: has written 5275 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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569 Responses

  1. Véronique
    Véronique June 5, 2012 at 9:30 am |

    I don’t have a big problem with this ban. I agree with you on the detrimental health effects. One problem, however, is that the ban would not cover convenience stores, so even though you couldn’t get a monster pop at a movie theatre, you could still get a Big Gulp from 7-11. That’s inconsistent. I’m not sure how Mayor Bloomberg justifies that.

  2. Miriam
    Miriam June 5, 2012 at 9:33 am |

    Yeah, I just can’t get too exercised about people freaking out about their right to choose to consume a gallon of high fructose corn syrup solution. Intellectually, I get why a ban like this is problematic, but wake me when we’ve slid further down the slippery slope.

  3. EG
    EG June 5, 2012 at 9:42 am |

    Meh. My major problem with it is that it’s a distraction issue, and I don’t think that Bloomberg knows when to quit. See the whole smoking issue. I completely understand banning smoking in enclosed places where people are working. But banning smoking in public parks? On the pedestrian mall in Times Square? That’s just being a heavy-handed moralizing asshole.

    And I see this as distraction. The NYT did a poll recently on what it’s costing parents to send their kids to public schools, and parents responded saying that they were sent lists of things to buy not only for their child to be able to fulfill assignments (pencils and notebooks and suchlike) but also basic school amenities, like paper towels and cleaning fluid, to say nothing of what teachers are paying out of pocket. The public school next door to where I grew up just lost funding for its library. The MTA raised fares and cut back services for what, two years in a row? And now there can be 11- or 12-minute waits between trains on the IRT, for pete’s sake, and more importantly, instead of being issued passes that allow them to ride to and from school for free, public-school kids are being given half-price fare cards. But, sure, regulate soda. Great priorities, there, Mike.

  4. mk
    mk June 5, 2012 at 9:49 am |

    I like cutting down on the sizes of ostensibly single-serving drinks, but I’d love to see it extend to other snacks (not sure whether movie chains have improved at all since this article) along with corresponding changes in pricing. I think part of the reason many of us chow down (and consume soda like it’s going out of style) at places like the movies, theme parks and stadiums is that the prices are so ridiculous, but sometimes a mere 50 cents separate one size from the size up.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward June 5, 2012 at 9:51 am |

    I agree with most of this. As an additional argument for this approach, consider the alternatives suggested: a high tax on the drinks or prohibiting their purchase with SNAP. Both of those options would disproportionately affect the poor, while not meaningfully restricting the choices of those who are more fortunate. If we’re going to regulate what people eat, there’s an argument everyone should feel the pinch.

  6. Emily H.
    Emily H. June 5, 2012 at 10:02 am |

    Whatever you think of soda, the fact that the ban is going to prevent athletes from getting a Gatorade (the regular-size bottle is 32 oz.) at a deli while they’re on a 15-mile summer run gives me pause.

    But, I don’t know, I just feel like the whole thing is tied up with classism and paternalism, and it makes me feel really uncomfortable.

  7. LotusBecca
    LotusBecca June 5, 2012 at 10:02 am |

    It’s bizarre to me that anyone is claiming this is an infringement on personal freedom. Under this new regulation, people can still get re-fills and buy multiple drinks for themselves. So they can still consume however much soda they like wherever and whenever they want to consume it. This is a regulation on businesses not consumers. I don’t really know enough to say how beneficial this regulation will be from a public health perspective (although soda is obviously unhealthy), but it definitely doesn’t infringe on personal freedom.

  8. sam
    sam June 5, 2012 at 10:04 am |

    Veronique: the justification is simply that the city health department can impose the regulations on food establishments without getting further approval from the city counsel and/or state government, whereas convenience stores are not regulated by the health department and would require changes to actual legislation.

    Essentially, the health department can set rules for any place that is required to post a letter grade in its window (another Bloombergian innovation).

    (for the record, I like the limit, but they should limit diet soda as well, as the chemical compounds that comprise diet soda will rot your insides just as badly. I was ADDICTED to diet coke for years, and it took moving to a foreign country where it was generally unavailable to wean myself off of it. I no longer swell up like a balloon on a regular basis, my migraines are now at 1-2 a year rather than a month, and I lost a good 10-15 pounds just by switching to an espresso in the morning and water the rest of the time)

  9. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet June 5, 2012 at 10:05 am |

    I’ve been having a hard time being bothered by this. I do find it completely unimpressive, and like was mentioned above, this while thing just smells like a distraction with good sound bites.

    Now, if Mayor Bloomberg had announced that he was using his political clout to reduce corn subsidies and get HFCS out of every goddamn thing we eat, coupled with providing free activity centers to every child in the five burroughs, then I’d actually think he was doing something worthwhile.

  10. Anon21
    Anon21 June 5, 2012 at 10:15 am |

    EG:

    See the whole smoking issue. I completely understand banning smoking in enclosed places where people are working. But banning smoking in public parks? On the pedestrian mall in Times Square? That’s just being a heavy-handed moralizing asshole.

    You really can’t see any justification for banning smoking in public parks other than insincere moralizing? I’ll give you one: it makes using those parks much more pleasant for non-smokers. Now, perhaps that’s not a sufficient justification. Certainly, the policy decision involves balancing the rights of smokers and non-smokers to use public places to the fullest extent. (But so too does the original point on the policy continuum of allowing unrestricted smoking in parks; that’s just a default rule in favor of smokers’ interests.) But to imply there are no concrete and practical policy gains to be realized from banning smoking in parks is just obviously untrue.

  11. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 5, 2012 at 10:16 am |

    Whatever you think of soda, the fact that the ban is going to prevent athletes from getting a Gatorade (the regular-size bottle is 32 oz.) at a deli while they’re on a 15-mile summer run gives me pause.

    How many delis are located in “restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums, or arenas”? And how many runners pop into one of these establishments in the midst of a half marathon. The whole point is that these places generally host events that people sit through.

  12. Mxe354
    Mxe354 June 5, 2012 at 10:21 am |

    I’m glad to see a move against an agent of obesity. What I really want to see, though, is an anti-consumerist ethos that subverts the social attitudes that engender overconsumption and so on in the first place. I have yet to see that in the US.

  13. Kierra
    Kierra June 5, 2012 at 10:28 am |

    One thing I appreciate about many European countries is their insistence on accurate food labels. You can’t call cheese “parmiggiano” or “parmesan” unless it comes from Parma and is produced in a particular way; what Kraft sells in those green containers is “Italian hard cheese” or “table cheese.”

    I think this part doesn’t really go with the rest of the post. Accurate food labeling is a completely different issue from regulating what consumers can purchase. I don’t think there are many people that would argue against the basic principle that companies should be required to be truthful on their packaging (even if some might argue about the amount of information that needs to be provided). But the European countries aren’t telling consumers that they can’t buy the Kraft stuff, only that they should be able to tell that it’s fundamentally different from the real parma cheeses.

  14. samanthab
    samanthab June 5, 2012 at 10:29 am |

    I’m not against your point when considered in isolation. But I do think the ban smacks of classism when considered in conjunction with Bloomberg’s larger disregard for the poor.

    I don’t this ban is intended to impact the upper to middle classes in NY, whose members regularly discuss the pitfalls of HFCS. I think it’s pretty clearly paternalism directed at the poor- it suggests that the poor are poor because they’re undisciplined idiots. Yet it doesn’t take a lot of comparison shopping to see that the relatively small all natural ginger ale I drink once in a while is pricier than an entire Big Gulp. And it really doesn’t make the poor idiots because they want a bigger bang for their buck.

    I’m not even sure that, given all that, I’m against the ban. But I would think a lot better of Bloomberg if this ban was coupled with increased subsidies of healthier foods.

  15. norbizness
    norbizness June 5, 2012 at 10:32 am |

    Meanwhile, as is up at Ta-Nehisi’s place, he’s responsible for arresting more first-time, no-conviction minor marijuana offenders (400,000 in 10 years) than his three predecessors combined. So he’s nothing if not consistent on civil liberties.

  16. samanthab
    samanthab June 5, 2012 at 10:33 am |

    Jill, maybe the city wouldn’t be in such a financial crisis if Bloomberg raised taxes on the ultra rich? Bloomberg’s attitudes are all of a piece.

  17. Andie
    Andie June 5, 2012 at 10:41 am |

    Whatever you think of soda, the fact that the ban is going to prevent athletes from getting a Gatorade (the regular-size bottle is 32 oz.) at a deli while they’re on a 15-mile summer run gives me pause.

    Water. It’s a thing.

  18. Alexandra
    Alexandra June 5, 2012 at 10:42 am |

    Hmm.

    I went to a movie a weekend or two ago with my father and brother. We’d had a big meal so I didn’t want any popcorn, just something to drink. My father and brother got a large popcorn to share, which came with discounted large drinks; I ended up with 32 oz of Mountain Dew.

    I drink soda with sugar in it so infrequently that I managed to drink perhaps a quarter of that enormous soda.

    I have seen so often (with myself, with family) the desire to get a good price, to eat as much as you can. Part of the charm of a diner or truck stop restaurant in middle America, after all, is the hearty fare and farmer-sized portions; unfortunately, not too many Americans in diners are actually doing farm work all day — and even when I was living in a small town in Indiana and went to diners frequented by farmers, many were very, very overweight.

    I’m gradually retraining myself to say, if I go out for a meal and they give me too much food, I do not have to eat it all. Eat until you’re full, and then stop. But it is difficult; all my training has been to buy as much as you can for as little as you can, whether it be soda or chips or cheesesteak or fried eggs and breakfast potatoes.

    Finally, I think it’s worth noting that the proposed ban is for restaurants, and not grocery stores or the equivalent. This is not nearly as much a burden on the poor as if Bloomberg had restricted the sale of ALL sugar-based drinks regardless where sold. That’s something that makes me feel more comfortable about the ban (even though my libertarian Amurrrikan instincts are screaming out about socialist fascism, etc etc).

  19. Tony
    Tony June 5, 2012 at 10:45 am |

    Anon21, it makes using parks more pleasant for some non smokers. I’m a nonsmoker and couldn’t care less if there are people smoking in the park. And from anecdotal evidence, most nonsmokers do not care about this sort of thing if it’s in a large space where it’s easy to avoid what you don’t want. And simply allowing something isn’t a rule in favor of it. Otherwise there would be implicit rules in favor of every theoretical action possible, except those explicitly banned. My problem with banning something just because it could have negative effects on others is that practically any activity has negative effects on some other people if you look hard enough. The ‘slippery slope’ is a legit concern.

  20. Caperton
    Caperton June 5, 2012 at 10:45 am | *

    For the same reason there isn’t huge cause to be up in arms, I’m not entirely sure what the point is. If you want a 32-ounce drink, you can go to a grocery store, go to a convenience store, or get a second 16-ounce drink after you finish the first one. Does the new law work on the assumption that having to make a second trip to the counter at McDonald’s, or having to juggle two cups from the drive-thru instead of just one, is going to make a significant dent in soda consumption? I’m open to seeing research supporting that if such research exists.

    The other thing that bothers me is that I completely support people’s freedoms to die a slow, early death if that’s what they’re into. If you want to chug sugary soda until you get rat-cancer on top of the cancer you’ve already gotten from smoking, go for. I’ll think you’re stupid, and I’ll judge you for it, but if you’re grown you get to make your decisions. If your decisions are going to affect me, it’s different–for instance, I think it’s unreasonable for you to foist your smoking habits on me via second-hand smoke. But until second-hand fructose becomes an issue, I say let the soda flow.

    Jill mentions labeling regulations in Europe, where cheese can’t be labeled parmiggiano unless it’s actually from Parma (not to mention a whole bunch of other qualifications). That’s great. People deserve to know what’s really in their food, and it can helps them make better decisions. Tell establishments they have to label their soft drinks “Shitload of Fructose That Causes Cancer in Rats – 32 oz. $0.99,” and let people make their choices based on that, and we’re cool. But I’m opposed to making restrictions on anyone’s rights, even the piddliest rights, even in the most minor way, unless it’s absolutely necessary. And I don’t see the necessity here.

  21. Jamie
    Jamie June 5, 2012 at 10:46 am |

    And yet, I can buy a 40 in Manhattan almost any time I want. (really, any time.)

    But those aren’t harmful calories, apparently.

    There is, quite obviously, a class issue here. Mayor B has made it painfully clear (wine in the park is tradition, but beer on a porch is lawless).

    These are the same arguments that are used to make food assistance harder to use, and are very close to the arguments for all the bullshit restrictions on abortion. I’m all for truth in labeling, but that has nothing to do with the size of cups.

    IUDs work far better than the pill, so we should tax the pill and maybe limit condoms like we do sudophed. It is the same argument.

  22. misakyra
    misakyra June 5, 2012 at 10:46 am |

    Sorry, but no. None of this. It’s so nice (it really isn’t) that people want to talk about how soda is really unhealthy and they wish that it wasn’t tied in with the OMGObesityCrisis, but it is. I see an attempt to divorce it from that as intellectually dishonest at best and concern-trollish as hell at worst.

    Here’s the Shakesville post about it, since Melissa says this better than I can right now.

  23. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet June 5, 2012 at 10:51 am |

    Jill, I get all that, those were just suggestions from Ideal-land. I guess my point is that you get what you pay for, and I think the “totally free” suggestion has very little chance of changing people’s health in a significant way. But, like I said, I’m not actually opposed to it. I do enjoy watching certain kins of people wig out as if it’s the greatest looming threat to our personal liberties in years, because hello the fact that soda and HFCS is cheap and ubiquitous is actually a threat to your liberties.

  24. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet June 5, 2012 at 10:58 am |

    misakyra, that’s a great piece. The fat-shamingness of this whole thing went right over my damn head and is really troubling.

  25. chava
    chava June 5, 2012 at 11:17 am |

    Meh. The problem (aside from fat-phobia and classism) is that cities can never get at the root of the problem, and end up passing the burden to their residents via taxes and restrictions. The way to fix predatory behavior here is at the federal level. Fix the Farm Bill–e.g. start subsidizing produce instead of sugar and corn–and a lot of these problems will fix themselves.

    I don’t disagree that we also need a cultural shift back towards smaller portions–but accomplishing this via outlawing large containers of soda…eugh. On the other hand, taxing cigarettes has been shockingly effective in reducing smoking rates, and in combating a “personal choice” largely created by big business hoodwinking a generation of Americans.

    All of which is to say–I think Jill has a point about fighting the ‘new normal’ created by large corporations. The only way a city can strike back at that may be though these kinds of strictures.

  26. chava
    chava June 5, 2012 at 11:20 am |

    Oh, and fwiw–the second hand smoke dangers were exaggerated in order to make the claim that smoking did damage to others in the public space. It isn’t awesomesauce for you, but it isn’t nearly as bad as it was made out to be, either.

  27. Nope
    Nope June 5, 2012 at 11:26 am |

    So let me get this straight. We support the right of a woman to control her own reproduction, but something even more basic and essential to your identity (what food you consume) can be micromanaged by the government? We’re not talking about food safety in the sense of accute risks of poisoning. And in the case of abortion the state seemingly has *more* legitimate interests at stake (potential human life) than here.

  28. gretel
    gretel June 5, 2012 at 11:26 am |

    As a former soda addict, I usually drank soda in 12-oz cans. That said, I would drink 3 or 4 cans a day. I’m not convinced that this will greatly reduce soda consumption, rather it will change how people consume soda.

    I also think they really need to stop the bombardment of soda advertising like they did with tobacco advertising. I’m not sure exactly how many soda ads I see daily in NYC, but it’s at least 10. And many kids know the Coke logo by the time they’re 3. If you really care about reducing soda consumption for public health, than you have to make soda less appealing to children somehow.

  29. miga
    miga June 5, 2012 at 11:39 am |

    One thing I think soda-size bans and other “Big Awareness Raising Things” are doing is scaring the companies into being proactive about informing customers and providing more options in drink sizes.

    All of a sudden you see trains in NYC with ads by the National Beverage Association talking about how awesome they are for making smaller portion sizes and figuring out how to reduce/eliminate HFCS and giving consumers more options, blah blah blah. Sure it’s totally for PR and will build brand trust, but for largely amoral businesses to do something that ends up benifiting consumers in the end is the best we can hope for.

  30. Kessa
    Kessa June 5, 2012 at 11:42 am |

    And no one was surprised when they declined to regulate things like coffee drinks because those high powered executives NEED their venti frappuccino!

    Hello, classism.

  31. samanthab
    samanthab June 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm |

    Chava, my grandfather died very young from the kind of cancer that comes from secondhand smoke. It’s a form of lung cancer that’s much harder to treat. I guess he’ll be coming back to life any minute, due to your new information.

  32. Meaghan W
    Meaghan W June 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm |

    Just want to say I agree with you. Soda is just not something people should be putting in their bodies every day in large quantities or at all really. This is a great step.

  33. Adaquinn
    Adaquinn June 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm |

    I have a problem with other people deciding what’s ‘best’ for me. Outlawing the big bad soda problem isn’t going to re-establish normal. It’s going to have some people climb up on their high horse and say “we’re doing this for your own good” while it pisses off other people who would most likely agree if it wasn’t shoved down their throats. I don’t know if it’s human nature or American nature, but we rather balk at the sort of laws that regulate matters that only effect a person’s self.

    I think taxation on sales of sugary drinks over 16 oz would have been a better step. That money could have been earmarked to bring healthier foods into public schools or more programs for children to have opportunities for more physical activity.

  34. rox
    rox June 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

    When you have money you can pay to go and do yoga, gas/car to drive out to the country and be in nature, pay for luxury items that give you more relaxation and energy reserves to enjoy physical activities…

    Certainly some high paying jobs degrade people’s ability to have positive health and desire to enjoy and access activities that are complimentary to health—

    But in general when you are really poor and miserable and stressed– health benefitting activities tend to cost either energy investment or money. Going to the gym is way more fun if you already feel good, there’s a TV, other healthy safe cute people— using a pool is a lot more fun if there are lap lanes, a lifegaurd to regulate others behavior and you have money to pick up a smoothie at the shop next door after….

    etc.

    My point is, consumerism exists because it fills a space of the things people really need to be participating to have healthy fulfilling lives. You take that away and it’s like telling children to be happy in a white room with no toys. Yes of course given nothing else to do children will play videogames and eat doritos all day— but removing those things doesn’t address the reasons these things are so comforting and may even improve quality of life. Children in a white room with no toys (or fresh food) will still be unhealthy even if you take away the doritos. In fact it mostly means you will have to face the reality of their discomfort because they will be less able to regulate mood and behaviors that arise in response to unhealthy conditions.

    That said– removing the industries ability to bank off human weakness and desire to over consume as a comfort mechanism without even noticing their own behavior is a good thing. We’re basically operating with the believe that if people are unaware of realities of their actions affects on their health– or weak willed to prevent consuming something that harms them, they deserve it.

    Why do we fight for the right for business and advertising to research and feed on human weakness to the detriment of human beings? Certainly humans should stand up and become educated and gain strong will and self discipline— but all of these human traits come in quantities and tend to come to fruition better when certain factors are available in people’s lives. There are people without these traits and they do not deserve to be fed on by business who care nothing of how they harm people.

  35. April
    April June 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

    I don’t really buy the classism arguments in this case. More soda costs more money than less soda, for one thing, and it’s only being restricted in certain venues. No one has a need — like, any kind of actual need — for 32oz of soda. Like, literally, no one.

    On the other hand, the regulation seems poorly thought out and rather useless. It doesn’t stop people from consuming a case of Mountain Dew in cans every day, for example, which is how some people I know wound up with dentures in their twenties due to tooth decay from drinking so much of it during their childhood and young adulthood. I guess time will tell if it does anything worthwhile.

  36. rox
    rox June 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm |

    Also, to me, this is different that banning people from access to sugary drinks. It’s requiring people to make a conscious decision about whether that is what they actually want.

    Something business are debileretely hoping to prevent people from doing.

  37. chava
    chava June 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

    @ samantha–sorry about your grandfather, but that doesn’t really negate what I said. Never claimed secondhand smoke couldn’t cause health problems, just said it didn’t cause them to the extent that was claimed when passing a lot of the smoking legislation.

    But feel free to over-personalize. FWIW, my grandfather died of lung cancer from his 3-pack a day habit, so I’m hardly anti-smoking restrictions.

  38. 6feetunder
    6feetunder June 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

    SIgh, some day my government will let me eat and drink myself to death like a free person… perhaps, maybe… <_<.

    Meh, in the mean time, don't men usually over consume the worst food stuffs compared to women anyway? Maybe preventing the pan would decrease misogyny via euthanasia ;)

  39. Nicholas
    Nicholas June 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

    WRONG.

    We need to repeal job-killing regulations like the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and get the heavy hand of the government–the FDA–out of the business of picking winners and losers.

    And I stand ready to introduce my Lake Trout Oil Miracle Speedball Baldness Cure and Orgasm Enhancer onto the market, which will contain heroin and cocaine, as one would expect. I don’t know whether it will actually cure baldness or enhance orgasms, but I’m fairly certain there will be demand for it.

    Repeal job killing regulations like Obama’s Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 NOW!

  40. Catherine
    Catherine June 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

    Hopefully everyone who gets fired up about this will direct their energy at combating the federal government intervention that causes these problems in the first place, so that local governments end up cobbling together a bunch of weak, problematic legislation in a bid to do something about these issues that affect their people but are ultimately way beyond their power to change.

  41. karak
    karak June 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

    It wasn’t until I went to East Asia, with it’s plethora of non-soda cold delicious drinks, that I realized how addicted I was and how bad it is for me. I lost a bunch of weight and started feeling a lot more energized.

    I’d rather drink cold, unsweeted tea than soda, but I can’t fucking get it here, either in prepackaged form or whatever kind of delicious tea leaves that they use. I find myself drinking enormous tons of soda because there’s nothing else, I don’t trust the tap, and I’m fucking thirsty. Even our pre-made teas from lipton or whatever contain a million WTF ingredients.

    I’ll drink an entire large movie theatre soda in one sitting and then go back and get a refill. I don’t know why. I’m not even thirsty or even enjoying it–but I do it anyway. But I also have found if I get a small soda, I do drink less–again one refill. So now I’m getting 32 oz instead of 64.

  42. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm |

    The second you buy my drink is the second you get to determine the size.

    Why is this? Because I’m a grown woman and it’s my money and my body. Got that? MY BODY.

    So what I put into it or take out of it isn’t your concern. That includes my stomach. That includes my liver. I don’t just want control over my uterus.

    I find it astounding, absolutely astounding, that a group of feminists will fight for my right to have control over my body and then turn around and tell me they support some asshole telling me what size of drink I’m allowed to consume.

    And then you people wonder where they get the idea they can control my body if it’s ” for my own good”.

    They don’t just pull that out of their asses, you know.

  43. Nicholas
    Nicholas June 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

    Now that I’ve gotten my sarcastic reactionary troll comment out of the way, lately, I’ve been thinking about the obesity levels among young kids after watching some PBS special on this issue.

    If we’re honest about the costs of our healthcare moving forward, we’re basically observing a ticking health cost time bomb with overweight and obese children. And the guise that somehow freedom equates with a Double Gulp whose 128 ounces is, according to 7-11’s website, “genetically engineered to quench even the most diabolical thirst,” is just crazy.

    We have a health system where we mandate a basic level of care for every person (the federal and state laws forbidding emergency rooms from denying people treatment due to their inability to pay), but without any sort of discussion about what sickness prevention steps we can take before we get to the treatment phase is just unsustainable in the end.

    Taken to the logical conclusion, our only choices are: (1) to “pick winners and losers” by enacting legislation along the lines of what Mayor Bloomberg’s doing in New York; or (2) to “pick winners and losers” at the back end–when medical treatment is provided–which is the logic of pre-existing condition denials.

    The sheer size of the class from this current young generation of unhealthy Americans who are growing up in a world of bad diet and bad habits is going to force this decision upon us eventually, even if we sit on our hands today.

  44. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm |

    Oh, and fwiw–the second hand smoke dangers were exaggerated in order to make the claim that smoking did damage to others in the public space. It isn’t awesomesauce for you, but it isn’t nearly as bad as it was made out to be, either.

    Citation, please.

  45. samanthab
    samanthab June 5, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

    Chava, it doesn’t sound like you’re very sorry, and, in fact, if there’s a whole class of highly fatal cancer that is attributable to secondhand smoke, it’s pretty callous to ignore that.

    I actually never did say it negated what you said. You didn’t read very carefully. I never said that dangers were or weren’t exaggerated. But I do think people should be able to pursue life, liberty, and happiness without other people’s right to smoke impinging upon that. People shouldn’t have the right to kill other people slowly any more than they do immediately.

  46. benvolio
    benvolio June 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

    I can see why people who share a single ginormous drink at the movies, say, might object to the new rule, but I can’t get worked up over it. Since this isn’t the kind of purchase I make, I’m perfectly indifferent to it. That’s not very civic-minded of me, but there it is.

    As to banning smoking in parks and beaches, I say: yay! Aside from the second-hand smoke issue, I’m delighted not to have to confront the frillion cigarette butts littering the grass, or worse, the beach sand. Unsightly, gross. It makes me happy not to be reminded of that rueful aphorism: The world is a smoker’s ashtray.

    Banning smoking from these places undoubtedly saves cleanup costs in both time and money; I don’t doubt that the fiscal benefit weighed on the decision to pass the ban.

  47. Milquetoast
    Milquetoast June 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm |

    I don’t really buy the classism arguments in this case. More soda costs more money than less soda, for one thing, and it’s only being restricted in certain venues. No one has a need — like, any kind of actual need — for 32oz of soda. Like, literally, no one.

    @April: Among many other things, the class difference often resides in the pricing. In most stores, the giant 32 or 24oz bottles of soda cost dramatically less than two 12oz bottles. So, if you are a person that drinks soda, it’s often presented to you as a cheaper option because you get more soda for your dollar. As a result, the 32oz/24oz bottles are marketed as the most cost effective way to drink soda, just as big warehouse stores are marketed as the best place to get 40z of ketchup.

  48. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm |

    I find it astounding, absolutely astounding, that a group of feminists will fight for my right to have control over my body and then turn around and tell me they support some asshole telling me what size of drink I’m allowed to consume.

    This. Thank you, pheeno. You remain awesome.

    Jill, if Bloomberg were thinking about health instead of OH NOES FAT PEOPLE THE HORROR he would have banned their sale altogether instead of inconveniencing people for no particular reason.

  49. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

    And it really doesn’t make the poor idiots because they want a bigger bang for their buck.

    If the “bang” is a virtual bullet to the head, then yes it does make you an idiot to want a bigger one… :p

    But more to the point, no one is living off of movie theater 32oz drinks; those are not essential calories and they sure as hell aren’t nutrients. And it doesn’t target the poor more than any other movie-goer. So I’m not seeing any classism here, any more than it was classism for the FDA to ban adding random blue crap to milk back in the day just to cheapen the milk. It’s not a “deal” for the poor if it makes you unhealthy for zero benefit, it’s a deal for the corporations.

  50. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

    Jill, if Bloomberg were thinking about health instead of OH NOES FAT PEOPLE THE HORROR he would have banned their sale altogether instead of inconveniencing people for no particular reason.

    Um, ever heard of health = moderation? Nothing wrong with drinking a small amount of crap, but there is something wrong with drinking a HUGE amount of crap. That shit’s dose-dependent, yanno! Banning HUGE crap and not banning smaller crap is completely consistent with caring about health; it promotes moderation in consumption, which is a very healthy thing to promote.

  51. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

    And no one is regulating how much you can consume. If you want to drink 100 oz of soda, you can do that. You’ll just have to buy it in 16-oz containers instead of 32-oz containers.

    Ah, because I can afford to keep going back for refills! Like magic, money will just appear in my pocket.

    A 64 oz won’t be all I can get so I make it last about 4 hours, that’s just silly. Thank god people like you are around, otherwise I might actually believe I know what the fuck I’m doing!

    Can’t have that.

  52. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists June 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

    That’s a great NYT article Jill. Thanks for posting it.

  53. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

    A 64 oz won’t be all I can get so I make it last about 4 hours, that’s just silly.

    Oh, I didn’t realize that you were on an HFCS I.V.. My bad! :p

  54. Becca
    Becca June 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

    This was a great post, Jill, and good discussion. To respond to Caperton’s point:

    For the same reason there isn’t huge cause to be up in arms, I’m not entirely sure what the point is. If you want a 32-ounce drink, you can go to a grocery store, go to a convenience store, or get a second 16-ounce drink after you finish the first one. Does the new law work on the assumption that having to make a second trip to the counter at McDonald’s, or having to juggle two cups from the drive-thru instead of just one, is going to make a significant dent in soda consumption? I’m open to seeing research supporting that if such research exists.

    The point of laws like this is that most people aren’t consciously thinking “I want to drink 32 oz of soda while I watch this movie.” They are just ordering what is available to them – and often times the largest size is the “best deal” if talking price per ounce. For the people who really intentionally want 32 oz, they’ll get a refill, or buy 2, but MOST people will just order the large size and not think much more of it. I’m not very up to date on the research in regards to soda, but that’s how most of the smoking regulations work. The few people who really care will go out of their way to “get around” the regulations (and probably point out how clever they are), but the point of the law is not for them. The point is for the majority of people that are just ordering whatever “large” means and not thinking too much more of it. This is the logic, at least, of why it will reduce consumption.

  55. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

    Yeah, this was not the best way to go about doing things. As health educators using the theoretical model of change, we learn that sustainable lifestyle changes happen when people want them to happen. Limiting soda sizes (in a fat-shaming manner) is not the way to do that. Provide disincentives and incentives, sure. Educate more on the health issues associated with soda intake, sure.

    But saying, “This is Bad for you, we know best, so we will control how much you get” is not going to work in the long-run for those people who weren’t ready to change their behaviors.

    On a personal level, I know I need to exercise more and eat better foods. However, someone telling me that condescendingly or regulating my “bad behavior” sure as hell isn’t going to make me change. I’ll either get mad and stuff my face with spite-cupcakes, or feel ashamed and stuff my face with shame-cupcakes. And wash it down with a 2-liter of soda.

  56. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 June 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

    I have seen so often (with myself, with family) the desire to get a good price, to eat as much as you can. Part of the charm of a diner or truck stop restaurant in middle America, after all, is the hearty fare and farmer-sized portions; unfortunately, not too many Americans in diners are actually doing farm work all day — and even when I was living in a small town in Indiana and went to diners frequented by farmers, many were very, very overweight.

    I’m glad you posted this because I eat very small portions but still fill-up quickly. People at the table often ask if I’m sick or if something’s wrong with the food. No, I just eat small amounts and I’m done. The idea of eating three huge meals every day is crazy to me.

    I don’t understand how someone can drink a 2-liter of Coke and eat a large pizza by themselves. They just shovel it away, but it makes me sick thinking about it.

  57. chava
    chava June 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

    @ Revolver– Will do when the spouse gets home. He’s the one who does all the public health research–I don’t keep the journal articles at hand.

    @ samantha–Sure, I’m “callous.” Whatever. Again, I’m not against smoking restrictions–I mentioned the legal issues around secondhand smoke because I find it interesting that the only way we got the public to accept banning X behavior (in this case, smoking) was to argue that it impinged on the health of other people to a grave degree. In the same way, the current discourse around OMG TEH FATTIES WE MUST BAN BAD FOOD often hinges on “those fat people hurt OTHER people by being fat, thus, we can take their fat-making foods away.”

  58. misakyra
    misakyra June 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

    Your right to drink soda — as much soda as you want! whenever you want! — is not being infringed upon. You just can’t buy a 32-oz cup at the movie theater. You can still drink 32 oz if your heart so desires.

    So what you’re saying is that it’s fine to shame fatties in a really public way because we’re free to be all gross in private?

    How magnanimous.

  59. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm |

    Speaking of putting things into our feminist bodies, I’ll bet they regulate the size of those freezing duck things they stick up in me every year or so, too! What sick bastard would regulate the size of something that goes in my vagina? I DEMAND GIANT DUCK THINGS.

  60. Lindsay Beyerstein
    Lindsay Beyerstein June 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm |

    Super-sizing soft drinks is a tactic in the cola wars, and consumers are collateral damage.

    Soda is already sold nearly everywhere that it’s physically possible to sell it. We’re already drinking hundreds of cans of soda per capita, thanks multi-billion-dollar marketing campaigns that have taught us that everything–from Little League games, to hospital emergency room visits, to prison terms–goes better with Coke.

    So, if Coke wants to keep growing in the United States and keep its shareholders happy, it has to convince us to pay more for the same old thing. They could just hike the prices on the old cups, but then we’d get annoyed.

    Luckily, marketers know that people will happily buy more than they need or want if they think they’re getting a better deal. The raw materials in a Coke are almost free. Thanks, HFCS! So, if you can charge 20 cents more for the super-sized drink, that’s about 17 cents of profit.

    There’s another well-known bias that prompts us to consume more than we want once we’ve bought something, in order to “get our money’s worth.” Taken together, the desire to get a good deal and the desire to get our money’s worth, are fattening. Studies show that the larger the container, the more we tend to consume–whether the contents taste good or not. Cf. the famous stale movie popcorn bucket experiment.

    We often hear that, unlike smoking and drinking, super-sizing only hurts the people who buy the largest drinks. That’s not true. Our sense of a reasonable portion is conditioned by what we see around us. The original 6.5-oz Coke bottle looks like it belongs in a doll house. Starbucks stopped advertising small cups because they started to seem quaint in a world of Grandes and Ventis. For the most part, we eat and drink according to habits and visual cues, rather than our hunger or thirst.

    Consumers didn’t choose which sizes of cups would be available. The beverage industry did. The beverage industry didn’t pick the cups to maximize customer enjoyment, either. The industry is biased towards ever-larger vessels because it’s a gimmick to keep their profits rising in a saturated market.

    Bloomberg is betting that we’re being sold more soda than we need or want. If people buy 2 16-oz sodas instead of one 32-oz soda, then Bloomberg is wrong and the portion cap will fail. But there’s a lot of research that suggests that most people won’t choose to buy a second soda. It’s worth a try.

  61. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm |

    What sick bastard would regulate the size of something that goes in my vagina?

    The same sick bastard who decided you didn’t get an option in size.

    Let’s ban small duck lips because they might not open you wide enough to allow a clear unobstructed view to your tonsils. And that’s not healthy. And we know best, after all.

  62. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm |

    It’s just plain not “about the fatties.” A gallon of HFCS-water is bad for anyone of any size. It’s the exact opposite of HAES; it’s unHAES.

  63. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists June 5, 2012 at 1:31 pm |

    This is not about abortion.

    It’s not even, really, like abortion at all.

    Abortion is a medical procedure for which there is no substitute, that completely alters the course of ones life, and give women control over their own bodies.

    Sugary soda tastes good and is very bad for you. It is more like poison than food, if we’re contrasting those two things (which I am).

    When abortion is denied, many people are forced into life situations that are arduous, dangerous, and incredibly taxing.

    When soda is denied, you can drink water, and then you’ve hydrated yourself instead of poisoning yourself.

    Water is free.

    Buying soda contributes money to corporations with egregious human rights violations in their history and today.

    So, um, what the hell guys? Why are we advocating for Coca Cola? Are we worried about them? Do we think people will be starved for access to sugary drinks?

    Please, someone explain this to me in a condescending tone.

  64. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm |

    And people are inconvenienced in a lot of ways. I’m honestly ok with the “inconvenience” of making someone go get a re-fill on a 16-oz drink instead of buying basically a gallon of soda to be consumed in one sitting.

    Yeah, being poor is sooooo inconvenient.

  65. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm |

    …I’d thought my duck example was clearly hyperbole. But apparently not. >_>

  66. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    Water is free.

    Not according to my water bill.

  67. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 1:36 pm |

    Please, someone explain this to me in a condescending tone.

    Yeah, being poor is sooooo inconvenient.

    To ask is to receive.

  68. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm |

    Thank you Jill and Lindsay Beyerstein; you are voices of reason where I can only snark. :p

  69. April
    April June 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm |

    And banning the sale of a case of soda from the grocery store (or a liter bottle from the grocery store) would have a greater impact on low-income people who are buying in bulk for the whole family, and who will consume that case of soda over the course of a few days or weeks.

    Yeah, I wouldn’t support banning something like that. I just use it as an example of how the restrictions don’t really end up restricting much of anything, for the people who are afraid it takes acual meaningful freedom away from anybody. If you want to drink a bunch of soda, you totally can. Just not in certain venues. I think trying to restrict a quantity of something like that in a grocery store can be made to sound good superficially, but it never really pans out the way it’s expected to, and ends up putting more burdens on the people who can least afford them. Especially restrictions on types of food you can buy with EBT cards, etc. I just don’t buy the argument that that happens with a size-of-soda-cup-at-a-place restriction.

  70. petpluto
    petpluto June 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

    So what you’re saying is that it’s fine to shame fatties in a really public way because we’re free to be all gross in private?

    I think the real problem with this ban is the language that has been used surrounding it, which has been fat-shaming. Any and all benefits that may come about from limiting the size of drinks certain establishments can sell comes at the cost of people not really getting the real scoop on how drinking so much soda is bad for you. The message is “you’ll get fat! and we’re stopping that here and now!” without the discussion about cancer, about type 2 diabetes, and other health risks associated with drinking too much soda over too long a period of time.

    I have the same problem with those ads that turn the soda being poured into a cup into fat. It highlights a body type that may or may not have to do with sugar consumption and does nothing to explain the actual health risks of soda. It’s a provocative image, but I don’t know if it creates a deeper understanding of the issue after the initial disgust.

    But – I don’t think that’s what Jill meant in the slightest. Especially because she says:

    Because as the NYTimes article details, people are actually really bad at realizing when they’re full or when they’re thirsty or when they want more. If food is in front of them, they’ll just eat it; if soda is there, they’ll just drink it.

    That isn’t just people who are overweight. That’s how people in general work. It has nothing to do with how your body’s metabolism works. It has to do with the psychological aspects of eating, and drinking, and how we interact with both food and drinks.

  71. misakyra
    misakyra June 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

    It’s just plain not “about the fatties.”

    Except how it totally is. Concern trolling by screaming “it’s not about fat it’s about heeeaaaallth!” is one of the most common kinds of fat-hate there is.

  72. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists June 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

    Okay, water isn’t free, but it’s extremely cheap compared to soda. We bathe in drinking water for pete’s sake.

  73. misakyra
    misakyra June 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm |

    Combine that with the American mentality of trying to get the most bang for your buck and you do have a situation where someone who really only craves 8 or 10 oz of soda ends up polishing off 32 oz without any thought.

    How do you know what they want? And what business is it of yours?

    Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time somone who isn’t me has tried to tell me that I “don’t really want” X, whenever X is a less-than-perfect food choice, I wouldn’t have to work anymore.

    Policing others’ food choices is neither progressive nor remotely helpful. And telling us that we can just go elsewhere to get big drinks is really condescending.

  74. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm |

    Concern trolling by screaming “it’s not about fat it’s about heeeaaaallth!” is one of the most common kinds of fat-hate there is.

    So nothing is ever actually about health, it’s always about fat? That’s interesting. And unsupported. But I suppose addressing my comment would take work.

  75. Anon21
    Anon21 June 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

    So, for those who are bringing up classism and fat-shaming, let’s go back to smoking, and taxes thereon, to try and get at first principles. The class issues are very similar: poor people are more likely to smoke and more likely to consume soda, and less able to afford excise taxes or regulations that increase the price of the product. The “shame” issues are less so; smokers are looked down on to some degree, but it’s not really comparable to the shame and hatred that society heaps on obese people.

    But the general idea in both cases is to burden something that creates public health problems. Consuming tons of high fructose corn syrup puts you at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions, even if you never become “fat.” Smoking causes lung cancer even if you hide or minimize the unpleasant aesthetic aspects of the activity, such as the smell. These health conditions end up putting costs on government and private insurers, and also, you know, ending people’s lives earlier than would otherwise be the case.

    What should be the government’s role in confronting these kinds of public health issues, where the people who engage in the regulated or taxed activity aren’t at fault, but are nonetheless making choices that impose societal costs? We see from the drug war that flat bans are pretty much the worst way to go, whereas heaping increasing burdens on the consumption of legal tobacco has apparently succeeded in reducing smoking. Is it wrong to tax tobacco products in order to discourage their consumption? If not, why is regulating soda in order to discourage its consumption different?

  76. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

    Okay, water isn’t free, but it’s extremely cheap compared to soda. We bathe in drinking water for pete’s sake.

    Ours smells and tastes like nasty lake water that someone dumped bleach into, and makes you itchy so it’s not very pleasant to bathe in either.

  77. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

    How does that logic follow? How is banning giant amounts of soda fat-hatred, but banning soda altogether about health?

    Because the whole point is to blame FAT PEOPLE OH NOEZ instead of focusing on the real issue, which is that soda wasn’t a fucking problem at any size until they started putting HCFS in it. I had to mostly quit soda after moving to Canada because suddenly it went from being unhealthy to outright sick-making.

    Soda in limited quantities is not going to kill you or seriously damage your health. Soda is large quantities is.

    Soda in large quantities is way cheaper than soda in small. If someone were to buy a 32-ounce soda the whole family could split it. Three 12-ounces? Cost almost two/three dollars more. Classism 101.

    Yes, this is an imperfect way of getting to that problem, but an all-out soda ban is not practical (and as I said in another comment, soda in small amounts can be a nice pleasure that I don’t think should be wholly banned, just like any other sweet).

    You…you do know what HCFS does, right? It’s not like eating a break of chocolate once a week. I’m someone who shops determinedly avoiding HCFS, and it adds 30-40 dollars to my grocery bill a month between food and school snacks for the kid. 30-40 dollars that means less eating out, less ability to go on even short-distance trips or buy myself a movie once a month. I’d be thrilled to drink soda again if I didn’t have to worry about getting cancer from it, thanks.

    And people are inconvenienced in a lot of ways. I’m honestly ok with the “inconvenience” of making someone go get a re-fill on a 16-oz drink instead of buying basically a gallon of soda to be consumed in one sitting. Because as the NYTimes article details, people are actually really bad at realizing when they’re full or when they’re thirsty or when they want more. If food is in front of them, they’ll just eat it; if soda is there, they’ll just drink it.

    -_- You realise this measure doesn’t stop anyone who’s determined to guzzle down soda from ordering two 16-ounces at once, right? Please tell me you understand.

    People who are going to drink soda by the gallon, who can afford that, will drink it anyway. The only people this screws over are those of us who can’t afford to delicately sip tiny frappucinos on our golf courses in between beach holidays and liposuction appointments.

  78. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm |

    How do you know what they want?

    Because that is an actual thing that people can study with science, believe it or not. Shocking, I know, that things are knowable.

  79. Shoshie
    Shoshie June 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm |

    If you’re not fat, it may be hard to understand just how fat shamy the conversation around pop is. If I had a nickle for every time someone told me that I could tots just lose weight if I stopped drinking pop/consumed 1 fewer pop drinks per week/day/hour, then I would be able to buy all of the 32 oz pops that I would ever want (outside of NYC, of course). Oh, except I don’t drink pop. Funny story. The DRINK LESS POP meme is up there with the “Fat people only eat donuts” and “Eat less, exercise more” and “THREE WHOLE CAKES” memes. Super fat shamy and offensive.

    In a vacuum, I’m totally OK with this law and agree with your reasoning. (Though I do think that there should have been an additional section to the law regarding water availability at those locations. Like, I think it’s absurd that you get teensy little cups if you want water instead of pop.) The problem is that this didn’t happen in a vacuum.

  80. April
    April June 5, 2012 at 2:10 pm |

    @April: Among many other things, the class difference often resides in the pricing. In most stores, the giant 32 or 24oz bottles of soda cost dramatically less than two 12oz bottles. So, if you are a person that drinks soda, it’s often presented to you as a cheaper option because you get more soda for your dollar. As a result, the 32oz/24oz bottles are marketed as the most cost effective way to drink soda, just as big warehouse stores are marketed as the best place to get 40z of ketchup.

    True. But like Jill was saying in the comment to which I just replied (although it’s currently in mod), banning the sale of large quantities of soda or other food products in something like a grocery store would be a bad idea. But at something like a sports venue, why is there suddenly a need to purchase large quantities of soda? There is water available, too. It’s not like poor people have a unique need to consume more soda during the same sporting event than someone with more money.

  81. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

    If not, why is regulating soda in order to discourage its consumption different?

    Comparing soda to cigarettes breaks down immediately on one crucial factor: it’s the HCFS in soda that really damages the body, and it’s a completely unnecessary ingredient, used only because of bloated corn subsidies. Coke in India doesn’t use HCFS. Or Europe either. Ban HCFS and you can swig down a gallon a day with much less effect.

    On the other hand, you can’t give a smoker a piece of paper rolled around some relatively harmless substitute to nicotine and have there be no perceptible difference in flavour or effect.

    Quibbling over soda moves us well away from the essential problem. Is Bloomberg also making moves to spread HCFS awareness? Put warning labels on sweet breads, maple syrups, jams, ready mixes etc that have HCFS? No?

    Right. Fat-shaming it is.

  82. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 2:14 pm |

    Americans increasingly consume large numbers of calories in drinks, and this liquid consumption does not reduce the number of calories they eat, either. Cutting down on liquid calories is a really great way for A POPULATION to reduce excess calorie intake, even aside from what nasty crap the calories come from. Bans like this are A POPULATION measure; it’s not about individual Feministe commenters, truly. :p

  83. Miss S
    Miss S June 5, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    I’m with Jill- I don’t really see a problem. Like April pointed out, the restriction is on the business, not on the consumer. You can buy and drink as much as you want; the business is restricted on what they can sell.

    I would hope that the U.S can move towards offering more healthy options that are affordable. I’m somewhat fortunate in that I don’t have a lot of disposable income, but my parents live in the country with a garden and chickens (for eggs) so I have some access to fresh eggs, fruits, and vegetables. My stepdad hunts and goes fishing, so I also have some access to fresh meat and fish sometimes. I wish that everyone in the U.S had access to fresh healthy food. It’s really a shame that you need a decent amount of disposable income to eat a healthy and balanced diet.

    So what you’re saying is that it’s fine to shame fatties in a really public way because we’re free to be all gross in private?

    Why would being offered a 32oz soda make someone feel ashamed? They aren’t restricting what only fat people buy; they’re restricting what businesses offer. This affects all consumers.

  84. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    Oh, except I don’t drink pop. Funny story. The DRINK LESS POP meme is up there with the “Fat people only eat donuts” and “Eat less, exercise more” and “THREE WHOLE CAKES” memes. Super fat shamy and offensive.

    QFT. QFT, QFT, QFT, from another fat person (for PCOS-related reasons) who doesn’t drink pop, eat meat, only has light cheese, deep-fries almost nothing, watches her sugar consumption like a hawk because of hereditary issues and STILL would like a dollar for every “you’re drinking pop, aren’t you?” comment. Seriously. Even when I’m clearly drinking milk or iced tea or black coffee.

  85. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    But at something like a sports venue, why is there suddenly a need to purchase large quantities of soda?

    Because. It. Will. Last. Me. Longer. And. Cost. Less.

    There is water available, too.

    So the fuck WHAT? There’s also hot chocolate but I don’t want hot chocolate or fucking water, I’d like a pepsi.

    WHY do I need your approval for that? Do you possess some super power making you more qualified to make my decisions for me?

    If you’re going to start making my decisions for me you better start paying my bills while you’re at it.

  86. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm |

    You can still get giant containers of soda at grocery stores

    But I’m not AT the grocery store. I’m at the movies. Where one large drink lasts longer and costs less than buying TWO.

    Yes, I can get really cheap soda at the grocery store. Fabulous. But until I can bring that cheap soda INTO other venues, that fact does me no good at all. None.

  87. misakyra
    misakyra June 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

    So nothing is ever actually about health, it’s always about fat? That’s interesting. And unsupported. But I suppose addressing my comment would take work.

    I didn’t say that. I’m talking about this particular situation. Lots of things can be about health. Making healthy food more affordable, for instance. Or addressing the billions of dollars spent on corn subsidies that lead to, among other things, HCFS in lots of foods, sodas being just one example.

    But this isn’t about that. It’s too specific, and it’s been presented entirely in the language of “combating obesity”. As I stated earlier, trying to divorce fat shaming policies from the fat hate that produces them (regardless of any real health benefits) is intellectually dishonest.

  88. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm |

    Well, if we want universal health care, then we ARE going to be paying for your bills.

    You mean I won’t be paying anything at all anymore?

    That is awesome. Truly. I can just keep that tax money because you’re paying for it. I don’t have anything at all to do with it in any way.

  89. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 2:23 pm |

    Because. It. Will. Last. Me. Longer. And. Cost. Less.

    Know what else makes it last longer? Drinking. More. Slowly. Which poor people are just as capable of as rich people, last I checked. 9_9

  90. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 2:24 pm |

    By the way, my electric bill is really high due to triple digit temps this month. Since everyone here has no issue with making my dietary decisions, should I just set up my papal account now or would you prefer calling the electric company yourselves?

  91. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm |

    should I just set up my papal account

    Yes, you would be way better than the current Pope! ;D

  92. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 2:27 pm |

    I think the positive side of this rule is that it intercedes for people who don’t necessarily want to guzzle down 32oz of soda, but WILL guzzle it down because the soda industry makes sure that buying the 32oz is an appealing choice.

    First: address my point about classism and cost, please. Theatres don’t let you bring in food. Restaurants and stadia and most museums, parks etc don’t either.

    *sigh* You realise how fat-shamey your argument is, right? Implying that people (by which we mean fat people, of course, because thin people don’t drink much of anything, in the dominant narrative) are fat because they just can’t stop, and the judicious application of shame-via-regulation is all that’s needed?

    Okay, let’s divorce this issue from soda and take a hypothetical example. It’s cheaper to buy two footlongs from Subway than four six-inches. If I buy a footlong, it lasts me two meals, so two footlongs take care of all of us and gives the kid a lunch for the next day, too. Of course, if I’m seen buying a footlong, it’s because I’m a deathfatz who’s clearly going to glob it all down like Pumbaa, possibly the second it’s handed to me. So, would stopping selling footlongs do a damn thing for my weight? No, because I’m still eating the damn things over most of a day. It would, however, mean that I’d be paying six extra dollars a shot at Subway, which takes it from affordable to fucking impossible for me three weeks a month.

    Also, restaurants and stadia and movie theatres let you take home leftovers. That huge plate at the cheap diner? Feeds me two meals at the least. The tiny plate at Ye Olde Italian Place isn’t affordable not because it’s healthier and my deathfatz hates health, it’s unaffordable because it lasts me half as long.

  93. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm |

    Know what else makes it last longer? Drinking. More. Slowly. Which poor people are just as capable of as rich people, last I checked. 9_9

    But I’m just a stupid poor person who gulps down her drinks and has NO IDEA what she’s doing. It’s not like I could ever figure this out on my little own and I couldn’t possible know how to make my money and my soda last!! I’ve only been poor the past 39 years, silly me, thinking I know how to live as a poor person.

  94. Catherine
    Catherine June 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm |

    “…Concern trolling by screaming “it’s not about fat it’s about heeeaaaallth!”

    That’s a bit of an ironic statement, considering most of the people I know who speak out against fatophobia are pretty much saying just that–that someone’s size isn’t a direct correlation to how healthy they are. That you can be a HEALTHY person without being tiny. That we ought to be focused on whether choices and lifestyles are HEALTHY, not on what body-type they end up producing.

    Would you agree that there are things that are unhealthy? How do you propose we deal with them, if any attempt to address issues like this results in claims of “SECRETLY YOU JUST HATE FAT PEOPLE.”

    My stick-like friend subsists entirely on gummy bears and Dr. Pepper. She gets sick all the time, she’s tired a lot. I think this is bad. Or am I just concern-trolling at fat people?

  95. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm |

    Yanno what the real crime is, here? That we haven’t set up a system of drop-down tubes above the theater seats that flow unlimited soda directly into our orifices during movies. Why settle for 32oz when you could have infinite soda for just a buck extra? Because fat hatred!

  96. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm |

    Well, if we want universal health care, then we ARE going to be paying for your bills. Including the health costs of regularly drinking 32-oz of soda in one sitting.

    Mm, extrapolating from “On rare occasions I split this dish with my family” to “regularly drinking this all alone in one sitting”. Fascinating. It’s almost like….oh, I shudder to say it!….you’re extrapolating from her being fat to unhealthy habits! Lol.

    Again, if health is your BFD? Ban HCFS. Bam, there goes your problem. It’s funny how reluctant anyone is around here to, like, do something about carcinogens, or things that cause diabetes/heart disease/arterial issues. Nooo, it’s easier to just talk about how people need to practice more restraint.

  97. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm |

    Also, because Melissa McEwan said it better than I possibly can:

    http://www.shakesville.com/2012/05/blame-fatties.html

  98. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm |

    Nooo, it’s easier to just talk about how people need to practice more restraint.

    Aren’t you taking issue with exactly our premise that expecting restraint is unrealistic? Hence the ban? Please decide what we are arguing about! :p

  99. Andie
    Andie June 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm |

    How come we all want to talk about abortion in any threads EXCEPT the abortion threads (where we seem to prefer talking about homophobia and whether or not the suburbs suck and if harassment is free speech)?

  100. SophiaBlue
    SophiaBlue June 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm |

    For all the people saying that getting a larger drink is cheaper than getting a smaller drink, that’s part of the problem, isn’t it. I mean, if I’m at the movies and I want a 16oz drink, but I see that the 16oz drinks are $3.00 and the 32oz drinks are $3.25, I’m going to feel like getting the 16oz drink is a waste of my money. So I end up buying and drinking the larger drink even though it’s double what I really wanted. We can talk about how this ban restricts choice, but they way things are right now is doing a lot to pressure choices, too.

  101. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm |

    Aren’t you taking issue with exactly our premise that expecting restraint is unrealistic? Hence the ban?

    Says the person who went right to ” take smaller sips “. Must be my lack of restraint that prevents a 16 oz from lasting as long as a 64 oz.

    Can’t be any other reason. Nope. Gotta be restraint and self control issues. And if I dared to have other reasons, I should trot them all out for your inspection and approval.

  102. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

    If not, why is regulating soda in order to discourage its consumption different?

    There’s a huge difference between providing a disincentive (higher taxes on cigarettes) and regulating what you can and cannot consume (banning certain sizes of soda). Sizes of cigarette packs haven’t changed, have they? Despite that the consuming-what’s-in-front-of-you theory can apply to smoking as well as eating.

  103. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm |

    So the fuck WHAT? There’s also hot chocolate but I don’t want hot chocolate or fucking water, I’d like a pepsi.

    Well, you’re being ripped off then, because 99.99999% of that Pepsi you just bought is water.

  104. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm |

    Must be my lack of restraint that prevents a 16 oz from lasting as long as a 64 oz.

    Besides drinking speed, I literally have no idea what else you as a human could alter. Do you have gills, and have to immerse yourself in your beverages, thus absorbing it uncontrollably through your skin? >_>

  105. Anon21
    Anon21 June 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm |

    93/macavitykitsune:

    Comparing soda to cigarettes breaks down immediately on one crucial factor: it’s the HCFS in soda that really damages the body, and it’s a completely unnecessary ingredient, used only because of bloated corn subsidies. Coke in India doesn’t use HCFS. Or Europe either. Ban HCFS and you can swig down a gallon a day with much less effect.

    So, sure. Only, Bloomberg can’t ban HFCS, at least not without banning soda from New York City altogether, which would be a political nonstarter, and, I suspect, not too popular among the people in this thread who take issue with his more limited proposal. So given that he is stuck with a public health risk (HFCS soda) that is outside his ability to regulate at the source, why is incrementally burdening consumption of the risky product at point of sale so much worse/more classist than a cigarette excise tax?

  106. SophiaBlue
    SophiaBlue June 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm |

    There are actually restrictions on cigarette pack sizes, although in the other direction from the soda restriction: the FDA prohibits packs from containing less than 20 cigarettes, the idea being to prevent people from buying just a few cigarettes cheaply.

  107. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm |

    There’s a huge difference between providing a disincentive (higher taxes on cigarettes) and regulating what you can and cannot consume (banning certain sizes of soda).

    They aren’t regulating how much you can drink total, just in what portions you can buy it. So it’s more expensive to drink large quantities, just like with smoking. Identical.

  108. S.H.
    S.H. June 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

    If I could wave a magic wand and do just that, I would. But I don’t have that power and neither does Bloomberg.

    Just asking theoretically here, if Bloomberg has the power to enforce the ban on these 32 oz. sodas doesn’t he also have the power to ban all beverages containing HCFS sold in NYC establishments?

  109. Ashley Pariseau
    Ashley Pariseau June 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm |

    I’m not sure about this particular way to regulation, but I do think something needs to be done. It’s not even about fatness, it’s about how Americans are eating poorly, whether they are thin or fat, or whether they realize it or not. It’s true how we are all about bigger, faster, better, more, here, now. It’s all about convenience. And the cost is the quality of the food which means also the quality of our health. People are making shitty choices about what they are eating and what I think we need more is better education and awareness of how to eat better and that how we eat is not just affecting one person, but our whole society.

  110. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

    I’m extrapolating from the ban itself, which regulates extra-large sodas specifically in venues where they are most likely going to be consumed in one sitting. Arenas. Movie theaters. Food carts. Etc.

    So forget sharing a drink. The soda police has decided that some people (and you know who you are) don’t take soda police approved sized sips, must be gulping down vats of soda as fast as they can chug em, can’t possibly stretch out a 32 oz sized soda over 4 hours (at least. Sports last forfuckingever. Especially baseball.) and have no need to ever buy a drink larger than they deem appropriate.

    After all, we can just cart our fat asses down to the feed store and buy it in bulk.

  111. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

    And I’m actually pretty sure there are laws regulating the size of cigarette packs.

    Yes, there are. Setting a minimum, not a maximum, as SophiaBlue pointed out.

  112. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet June 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm |

    FWIW, macavitykitsune and pheenobarbidoll, your excellent replies to some of the smarmy condescending justifications of this ban have changed my mind over the course of this thread, if that means anything to you.

    Smaller sips? Really? That’s how we’re going to solve structural ill health?

  113. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm |

    …no. And I have no idea if she’s fat, since this is the internet and I can’t see her.

    -_- Sorry, Jill, my word-fail kicked in; I switched “to” and “from” in that sentence, which completely borked up my meaning.

  114. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm |

    You want to double-fist two 16-oz bottles, enjoy, no one is stopping you.

    I’m pretty sure it’s called the bank. The bank stops me from buying 2.

    They don’t like when I spend more than I have in the account. I’ll be sure to tell them you said it’s ok though. That’ll make ALL the difference.

  115. Anon21
    Anon21 June 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm |

    117/Revolver:

    There’s a huge difference between providing a disincentive (higher taxes on cigarettes) and regulating what you can and cannot consume (banning certain sizes of soda). Sizes of cigarette packs haven’t changed, have they? Despite that the consuming-what’s-in-front-of-you theory can apply to smoking as well as eating.

    No, I don’t think there is a huge difference. Or if there is one, it cuts in the opposite direction to the one you suggest. The cigarette excise tax applies to cigarettes regardless of the quantities or sizes in which you get them; it directly reduces the amount of tobacco one can purchase (or forces the consumer to trade off more-expensive tobacco with other things). This regulation actually does not attach to the product in question at all, but only, as you say, to the container it’s served in. Contra your “regulating what you can and cannot consume,” this law would regulate only how much you can consume without maybe enduring the inconvenience of carrying two smaller cups instead of one large one. (To the extent buying the two cups is more expensive, the regulation functions very much like an excise tax, except without the benefit of revenue flowing to the city.)

    Taxing and imposing burdensome regulations are just two different ways of discouraging people from consuming a product. One may be more or less effective at discouraging consumption, but I don’t see how one can be wrong while another is okay.

  116. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

    There’s a huge difference between providing a disincentive (higher taxes on cigarettes) and regulating what you can and cannot consume (banning certain sizes of soda). Sizes of cigarette packs haven’t changed, have they? Despite that the consuming-what’s-in-front-of-you theory can apply to smoking as well as eating.

    Ok, so if we tax 64-ounce sodas to the point where they are slightly more expensive than buying two 32-ounce sodas, not a problem. But if we ban them altogether, problem?

  117. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

    You want to double-fist two 16-oz bottles, enjoy, no one is stopping you.

    Also, thanks for the fat-shaming.

  118. SophiaBlue
    SophiaBlue June 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm |

    My interpretation of the pack size restriction and the bottle size restriction is that both are done to prevent the product from being purchased too cheaply. So there’s a minimum pack size to prevent someone from buying a few cigarettes cheaply, but there’s a maximum soda bottle size because, as has been pointed out repeatedly in this thread, it’s more cost effective to buy a larger size of soda than a smaller one.

  119. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm |

    Just asking theoretically here, if Bloomberg has the power to enforce the ban on these 32 oz. sodas doesn’t he also have the power to ban all beverages containing HCFS sold in NYC establishments?

    Infuckingdeed. Or warning labels, or awareness campaigns or anything that’s attacking the real problem.

    “People smoking cigarettes are always getting them out of these paper packs! And they die of lung cancer an awful lot! PAPER IS CLEARLY THE PROBLEM LET’S SHAME PAPER USERS. What, the only thing that affects are how offices and schools run? People are still using paper? SILLY STUDENTS WITH NO RESTRAINT. BAN ALL THE PAPER.

    ….wait, why are people still dying of lung cancer? D: D: D: I don’t get it.”

  120. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm |

    I understand that imposing regulations is similar to increasing taxes on a product, cost-wise. But from the health education side, there is a big difference in how it is perceived and how successful it is in sustainable change. That’s what I’m trying to get at.

  121. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 3:06 pm |

    Smaller sips? Really?

    Of course not. But ze seems terrified of the idea that a beverage may run out during the course of an event, and helpless in the face of this shortage. Smaller sips is, at best, tongue in cheek, though my puzzlement at her apparent predicament is genuine. Why does some activity require exactly 32oz of soda? What situation is that? And why doesn’t it require 64oz instead?

  122. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

    I’m more troubled when people are unable to get things that they NEED, vs. an extra 16oz of soda. I’m sorry, I just can’t get up in arms about that.

    No one asked you to get up in arms about it. What you’ve been asked to do is cut it the fuck out with the fat shaming (yes, even when its not your intent.) paternalistic, condescending, poverty ignorance support of a stupid ban that fat shames, condescends and ultimately only affects the pocket books of people who can’t afford to buy 2 goddamn soda’s.

  123. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet June 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

    Also, the more I think about it, the more the ban just pisses me off. Originally, I figured I didn’t have a dog in this fight because I’ve been allergic to HFCS and corn syrup solids in any amount over, like, half a serving my whole life. I break out in hives if I have more than 12 oz of soda, or eat two servings of something that shouldn’t have HFCS in it but does anyway for some inexplicable reason. (Like the one time I thought for sure I’d be able to eat that entire hummus wrap at the company training session, because tortillas and hummus can’t have that much HFCS it it, right? Wrong. Itchy.)

    So any attempts to “fix” our health without addressing what’s actually wrong with our food is just hand-waving nonsense that allows people who consider themselves “progressive” to get all concern-trolling about other people’s habits. We should all want better food for everybody because then everybody wins. But then we couldn’t police each other’s bodies and habits, and I guess that’s just not enough fun for some people.

  124. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm |

    Taxing and imposing burdensome regulations are just two different ways of discouraging people from consuming a product. One may be more or less effective at discouraging consumption, but I don’t see how one can be wrong while another is okay.

    QFT. From a pure economics standpoint, the two are in fact the exact same thing; all that banning something does is drive the cost of obtaining it up (defining cost broadly to include things like the risk of being punished and the ‘psychic’ cost of knowing you’re breaking the law).

  125. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm |

    My interpretation of the pack size restriction and the bottle size restriction is that both are done to prevent the product from being purchased too cheaply. So there’s a minimum pack size to prevent someone from buying a few cigarettes cheaply, but there’s a maximum soda bottle size because, as has been pointed out repeatedly in this thread, it’s more cost effective to buy a larger size of soda than a smaller one.

    Ah, thank you for clarifying. But again, I do think there is a difference in setting a cap on what you can consume (or how you can consume) than providing a monetary disincentive. It may be that the intentions are the same, but the effects are far different in consumers’ minds.

  126. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm |

    FWIW, macavitykitsune and pheenobarbidoll, your excellent replies to some of the smarmy condescending justifications of this ban have changed my mind over the course of this thread, if that means anything to you.

    g_v, that means a hell of a lot to me, actually.

    I have to wonder if anyone here who’s smarmily fat-shaming poor people have actually tried – and succeeded – in living on a HCFS-free diet on a barely living wage. I have. It’s doable – if you’re willing to be austere as fuck, which we are. It shouldn’t have to be, though. I should be able to get a fucking soda or buy a fucking loaf of bread without wondering how this adds to my Cancer Tally or spending 30 extra bucks a month which I can’t really afford. Instead, I’m getting fat-shamed and being told that it’s all because I’m too stupid to understand how to eat slower. You fuckers, I was forcibly weaned extremely early because no one had enough to eat and my mother’s milk dried out for good. I’ve eaten rotten food, and tasteless food, and obscenely repetitive meals in order to save money. Believe me, I know in my bones how to make food last.

  127. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

    Why does some activity require exactly 32oz of soda? What situation is that? And why doesn’t it require 64oz instead?

    Most recently? 6 hours sitting in an outdoor stadium in 100 degree heat during a HS graduation ceremony, where myself and my husband split a GIANT pepsi because we couldn’t afford 2 smaller ones.

    Water was 4 dollars a bottle. A 64 oz devil soda was 2.50.

  128. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

    the risk of being punished and the ‘psychic’ cost of knowing you’re breaking the law

    We should ban HFCS entirely, just to give the kids a thrill when they drink non-sugar soda. “OMG Bobby just had a coke you guys!!” ;D

  129. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

    From a pure economics standpoint, the two are in fact the exact same thing; all that banning something does is drive the cost of obtaining it up (defining cost broadly to include things like the risk of being punished and the ‘psychic’ cost of knowing you’re breaking the law).

    The thing is, this isn’t all about economics. This is about trying to force people to make a behavior change.

  130. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

    Why does some activity require exactly 32oz of soda? What situation is that? And why doesn’t it require 64oz instead?

    Uhhh…..see my point about sharing food? About buying for two meals? See my point about not being able to fucking afford more expensive tiny portions to satisfy some fat-shaming assholes?

    No? Happier making stupid remarks about gills instead? Toddle on.

  131. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm |

    A 64 oz devil soda was 2.50.

    So clearly the lack of 128oz soda was the problem! Where the hell is that size, health harpies??

  132. misakyra
    misakyra June 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

    Why does some activity require exactly 32oz of soda?

    Because of reasons (AKA none of your fucking business).

    What situation is that?

    One that isn’t required to meet with your approval.

    And why doesn’t it require 64oz instead?

    Refer to my first answer.

  133. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm |

    . I’ve eaten rotten food, and tasteless food, and obscenely repetitive meals in order to save money. Believe me, I know in my bones how to make food last.

    Yup. My best friend and I “roasted” an old potato on a radiator and make that last 2 days by slicing it up and having it on a piece of bread with mustard.

    Our money went to the nasty ass hotel room we were staying in, so we could have a roof over our heads. We stole the bread and mustard.

  134. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm |

    Okay, I think people just disagree about the purpose of soda. It tastes good, but it does not nourish, y’all. It just doesn’t. More of it is not generally better, price aside. Want to split it with your honey? 16oz. is a splittable quantity, too; hell, it’s still an even number! And you get that delicious HFCS flavor just as well. Honest. And movie theaters have drinking fountains and whatnot for the chronically dehydrated, not that anything caffeinated will do much for you in that case anyways.

    So why all the upset over not having access to huge-huge drinks, when you still have access to huge drinks? And why no such sturm and drang that there isn’t access to huge-huge-huge drinks? I just don’t get where the size-I-MUST-have cutoff is.

  135. Lindsay Beyerstein
    Lindsay Beyerstein June 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm |

    Was everyone constantly thirsty in the 1950s, when Coke only came in 6.5-oz bottles? Did people enjoy baseball games less because they sipped from petite glass bottles instead of slurping from vats? Did they struggle to last through movies with their paltry refreshments? I doubt it.

    Were people clamoring for more liquid? Not really. It just made sense for industry to offer more, and gradually our expectations shifted.

    Economic pressures have reshaped not just our drinking habits but large chunks of our material culture to accommodate the new normal: Giant glasses (good luck buying 4-oz juice glasses anywhere but the children’s department or an antique store), huge cupholders in cars and movie theater seats, retooled refrigerators and store displays…. Are we actually better off as a result? It seems unlikely: Soda tastes worse nowadays and it’s probably worse for us. But at least we get tons and tons.

  136. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm |

    Okay, I think people just disagree about the purpose of soda. It tastes good, but it does not nourish, y’all.

    Omigod, you’ve solved the obesity epidemic. If only those idiots knew shit was bad for them!

  137. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm |

    It tastes good, but it does not nourish, y’all.

    In other words, spending your small amount of money on something you like is not being properly poor.

    The poor should be fucking miserable and never ever indulge in a pleasure or have a luxury item unless it has a specific, pre approved purpose.

  138. SophiaBlue
    SophiaBlue June 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm |

    Ah, thank you for clarifying. But again, I do think there is a difference in setting a cap on what you can consume (or how you can consume) than providing a monetary disincentive. It may be that the intentions are the same, but the effects are far different in consumers’ minds.

    I should mention just to be clear that I’m not any kind of expert on this at all, and that was just a layman’s interpretation.

    That’s a good point about the difference in consumer minds, although given our current political climate I’m not sure how much better a tax increase would play.

    I’m honestly a little ambivalent about the size restriction. What I do care about is the pricing. It shouldn’t be cheaper (at least not to the extent that it is) to buy a 64oz soda than a 32oz, and it shouldn’t be cheaper to buy soda than water.

  139. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

    Total fail in html.

    Okay, I think people just disagree about the purpose of soda. It tastes good, but it does not nourish, y’all.

    Omigod, you’ve solved the obesity epidemic. If only those idiots knew shit was bad for them! Don’t worry everyone, we’re all safe and sound and healthy now that it’s been explained.

  140. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

    Like, is it not actually hyperbolic to ask if people are upset about the lack of movie theater 256oz drinks? Does anyone here want that, now that the concept has been introduced? I’m asking seriously.

  141. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm |

    So clearly the lack of 128oz soda was the problem! Where the hell is that size, health harpies??

    You fucking moron, did you completely skip my posts about the real problem being the HCFS?

    We should ban HFCS entirely.

    Apparently you remember the real issue! Well done, you! Now let’s work on actual comprehension. In very small words, so it’s not difficult.

    HCFS bad. Bad, bad, bad.

    Cannot have soda without HCFS.

    Don’t ban soda, ban HCFS.

    Then drink your soda with no problems!

    32-ounce no problems!

    16-ounce no problems!

    Only problems from sugar, which is not banned anyway!

    Make soda cheaper than water! Water good. Cheap water very good.

    Give all people cheap water at public places!

    Does that help, liddle-baby-poo?

    (Or better yet, do what Indians do and have free water stations scattered around public spaces and carry refillable bottles. Seriously, how have North Americans not caught onto this yet? I keep going out with bottles of tap water in my bag, and I struggle like mad to find water in, say, downtown areas, parks or museums once I run out unless I pay. That 1.5 dollar extra cost adds up, yo, and since I refuse to drink soda more than once a month or so I can hardly swig bottles of it every time I get thirsty. Three people getting four drinks a day = 12 dollars on water alone. Dafuck.)

  142. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm |

    And movie theaters have drinking fountains and whatnot for the chronically dehydrated, not that anything caffeinated will do much for you in that case anyways.

    I don’t go to movie theaters. I go to the drive in because it’s the only way we CAN afford to see a movie. And we get two movies for 7 bucks.

    They don’t have a water fountain, and you do not want to drink our water in the first place. Our water sources are almost dry, which gives the normally bleachy chlorinated taste an extra dash of fishy mud.

    So I’m really sorry if your one size fits all crap doesn’t actually fit all, and I’m truly sorry none of my luxury decisions meet with your god like approval.

  143. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 3:24 pm |

    The poor should be fucking miserable and never ever indulge in a pleasure or have a luxury item unless it has a specific, pre approved purpose.

    How much more pleasurable is double the soda? Is it double the pleasure, or does your pleasure plateau at some point of soda quantity?

    Also: *waves bags of money, kicks a puppy, takes candy from a baby*

  144. Daniel Schealler
    Daniel Schealler June 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm |

    On the other hand, the regulation seems poorly thought out and rather useless. It doesn’t stop people from consuming a case of Mountain Dew in cans every day, for example, which is how some people I know wound up with dentures in their twenties due to tooth decay from drinking so much of it during their childhood and young adulthood.

    WTF?

    Seriously?

  145. librarygoose
    librarygoose June 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

    I remember when I was a kid family outings necessitated a 64 oz soda. My dad would by one of those fucking huge drinks, pop around 8 straws in it and we would all share ( along with a giant popcorn). Going places like the movies, amusement parks, sporting events, were all expensive as hell without hydrating himself and the gaggle of ungrateful whiners he was herding. The hardest part was remembering which straw was yours, fist fights resulted most of the time.

    I see both sides of this thing, but generally I’m going toward “Ridiculous bullshit.”

  146. petpluto
    petpluto June 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    The thing is, this isn’t all about economics. This is about trying to force people to make a behavior change.

    Thing is, a lot of economic policy is directly related to consumption and to forcing behavioral changes. The reason why there is high fructose corn syrup in practically everything is because of the corn subsidies the federal government provides to farms. The reason why most animal feed is primarily corn is due to those same subsidies.

  147. misakyra
    misakyra June 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    16oz. is a splittable quantity

    Let’s do an experiment: Go and measure out 8 fluid ounces (that’s one cup) of a drinkable liquid. Now go outside during the heat of the day and tell me how long it lasts.

  148. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    pheeno, what is your dog in this fight, then? I don’t go to movies much either! I’m not harmed in any way by slightly smaller movie drinks either! I’m honestly puzzled. Is it the principle of the ban? Then why no objection to banning much larger sizes?

  149. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

    Now go outside during the heat of the day and tell me how long it lasts.

    Yes, the next time I’m doing hard labor outdoors in New York in 100 degree heat I’ll definitely reach for a movie theater soda to split.

  150. misakyra
    misakyra June 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm |

    Yes, the next time I’m doing hard labor outdoors in New York in 100 degree heat I’ll definitely reach for a movie theater soda to split.
    Seems to me that you’re deliberately missing the point here. I said “drinkable liquid”. My point is that one cup of anything isn’t enough when you’re outside in the heat. So no, 16 ounces isn’t really a splittable quantity.

  151. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm |

    I mean, c’mon, what if a robber held a gun on my family and said “travel to NYC and buy me a 64oz movie theater soda or your family dies!” and I have to say “but those are banned!” and then MY FAMILY DIES.

    Yeah, I can stretch this ban into a death threat too. But realistically? It’s not going to harm people. And it will help some people, like the self-confessed bargain-shoppers near the top of the thread who automatically buy the biggest whatever regardless of thirst level.

  152. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm |

    How much more pleasurable is double the soda?

    What part of ” it’s cheaper” do you just not fucking get?

    Know what double the soda means to me? It means 2-3 people can drink from ONE purchase instead of 2-3. It means I can actually GO to activities and buy a goddamn drink and not have to smuggle shit in my purse. It means I can take some home, pour it into an empty bottle and have some another day. It means I could enjoy my kids graduation without sitting there thirsty as hell and making 8 oz last 6 hours. God fucking forbid I take a drink as often as I want without having to fucking monitor it sip by sip. I monitor every other damn thing within an inch of it’s life, I don’t get to just sit and watch and enjoy?? Why, because you can’t wrap your little mind around the issue? Because you DONT have to worry about it?

  153. Rhoanna
    Rhoanna June 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

    Yes, the next time I’m doing hard labor outdoors in New York in 100 degree heat I’ll definitely reach for a movie theater soda to split.

    Hopefully you won’t plan on stopping at a food cart or restaurant either, since those are covered by the ban too.

  154. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

    Yes, the next time I’m doing hard labor outdoors in New York in 100 degree heat I’ll definitely reach for a movie theater soda to split.

    And when it’s 115 Texas heat you’ll drink anything anyone hands you.

    And if you have a choice between a large drink and a small drink, you’ll pick the large. I don’t care if it’s spit.

  155. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet June 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm |

    I have to wonder if anyone here who’s smarmily fat-shaming poor people have actually tried – and succeeded – in living on a HCFS-free diet on a barely living wage. I have. It’s doable – if you’re willing to be austere as fuck, which we are.

    Yeah, it’s super-fun not being able to eat 90% of the affordable things in the grocery store! I also loved not being to eat any of my subsidized poor-kid school lunches because they would make me sick.

    Which is why this thread has changed my mind. Any conversation that’s not centering the fucked-up food system as a whole is just not good enough.

  156. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

    I mean, c’mon, what if a robber held a gun on my family and said “travel to NYC and buy me a 64oz movie theater soda or your family dies!” and I have to say “but those are banned!” and then MY FAMILY DIES.

    And what if someone asked you to get a clue?

    I mean, those seem equally likely scenarios.

  157. Daniel Schealler
    Daniel Schealler June 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

    Oh for fuck’s sake, I just did the math.

    From the reaction of everyone I thought that 16 ounces was really tiny or something, mainly because I’m not familiar with archaic measurement systems. So I inferred from the context that 16 ounces was really restrictive or something.

    But yeah. I just did the math. 16 ounces is just a little bit shy of half a liter. Come on, people. Half a liter is a huge amount of soft drink.

    You mean to tell me that in America some people are getting all up on their soap-boxes because someone had the bright idea that selling sugar syrup in liter-sized buckets might be a bad idea in terms of public health? When determined consumers can still grab two half-liter bottles/glasses and get the same fix as before?

    What the hell?

  158. Catherine
    Catherine June 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

    Why isn’t anybody up in arms about the corporations that are manipulating your choices? Marketing and selling you a beverage that has just enough sugar to cover the shit ton of salt added specifically to make you stay thirsty and keep drinking?

    And yes, I do indeed get the difference between the government and a corporation, but all of this “my choice! my decision!” business doesn’t seem to take into the account that most of us are just being manipulated and doing what we’re told.

  159. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm |

    Yeah, it’s super-fun not being able to eat 90% of the affordable things in the grocery store! I also loved not being to eat any of my subsidized poor-kid school lunches because they would make me sick.

    Which is why this thread has changed my mind. Any conversation that’s not centering the fucked-up food system as a whole is just not good enough.

    This. This, this. Thank you, g_v, for getting it.

    And yeah, between being vegetarian and refusing HCFS, I can’t eat cheap stuff unless I’m willing to eat fries once a day. Which would fuck with my oil-hating body so hard. Add the milk allergy my kid has, and the fact that without sufficient vegetable-sourced vitamins and supplements I’m either sleeping 20 hours a day or huddling terrified in my room from GAD, and I’m basically fucked by the time my grocery shopping’s done.

  160. Becky
    Becky June 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm |

    If people were allowed to bring their own drinks and snacks into arenas and movie theatres, many people would bring smaller portions and possibly healthier snacks. (For example home popped popcorn is healthier than movie theatre popcorn, homemade sandwiches are healthier than stadium hot dogs).

  161. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm |

    You mean to tell me that in America some people are getting all up on their soap-boxes because someone had the bright idea that selling sugar syrup in liter-sized buckets might be a bad idea in terms of public health?

    Except I’ve been one of two (three, now) people being extremely vocal on this thread and I don’t even drink the fucking soda, so I’m hardly a bloody consumer or invested in the actual soda in any way.

    I want people to focus on the real problem, which is why the sodas are so unhealthy. Hint: it’s also why 90% of breads, pastas, ready-made tomato-based sauces, chips, tacos, juices, flatbreads, ketchups and salsas are unhealthy. It starts with H and ends with CFS. If you’re (general you) not talking about HCFS you’re not talking about the problem, you’re just sitting around talking about how poor people who split drinks are just unrestrained.

  162. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

    Daniel, Bagelsan, I replied to both of you – without swearing much, even – and it went into mod.

  163. chava
    chava June 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm |

    They don’t have a water fountain, and you do not want to drink our water in the first place. Our water sources are almost dry, which gives the normally bleachy chlorinated taste an extra dash of fishy mud.

    This? This is the real problem. The same companies marketing and selling the sodas own and loot the wells they are running dry to sell us bottled water and soda. Coke owns Dasani, I believe.

    Groundwater in the West & Southwest is a HUGE issue. Our tap water shouldn’t taste like “fishy mud” so that the alternative is the same company who screwed up that water turning around and selling us sodas.

    (On a related note–if we want to ban something, maybe we should start with banning golf greens in deserts).

  164. Joe from an alternate universe
    Joe from an alternate universe June 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm |

    You can’t call cheese “parmiggiano” or “parmesan” unless it comes from Parma and is produced in a particular way; what Kraft sells in those green containers is “Italian hard cheese” or “table cheese.” You know what you’re getting, at least.

    European companies are winning some of these battles. You can no longer call American sparkling wine Champagne, and Cognac has to be from Cognac; otherwise, it’s brandy.

    It means I can take some home, pour it into an empty bottle and have some another day.

    Spot on. I used to go a well known restaurant and take half my meal home for the next day. Now they’ve reduced the portion size, thanks in part – I think – to politically correct nagging. Now I scarf the whole thing down.

    I know people hate the “slippery slope” argument, but the Olive Garden is next. People like my mom, who takes most of her meal home, will suffer. Just drive by there on a Sunday and look at the number of seniors walking out with doggie bags.

    However, education about better food and better food choices is what we need. Food labeling is great and let’s patronize establishments that serve better food.

  165. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

    You mean to tell me that in America some people are getting all up on their soap-boxes because someone had the bright idea that selling sugar syrup in liter-sized buckets might be a bad idea in terms of public health?

    Yes. X_X

  166. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm |

    This? This is the real problem. The same companies marketing and selling the sodas own and loot the wells they are running dry to sell us bottled water and soda. Coke owns Dasani, I believe.

    Seriously. If the choices in drinks are between mud and cancer then you have bigger problems than whether 32oz will cost more.

  167. Emolee
    Emolee June 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm |

    On a personal level, I don’t care about this because even though I live in NYC, I never drink the beverages this law concerns. On a broader level, I was originally pretty neutral about the policy itself, thinking that it really wouldn’t have much effect (thinking, this policy is simply a waste of time and energy).

    However, some of the comments here have shown me that it may have positive effects (for example, people who simply drink however much they are given will drink less) as well as negative effects (for example, people with less disposable income will be hurt by having to buy two drinks instead of sharing one big one). I think the benefits versus the downsides to the policy itself could be debated well on both sides.

    However, my main issue with this policy is the fat-shaming. I know that a lot of people here are saying that this is not about fat- but it is. Yes, it is true that soda does not provide nutrition other than calories, and it contains potentially dangerous contents like HFCS. Yes, soda is equally “unhealthy” for people of all sizes.

    However, we cannot say that this policy is not about fat when the *stated purpose* of the law is to combat obesity. Mayor Bloomberg said:

    “Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible’… New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something.”

    That makes it about fat. I could have a debate about the pros and cons of this policy if it was not framed this way. But it is framed this way, and it is not ok to just ignore that framing. This is about getting rid of people with a certain kind of body, and conflating health and weight (yet again).

  168. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

    @Pheeno,

    You have the patience of a freaking saint.

    There is so much classism floating around these comments, I don’t know where to start. First, I keep seeing this whole “but its not good for you” shit. People get to have things that are not good for THEM. We don’t see a ban on caffeine or a ban on tanning or a ban on botox. There is a ban on soda, because it is perceived that poor people cannot make good decisions about their own lives based on the contraints they face. That is classism and complete and utter bullshit. If someone who is poor chooses at 64 oz soda it isn’t because they don’t know that its harmful, its because the harm is outweighed by the benefits. You may disagree with their analysis, but YOU are not faced with their constraints. If you want them to choose differently without treating them like subhuman, ignorant trash, change the constraints don’t add additional constraints.

    Second, if people who have lived or are currently living this shit tell you they experience or would experience your actions as oppressive maybe you should listen.

    DO NOT bring health care costs in to this twisted discussion. The very idea that we would use that as an excuse to further browbeat the poor into making “appropriate choices” is infuriating to me. We are trying to improve everyone’s quality of life with universal health care not create an entirely new layer of shit that a poor person is going to have to wade through to be “deserving” of health care.

  169. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

    However, we cannot say that this policy is not about fat when the *stated purpose* of the law is to combat obesity.

    WORDITY WORD.

  170. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm |

    We don’t see a ban on caffeine or a ban on tanning or a ban on botox.

    Um, yes you do. Those are all regulated; there are amounts of those that are not legal.

  171. Brandy
    Brandy June 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

    DO NOT bring health care costs in to this twisted discussion. The very idea that we would use that as an excuse to further browbeat the poor into making “appropriate choices” is infuriating to me. We are trying to improve everyone’s quality of life with universal health care not create an entirely new layer of shit that a poor person is going to have to wade through to be “deserving” of health care.

    Thanks for this.

  172. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

    There is a ban on soda, because it is perceived that poor people cannot make good decisions about their own lives based on the contraints they face.

    There isn’t a ban on soda. Sheesh.

  173. Stephen
    Stephen June 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

    Seriously. If the choices in drinks are between mud and cancer then you have bigger problems than whether 32oz will cost more.

    Word, and those people should just move, right? Because that is a totally viable option for someone who is poor.

    Seriously, pheeno, the restraint you have shown is remarkable. You too, macavity.

  174. Joe from an alternate universe
    Joe from an alternate universe June 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

    Yeah, this was not the best way to go about doing things. As health educators using the theoretical model of change, we learn that sustainable lifestyle changes happen when people want them to happen. Limiting soda sizes (in a fat-shaming manner) is not the way to do that. Provide disincentives and incentives, sure. Educate more on the health issues associated with soda intake, sure.

    But saying, “This is Bad for you, we know best, so we will control how much you get” is not going to work in the long-run for those people who weren’t ready to change their behaviors.

    On a personal level, I know I need to exercise more and eat better foods. However, someone telling me that condescendingly or regulating my “bad behavior” sure as hell isn’t going to make me change. I’ll either get mad and stuff my face with spite-cupcakes, or feel ashamed and stuff my face with shame-cupcakes. And wash it down with a 2-liter of soda.

    Revolver,

    Well said.

  175. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm |

    Word, and those people should just move, right?

    Well, they apparently shouldn’t move to NYC! Which actually has really good water, in my experience.

  176. Emolee
    Emolee June 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm |

    Also, the “your health and your choices are our business because public healthcare” argument is so hurtful and dangerous. So, this means that if we have universal healthcare, then any choice that has an impact on health (which is most choices!) becomes a public referendum? What I eat, drink, smoke, how much I exercise, sleep, whom I have sex with, whether I drive a car, shoot a gun, play sports, etc.? If so, this makes me want to be opposed to universal healthcare (which I am adamantly for!)

    As I fat person, I get this argument a lot when I tell people that my weight is not their business. My first instinct, to defend myself, is to say that that there is a 98% chance I am subsidizing them, instead of vice versa, but this is just gross. I think it only gives their argument validity regarding people who do have lower incomes. Also, I am a pretty “good fatty” in that I don’t drink soda, do work out, etc., but that is also not the point. The point is that my health and my health-related choices are my business- not yours.

    This goes not to the soda law itself as much as to some broader comments in this thread.

  177. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm |

    Also, the “your health and your choices are our business because public healthcare” argument is so hurtful and dangerous. So, this means that if we have universal healthcare, then any choice that has an impact on health (which is most choices!) becomes a public referendum? What I eat, drink, smoke, how much I exercise, sleep, whom I have sex with, whether I drive a car, shoot a gun, play sports, etc.? If so, this makes me want to be opposed to universal healthcare (which I am adamantly for!)

    This.

  178. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm |

    What I eat, drink, smoke, how much I exercise, sleep, whom I have sex with, whether I drive a car, shoot a gun, play sports, etc.?

    A few of those things *are* already regulated by the government.

  179. Joe from an alternate universe
    Joe from an alternate universe June 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm |

    Emolee @189

    Yes, the “your choices can cost me money” argument can lead to regulation of just about anything, no matter how personal. And is definitely contradictory for those who want government run healthcare – I’m not one though.

  180. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm |

    And taxpayers already *do* subsidize unhealthy behavior; universal health care won’t change that. My pack-a-day grandpa’s esophageal cancer cost more than he himself paid, that’s for sure!

  181. Joe from an alternate universe
    Joe from an alternate universe June 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

    “What I eat, drink, smoke, how much I exercise, sleep, whom I have sex with, whether I drive a car, shoot a gun, play sports, etc.?”

    A few of those things *are* already regulated by the government.

    So, let’s complete the process and add all the others? And, BTW, when things are regulated it’s not for personal safety, it’s for the safety of others, e.g. smoking, guns, and cars. What Bloomberg is doing is about regulating your behavior for your own good, because you’re too fat and stupid to know what’s good for you.

  182. Partial Human
    Partial Human June 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm |

    Perhaps we stupid poor people should hand our meagre. incomes over to special ‘Nutrition Guardians’.

    As we’re too thick in the head to know what’s nutritious, and genetically incapable of restraint (if we were clever and cautious we wouldn’t be poor in the first place, amirite?) they could help us.

    They’ll weigh and measure us, take our jobs/activities into account, and calculate our ideal calorie consumption. Them they’ll use our money to buy the exact type/amount of food for each month.

    Win/win! Stupid fattyfat. poors are kept under control, and jobs are created for normal people.

  183. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm |

    What Bloomberg is doing is about regulating your behavior for your own good, because you’re too fat and stupid to know what’s good for you.

    No, it’s about regulating what can be sold to you, not how you behave.

  184. Emolee
    Emolee June 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

    A few of those things *are* already regulated by the government.

    Yes, I know. I am not saying there should be zero government regulation of food, alcohol, tobacco, whatever. I am saying that one individual telling another individual that her choices are his business because we all share in “healthcare costs” is wrong. This is why I said my comment went more to other comments int the thread than to the soda law itself.

  185. Joe from an alternate universe
    Joe from an alternate universe June 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm |

    And taxpayers already *do* subsidize unhealthy behavior; universal health care won’t change that. My pack-a-day grandpa’s esophageal cancer cost more than he himself paid, that’s for sure!

    Yes, that’s true. And people who eat cheeseburgers every day will cost you money as well, and people who drink a 6 pack of beer everday will also. People who sit on their couch 24/7 will cost you money. People who scuba dive will cost you money. People who ski and get injured will cost you money. People who hike and get injured and have to be rescued cost you money. Too bad, it’s what we pay for freedom.

  186. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm |

    No, it’s about regulating what can be sold to you, not how you behave.

    Sure. Just like how regulating services has worked splendidly in all other things! I mean, look how glorious the US of A’s healthcare system is! They regulated that healthcare providing all right, and regulated what you had to do to deserve it, and now everyone in the US lives forever and no one dies of a tooth infection-

    Oh wait.

    Yeah, please, don’t hide behavioural control under service providing. It’s a little like saying that you can serve alcohol indefinitely, just in smaller more expensive glasses. That’ll teach them alcoholics not to drink!

    And yes, Jill and Bagelsan, when a policy is instituted to “fight obesity” the conversation is going to be about whether it fights obesity! Even though there’s this fascinating unrelated conversation about whether anyone needs to drink that much at a shot or not.

    I know, the tragedy.

  187. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm |

    Too bad, it’s what we pay for freedom.

    I wasn’t complaining! I was pointing out that universal healthcare won’t suddenly introduce the concept of health policing to the US.

    And yes, Jill and Bagelsan, when a policy is instituted to “fight obesity” the conversation is going to be about whether it fights obesity!

    Okay, so go ahead and have that conversation. Does reducing drink size reduce obesity? That there is a verifiable hypothesis.

  188. Joe from an alternate universe
    Joe from an alternate universe June 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm |

    And taxpayers already *do* subsidize unhealthy behavior; universal health care won’t change that. My pack-a-day grandpa’s esophageal cancer cost more than he himself paid, that’s for sure!

    Bagelsan,

    I need to add, with universal health care, I think the fear is that “Carrie Nation” kind of groups sprouting up and starting campaigns for sugar and fat temperance movements and using an already in place system to enforce it.

  189. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm |

    Soda is going to become slightly more expensive per ounce. And that is terrible. So when we come right down to it, the basic problem that some people have with this “ban” is that we have to exchange money for things. Okay, fair enough, capitalism sucks. No argument here. :p

  190. FYouMudFlaps
    FYouMudFlaps June 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm |

    You’re not wrong in the slightest. For what it’s worth I’m a USian male who despises huge portion casual dining places, and prefers smaller plates of good food.

  191. Joe from an alternate universe
    Joe from an alternate universe June 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

    I wasn’t complaining! I was pointing out that universal healthcare won’t suddenly introduce the concept of health policing to the US.

    Yes, sorry, got it. And I agree.

  192. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

    My pack-a-day grandpa’s esophageal cancer cost more than he himself paid, that’s for sure!

    Car accidents cost money (and kill/injure more people more directly than nearly anything else). Stop people from buying large cars!

    Disaster relief funds cost money! Stop all people from living where anything bad could possibly happen to them! Alternatively, stop paying disaster relief! I mean, they were living in the tropics/plate boundaries/coast/tornado belt/desert/tundra, they should have known not to live where they could be affected by storms/hurricanes/earthquakes/tornadoes/sandstorms/blizzards! Jeepers, the choices some people make.

    Giving birth costs money. I’m not going to reproduce, so why should I have to partially cover your emergency C-sections for your breech babies? Stop all births immediately! That solves the problem!

  193. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm |

    I need to add, with universal health care, I think the fear is that “Carrie Nation” kind of groups sprouting up and starting campaigns for sugar and fat temperance movements and using an already in place system to enforce it.

    I’m okay with that, as long as the mafia gets me some bootleg sucrose and I can go to the fat speak-easy! ;D

  194. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm |

    macavitykitsune, the point I’m making is that I’m okay with paying for other people’s needs. I’m pointing out that this does not need to cast a pall on universal healthcare, because we already pay for other people already.

  195. misakyra
    misakyra June 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm |

    For what it’s worth I’m a USian male who despises huge portion casual dining places, and prefers smaller plates of good food.

    And since your experience is obviously universal, what’s good for you should be good for all people everywhere, right?

  196. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 5:15 pm |

    Okay, so go ahead and have that conversation. Does reducing drink size reduce obesity? That there is a verifiable hypothesis.

    -_- Except they’re not reducing drink size. You can still drink 32 ounces, you just have to pay two dollars more for it. It’s not like being cut off at a bar, which actually has an effect on how drunk you are when you leave. This is just driving up costs for no particular reason and blaming obesity for it. You want to know why restaurants are protesting this measure and big soda companies aren’t? It’s because the soda companies are profiting like mad. There’s the capitalism you hate, right there.

    Your gracious permission accepted, kindly.

    Shall we talk about HFCS reduction? Making drinks healthier? Awareness campaigns about exactly how widespread HFCS is? How to live HFCS-free? What about people like me who don’t drink soda and are fat for entirely unrelated reasons? Why is water more expensive than this shit, forcing people who are counting pennies to eat more unhealthily? Why, for that matter, do people not have access to safe water in the richest country in the world? Why are corn subsidies numbering billions when HFCS is cancer syrup?

  197. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm |

    macavitykitsune, the point I’m making is that I’m okay with paying for other people’s needs.

    Ah, got it. Sorry, I misread your argument. I can agree with that.

    Bagelsan, what I’ve been trying to do since comment one is reorient the conversation to exactly what you agreed it should be. So has pheeno, though her angle was economic rather than medical, as was mine. I’m trying to take you in good faith, but your snark and failure to address my points isn’t doing that any favours.

  198. Emolee
    Emolee June 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

    Does reducing drink size reduce obesity?

    I don’t think there is proof either way, but I seriously doubt it. First of all, may people are fat for reasons other than food/drink, and many people are fat because of what they ate/drank in the past and not what they currently consume (for many people, weight does not start falling off when they stop “overeating”).

    Also, for the people who are fat because they consume “too many” calories, these people may not be getting any of these “extra” calories from soda. As well, for the people who do get their “fat-making” calories/sugar from soda, as has been pointed out, they can still get as much soda as they want, and if they do end up drinking less soda because of smaller cups, they may replace those lost calories and sugars elsewhere, like with coffee drinks, or donuts, or whatever (this goes for people of all sizes).

    Most people (on average, not on a meal by meal basis) consume the number of calories that feels right for their bodies and minds. This is unlikely to be altered by a change in soda cup sizes.

  199. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

    For what it’s worth I’m a USian male who despises huge portion casual dining places, and prefers smaller plates of good food.

    ….and currently has an income that places him in the middle class or above, and is a giant classist jackhole to boot.

    There, I completed your online dating profile. Aren’t I clever?

  200. SophiaBlue
    SophiaBlue June 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm |

    Genuine question: do people have a problem with seatbelt laws? I mean, that another case of the government regulating individual choices mostly because of the healthcare costs, but I haven’t seen much criticism of such laws anywhere, other than from hardcore libertarians.

  201. seisy
    seisy June 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm |

    While I think the fight is a worthy one- we do consume too much sugar/soda/etc – this is not the way to go about it. There are many other situations i can think of where this sort of paternalism would set off alarm bells. The mechanism is bad even if some of the cause is good. (Some, because too much of this debate is just classist, elitist BS wrapped up in a more palatable form). And when you make compromises and excuses to use the mechanism because it’ll advance your agenda/ideology/cause…well. It’s an ugly road to go down.

    So I agree with the other posters who mentioned attacking the problem in other ways- like more education, and getting rid of the corn subsidies, or the sugar tariffs, or all of that sort of stuff. (And really, I think this would make a difference in the long run. I’ve heard that one of the reasons we consume so much more of the sweet stuff today is because you need to put in four times as much HFCS to make something taste as sweet as it would with just plain sugar. )

  202. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date June 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm |

    Comparing soda to cigarettes breaks down immediately on one crucial factor: it’s the HCFS in soda that really damages the body, and it’s a completely unnecessary ingredient, used only because of bloated corn subsidies. Coke in India doesn’t use HCFS. Or Europe either. Ban HCFS and you can swig down a gallon a day with much less effect.

    Citation please on how sugar in pop (I’m from the Midwest) is less harmful than HCFS in pop? (Unless you’re allergic to corn, obviously.)

  203. FYouMudFlaps
    FYouMudFlaps June 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm |

    It wasn’t until I went to East Asia, with it’s plethora of non-soda cold delicious drinks, that I realized how addicted I was and how bad it is for me. I lost a bunch of weight and started feeling a lot more energized.

    I’d rather drink cold, unsweeted tea than soda, but I can’t fucking get it here, either in prepackaged form or whatever kind of delicious tea leaves that they use. I find myself drinking enormous tons of soda because there’s nothing else, I don’t trust the tap, and I’m fucking thirsty. Even our pre-made teas from lipton or whatever contain a million WTF ingredients.

    I’ll drink an entire large movie theatre soda in one sitting and then go back and get a refill. I don’t know why. I’m not even thirsty or even enjoying it–but I do it anyway. But I also have found if I get a small soda, I do drink less–again one refill. So now I’m getting 32 oz instead of 64.

    I am obsessed with Asian supermarkets partially for this reason. Chrysanthemum tea anyone?

  204. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm |

    Soda is going to become slightly more expensive per ounce. And that is terrible. So when we come right down to it, the basic problem that some people have with this “ban” is that we have to exchange money for things. 

    No the problem is *why* the ban was instituted. If the price of soda was increased to internalize the externality of using our fresh water supplies or corn subsidies then oh.fucking.well. The classism comes from the rrationale that poor people are too damn stupid to make appropriate choices about what they eat or drink becaus ethey don’t make the same choices that you would.

    Re: Botox and caffeine

    Botox is limited in quantity based on what is and is not a medically safe dose of botox, not based on whether anyone thinks is a good idea to inject your face with fatal toxins. Same with cafffeine which is consumed in much higher quantities than is healthy. But I don’t see Bloomberg limiting the size of coffee pots.

  205. FYouMudFlaps
    FYouMudFlaps June 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm |

    Super-sizing soft drinks is a tactic in the cola wars, and consumers are collateral damage.

    Soda is already sold nearly everywhere that it’s physically possible to sell it. We’re already drinking hundreds of cans of soda per capita, thanks multi-billion-dollar marketing campaigns that have taught us that everything–from Little League games, to hospital emergency room visits, to prison terms–goes better with Coke.

    So, if Coke wants to keep growing in the United States and keep its shareholders happy, it has to convince us to pay more for the same old thing. They could just hike the prices on the old cups, but then we’d get annoyed.

    Luckily, marketers know that people will happily buy more than they need or want if they think they’re getting a better deal. The raw materials in a Coke are almost free. Thanks, HFCS! So, if you can charge 20 cents more for the super-sized drink, that’s about 17 cents of profit.

    There’s another well-known bias that prompts us to consume more than we want once we’ve bought something, in order to “get our money’s worth.” Taken together, the desire to get a good deal and the desire to get our money’s worth, are fattening. Studies show that the larger the container, the more we tend to consume–whether the contents taste good or not. Cf. the famous stale movie popcorn bucket experiment.

    We often hear that, unlike smoking and drinking, super-sizing only hurts the people who buy the largest drinks. That’s not true. Our sense of a reasonable portion is conditioned by what we see around us. The original 6.5-oz Coke bottle looks like it belongs in a doll house. Starbucks stopped advertising small cups because they started to seem quaint in a world of Grandes and Ventis. For the most part, we eat and drink according to habits and visual cues, rather than our hunger or thirst.

    Consumers didn’t choose which sizes of cups would be available. The beverage industry did. The beverage industry didn’t pick the cups to maximize customer enjoyment, either. The industry is biased towards ever-larger vessels because it’s a gimmick to keep their profits rising in a saturated market.

    Bloomberg is betting that we’re being sold more soda than we need or want. If people buy 2 16-oz sodas instead of one 32-oz soda, then Bloomberg is wrong and the portion cap will fail. But there’s a lot of research that suggests that most people won’t choose to buy a second soda. It’s worth a try.

    You are AWESOME :)

  206. Esti
    Esti June 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm |

    I don’t understand why some people object to this policy but not to policies that simply make products more expensive to discourage consumers from buying/using them. This has basically the same effect–if you would like 32 oz. of soda, it may now cost slightly more because you have to buy two 16 oz. sodas (though realistically, I bet places like movie theaters just start offering deals for buying multiple sodas the same way they currently offer deals for buying bigger sodas). But it also has the effect, as Jill pointed out, of encouraging people to consider whether they actually want the extra 16 oz.

    I don’t think encouraging people to think about that is saying “fat people are stupid! poor people are stupid!” I went to the movies this weekend and ordered a small soda, and then said yes when the guy asked if I wanted a medium for 50 cents more, because what the hell. The medium was the biggest soda I’d ever seen. I don’t think I would have wanted more soda if I’d had a small, but I drank most of the medium because it was sitting next to me. I could see this policy having a positive effect in those situations. Whether it actually does is something that will have to be studied if it goes into effect.

    I understand why people are upset about it becoming unaffordable to have a drink at an event. But I think that is a problem with, among other things: jobs not paying a living wage; an insufficient social safety net; areas that lack access to good quality drinking water; people thinking that you don’t deserve a treat if you’re poor; etc. Those are all very real and very serious problems, and I don’t want to minimize them. But those same issues would apply to any initiative that raised the cost of something that people enjoy. And because corporations are consistently and very effectively encouraging some behaviors by making it less expensive to engage in them than in other (often less harmful) behaviors, the best response the government may have is creating countervailing economic incentives. That can absolutely go too far–I’m not a fan of fast food/junk food taxes, for example, because food deserts, etc.–but I just don’t think soda at restaurants and public events is a place where it’s unjust to try these policies.

  207. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

    Citation please on how sugar in pop (I’m from the Midwest) is less harmful than HCFS in pop? (Unless you’re allergic to corn, obviously.)

    http://ajprenal.physiology.org/content/290/3/F625.abstract?ijkey=52669f306e66d02bbed2e78de0f51370964bc0e1&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha
    Increased risk of cardiovascular disease compared to glucose.

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/86/4/895.full “In one study, the consumption of high-fructose meals reduced 24-h plasma insulin and leptin concentrations and increased postprandial fasting triacylglycerols in women, but it did not suppress circulating ghrelin, a major appetite-stimulating hormone”

  208. Lindsay Beyerstein
    Lindsay Beyerstein June 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm |

    Several people have proposed an HFCS ban as a less classist alternative to a portion cap. They’re forgetting that banning HFCS would also raise the price of soda. HFCS replaced sugar because it’s so much cheaper.

    Eliminating the corn subsidies that make HFCS nominally cheap would also raise the price of soda, and a lot of other foods, because manufacturers would have to substitute more expensive ingredients. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. Lives are at stake.

    Whenever there’s a a debate over removing some harmful additive or adding some safety feature that would make a product more expensive, the affected industry suddenly gets all class-conscious, arguing that the worst off will be the hardest hit by the change. This is often true, almost by definition. Whenever anything gets more expensive, the worst off will be the hardest-pressed to pay extra.

    That doesn’t mean that it was a mistake to tax cigarettes, a public policy move that has saved countless thousands of lives.

    Big Tobacco resisted tobacco taxes by pointing out that smokers are more likely to be poor, for example. The flip side is that the tobacco (and beverage) industries ruthlessly target poor communities with advertising.

  209. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm |

    @Esti,

    The US has a long history of creating “sin taxes.” Invariably these sin taxes are placed on goods that are used by members of thelower classes and because its a regressive tax it disproportionately effects the poor. I hear that you and others see this limit and think “its just soda what’s the big deal”, but I encourage you to think about it from another perspective. This is just one more thing in a very long list of things that the government says poor people shouldn’t have access to “for their own good.” ts part and parcel with arguments about potato chips and McDonalds food. The constant and unending scrutiny of all the choices poor people make about what they eat and how they care for themselves should be familiar to feminists.

  210. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm |

    Several people have proposed an HFCS ban as a less classist alternative to a portion cap. They’re forgetting that banning HFCS would also raise the price of soda.

    But also end the issue that is ostensibly the real problem here: getting rid of obesity. Sugar causes much less obesity than HFCS. Since the excuse for the soda sale ban is that it will apparently stop the fatties from gorging, pointing out that the effective answer – banning HFCS – is one that hasn’t been considered is part of analysing the classist, fat-shaming bullshit that’s tied up in this law.

  211. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm |

    A few of those things *are* already regulated by the government.

    The government also regulates shit it has no business regulating.

    Like, marriage for example. That’s worked out so well so far hasn’t it?
    Like abortion- now it gets to tell me I must submit to a vaginal ultra sound. Yippe.

    So repeatedly telling me the government regulates other stuff is not a valid argument. That the government does regulate shit does not mean it’s always good and right and proper.

  212. kim
    kim June 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm |

    I can’t believe I am reading this on a feminist blog (I know, I should not be surprised, but I forget). This post and discussion has really put me off feministe. The fact that so many comments haven’t been moderated away tells me all I need to know about feministe’s feminism. If I wanted to read fat-shaming, anti-poor ignorance, I’d go… actually I wouldn’t go anywhere because I’m bathing in it everywhere I go.

    I second all the people who have pointed out that macavitykitsune and pheenobarbidoll are frkn awesome for sticking with this shitfest.

  213. Esti
    Esti June 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm |

    Kristin, I’m definitely familiar (both personally and otherwise) with paternalism toward the poor and the ways they spend their money. But anything that makes products more (or less!) expensive will have a disproportionate impact on those with less money. Given the powerful marketing and pricing campaigns that are pouring enormous resources into getting people to consume things that are definitely bad for us, I think it makes sense to sometimes try balancing those forces with public policy. I say “this is just soda at public venues” not because I don’t think that poor people deserve to have soda if they want it, but because I think there are areas where it can be really oppressive to raise prices on unhealthy options (like fast food or processed food) and that soda at events and restaurants is an area where we can afford to try out these public-health focused policies.

    (And I don’t think it’s true that taxes incentivizing reduced consumption are limited to products correlated with lower-income purchasers. Gas taxes, for example, aim to reduce the amount people drive by making it artificially expensive to do so, and some places similarly inflate the cost of electricity to reduce demand. Both are not particularly correlated with low income purchasers–and in most areas, driving a car is correlated with having more money–though of course the effect of those financial incentives is likely to be more pronounced if you have less money.)

    At any rate, I think the ban on really big sodas is a particularly interesting approach to encouraging healthier behavior because it *doesn’t* just make a product more expensive across the board, like most sin taxes. It may have the effect of making it more expensive to consume the same amount of soda in some situations (though as I said above, I really suspect that’s going to be counterbalanced by places offering 2 for 1 deals to replace their supersize deals). But unlike most sin taxes, it doesn’t only affect on those who are on a tighter budget — it also acts on every person who *could* afford to just pay more for a 32 oz. soda but who is now forced to decide that they want the extra enough to buy a second or go back for more. Which is why I don’t really understand the level of anger at this policy; even if you hate all government policies that artificially raise prices in an attempt to discourage behavior, this policy at most does so indirectly and it also operates on people who could afford to buy the biggest soda in the world.

  214. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm |

    @Esti,

    I could not disagree more. “Balancing” health concerns in this legislation is simply a dog whistle for policing certain bodies. And as others have mentioned repeatedly, large sizes are often used to share cheaply

  215. Emolee
    Emolee June 5, 2012 at 6:57 pm |

    “Balancing” health concerns in this legislation is simply a dog whistle for policing certain bodies.

    Yes, and in this case, not even a dog whistle, but a whistle everyone can hear because the mayor stated specifically that this was about “obesity.” He did not even try to spin it as ‘soda is bad for the health of people of all sizes.’

  216. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm |

    I could not disagree more. “Balancing” health concerns in this legislation is simply a dog whistle for policing certain bodies.

    Yep. Thank you, Kristin, for putting that so eloquently.

    Stephen, kim: Thanks!

  217. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists June 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm |

    Okay so I have two favorite parts of this thread.

    The first is how often people wrote HCFS instead of HFCS. Especially when it was like “It’s spelled H-C-F-S!!!”. That made me chuckle.

    The second is how macavitykitsune has been allowed to continuously talk about how high-fructose-corn-syrup is the root of obesity and sugar is totally fine and all we need to do to solve the problem is switch from high-fructose-corn-syrup to sugar. Obviously none of the posters actually read the New York Times article Jill linked to in her post and quoted about glucose and fructose.

    Because if anybody HAD read that article, they might have posted that the author, Gary Taubes, talks at length about how sugar of both the sucrose AND high-fructose-corn-syrup varieties are identical.

    Taubes points out that sucrose is a disaccharide made up of fructose and glucose, and high-fructose-corn-syrup is usually around 55% fructose, the other 45% being glucose!

    So:

    marketing aside, the two sweeteners are effectively identical in their biological effects.

    What’s that thing he’s saying about marketing? Oh well, if you read the article, you’d know that back in the early 80s, we switched TO high-fructose-corn-syrup because people thought it was a healthy alternative to refined sugar, and it was cheaper than refined sugar anyway.

    It’s not ironic, but it is kinda funny.

    So can we get past this insistence that replacing high-fructose-corn-syrup with sucrose will solve the health problems with drinking 32 ounces of soda?

    Drinking 32 ounces of sugar water in one sitting is a terrible idea like smoking a cigarette is a terrible idea.

    Cigarettes must have a label now with pictures of diseased organs on them. Nobody has a problem with that law.

    So now you can’t sell 32 ounces of soda all in one container in some specific venues where you’re supposed to consume it all in one sitting. We know you’re supposed to drink it all in one sitting because you get the soda in a cup that isn’t resealable like a soda bottle is.

    So what do you do if you want 32 ounces of soda? Well, you can buy two 16 ounce cups. That’s still totally legal. You could even get three.

    “But the cost of 32 ounces of soda is less than the cost of two 16 ounce cups!” you say. “This law will raise the price of 32 ounces of soda!”

    Well, then you might only get to drink 16 ounces of soda.

    This is not classism, or fat shaming.

    It’s a pretty good idea.

    Why?

    Because it’s free! It’s a free law! It doesn’t cost the government

  218. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm |

    Perhaps we stupid poor people should hand our meagre. incomes over to special ‘Nutrition Guardians’.

    As we’re too thick in the head to know what’s nutritious, and genetically incapable of restraint (if we were clever and cautious we wouldn’t be poor in the first place, amirite?) they could help us.

    They’ll weigh and measure us, take our jobs/activities into account, and calculate our ideal calorie consumption. Them they’ll use our money to buy the exact type/amount of food for each month.

    Win/win! Stupid fattyfat. poors are kept under control, and jobs are created for normal people.

    Yes, and we New Yorkers are far too stupid to decide what laws and regulations we want. Personally, I am ambivalent about the law, as I am one of those fat people who drinks diet soda and I prefer to watch movies at home. However, I find it remarkably hypocritical that people are throwing around accusations of nanny-ing and telling people they know what’s right for them when they are vocally opposing a regulation that does not even affect them.

  219. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm |

    when they are vocally opposing a regulation that does not even affect them.

    Because it never will, right?

    California leading the way to banning smoking indoors didn’t open the doors for any other state to follow. Nope.

    It all happens in this magic world that evidently I’ve never lived in. The world I do live in though tells me this-

    If the government and “we the do gooders” start telling you somethings for your own good, you can bet your ass they’re lying through their ever loving teeth. Not only will it NOT be good for you, it will lead to you being fucked 10 ways from Sunday. And just when you thought it was over, they’ll invent new ways. 500 years later and you’d think people would stop being so damned foolish.

  220. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm |

    I can’t believe I am reading this on a feminist blog

    Lol. D’you know who really shouldn’t drink lots of soda. PREGNANT WOMEN WHO OWN HATS AND CATS.

    Shitstorm in 3, 2…?

  221. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm |

    California leading the way to banning smoking indoors didn’t open the doors for any other state to follow. Nope.

    Yes, and that was truly terrible. 9_9

  222. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm |

    If the government and “we the do gooders” start telling you somethings for your own good, you can bet your ass they’re lying through their ever loving teeth.

    I hear “they” put fluoride in the water supply, too!!

  223. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm |

    The second is how macavitykitsune has been allowed to continuously talk about how high-fructose-corn-syrup is the root of obesity and sugar is totally fine and all we need to do to solve the problem is switch from high-fructose-corn-syrup to sugar.

    Pretty sure ze thinks it is the root of ALL evil, not just metabolic evil, but yeah. HFCS is shitty but so is a pound of sugar straight to the gut, too. :p

  224. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm |

    I hear “they” put fluoride in the water supply, too!!

    And put my family on a reservation!

    You want to choose to believe in a loving, kind government, hey it’s your funeral.

  225. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm |

    If the government and “we the do gooders” start telling you somethings for your own good, you can bet your ass they’re lying through their ever loving teeth.

    Oh, ok, so I can just dismiss everything the government and ‘do-gooders’ say? Would that be actual ‘do-gooders’ or ‘so-called do-gooders’?

  226. Emolee
    Emolee June 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm |

    Just because something doesn’t affect me doesn’t mean I don’t have a strong opinion about it. I do care about people other than myself.

  227. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm |

    Yes, and that was truly terrible. 9_9

    Irrelevant. Terrible or great, what one state does eventually catches on.

    Personhood shit, allowing same sex marriage etc.

  228. Andie
    Andie June 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm |

    Lol. D’you know who really shouldn’t drink lots of soda. PREGNANT WOMEN PILOTS WHO OWN HATS AND CATS.

    Fixed that for ya.

  229. QLH
    QLH June 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm |

    It is irritating that the removal of giant-sized sodas from movie theaters, arenas and food trucks is tied to an OMG OBESITY EPIDEMIC campaign? Yes.

    If this is your attempt to be an ally to fat people, please try harder next time.

    So many people in this thread keep talking about how they, personally, don’t like large portions. Large portions are icky! Great, so get smaller portions, or get large portions and share them. I don’t understand how “ew, icky!” becomes on-the-books legislation.

    For the comparisons to government regulation on smoking: second-hand smoke is a real thing which affects other people. The cigarette you smoke affects the people around you. The soda you drink does not change the HFCS in anyone else’s body but yours.

    Thanks so much to everyone who’s fighting the fat-shaming and classism in this thread.

    You don’t have to love 32-ounce soda to understand that outlawing it might have a negative effect on other people. Not everyone lives the way you do or makes choices the way you do, and that’s okay.

  230. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm |

    The second is how macavitykitsune has been allowed to continuously talk about how high-fructose-corn-syrup is the root of obesity and sugar is totally fine and all we need to do to solve the problem is switch from high-fructose-corn-syrup to sugar.

    -_- I referred to at least two other major issues with it, including (lack of) appetite suppression relative to glucose – gee, ya think the “can’t get enough” has anything to do with that? – and the link to cardiovascular disease. I never said sugar was totally fine, I said switching to sugar would solve some of the problems.

    Taubes points out that sucrose is a disaccharide made up of fructose and glucose, and high-fructose-corn-syrup is usually around 55% fructose, the other 45% being glucose!

    Yes, dear. I linked to scientific studies that quote the same thing and go on to mention that there are other issues that are also serious and that also *gasp* cause obesity. Just like sugar. If you eat approximately twice the amount of sugar as HFCS, that is.

    I honestly don’t give a fuck what someone weighs. I care if they’re being fed shit that causes diseases.

    Also, lol, I think I was one of the people who wrote HCFS. I usually catch typoes, but acronyms will fuck me over every time for that, with the not being “real” words and all.

    Pretty sure ze thinks it is the root of ALL evil, not just metabolic evil, but yeah.

    No, sweetie, it just happens to be relevant to a thread that’s about a product made largely of HFCS. U mad at my relevance, bro? (Also, “she”, not “ze”. If you can’t tell I’m a woman yet, your reading comprehension is….

    well, it’s consistent.)

  231. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm |

    You want to choose to believe in a loving, kind government, hey it’s your funeral.

    Actually, pheeno, I think it’s Bagelsan’s privilege.

  232. 6feetunder
    6feetunder June 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm |

    @jill “Sure, there are individuals who will buy an entire case of Mountain Dew and drink it all by themselves in a single day, but those people are outliers. And banning the sale of a case of soda from the grocery store (or a liter bottle from the grocery store) would have a greater impact on low-income people who are buying in bulk for the whole family, and who will consume that case of soda over the course of a few days or weeks.”

    So it’s now OK to disenfranchise the “outliers” in the context of the “greater good”? Why is it OK to limit the choices available to consumers for the convenience of those who don’t want that choice? Are others harmed by it’s availability? Are food stuffs a zero sum where if the healthy products are available, non healthy options are not, or perhaps the opposite?

  233. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 5, 2012 at 8:07 pm |

    Bleah, comment in mod.

    I think I’ve said what I can say, anyway (repeatedly, with headdesk) and now that DLL is here to yell at me – hi, DLL, nice to see you on like the fifth thread you’ve gone off on me because haha lol – I….think I’m going to bow out. This is just pissing me off at this point, and I’d much rather be watching a movie with my kid.

  234. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists June 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm |

    I have a longer comment about this at 234, but macavitykitsune, can you address how you were completely wrong before when you were talking about how sugar is better than high-fructose-corn-syrup and we should switch to solve all our problems?

  235. DoublyLinkedLists
    DoublyLinkedLists June 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm |

    You’re on every thread macavity kitsune. You should win like, top commenter.

  236. librarygoose
    librarygoose June 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm |

    Can I please have $1 for every time someone posts this exact same comment?

    You want to make money for what should be a free space? I can’t believe I read this on a feminist blog.

  237. Jamie
    Jamie June 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm |

    Still waiting for Jill to defend restrictions on food stamps. Because it just makes sense, right? And if the needy can only buy fresh veggies along with pasta, that isn’t stopping anyone from buying pasta.

    We regulate abortions. We regulate soda. Therefor, all restrictions on abortion make sense. Just like soda.

    Srsly, I think you need to think about this one.

  238. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 8:49 pm |

    Okay, macavity, you’re a girl. Glad that important factoid is out there and won’t be bugging you. :p

  239. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm |

    You want to choose to believe in a loving, kind government, hey it’s your funeral.

    The government has done bad things, hence everything the government does is bad. Huh, interesting “thought” process there.

  240. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 8:56 pm |

    Okay, macavity, you’re a girl.

    Jesus. Great dismissive language there. Nope, she’s not a woman, as she self-defined, she’s a girl who isn’t old enough to be taken seriously.

  241. Revolver
    Revolver June 5, 2012 at 8:58 pm |

    You’re on every thread macavity kitsune. You should win like, top commenter.

    How dare she have and express widespread opinions! Be ladylike and keep your opinions to yourself.

  242. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm |

    The government has done bad things, hence everything the government does is bad.

    When it comes from an occupying colonizing government still hell bent on killing people, pretty much.

    You’ll just have to forgive me if I don’t swoon over a government still actively engaging in the genocide of my people.

  243. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 5, 2012 at 9:08 pm |

    You’ll just have to forgive me if I don’t swoon over a government still actively engaging in the genocide of my people.

    For our own good.

  244. m
    m June 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm |

    Bagelsan’s constant use of emoticons just adds to the thick layer of condescension over this thread. Really a disappointment to read through all 250-some-odd comments and see the same shit from beginning to end. More props to pheenobarbidoll, macavitykitsune, etc for pushing back.

  245. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines June 5, 2012 at 9:43 pm |

    ^ What m said.

    This could be an interesting discussion, but the sarcasm, crap emoticons and condescension are tedious.

    As is the competitive healthy eating. “I only eat this”. “I couldn’t eat that” and anyone asking “how could anyone possibly eat…” needs a Paddington Bear style hard stare.

    Thank you Macavity and pheenobarbidoll (sp?) and a special thank you to misakyra – “Because of reasons (AKA none of your fucking business) will join my lexicon.

    Finally, I unashamedly, unreservedly like food in large amounts. Big slice of nice cake > small slice of cake. Always.

    Places that do stingy portions of food tend not to be places that I like to eat, so I’m not getting this “if only people weren’t so consumerist/were true food aficionados” either. Sod that.

  246. Alexandra
    Alexandra June 5, 2012 at 10:25 pm |

    Someone commented earlier that all public health policies have detrimental effects upon the poor to some extent.

    Historically I think there are a couple of reasons for that. One major factor is that disincentives-based regulation inevitably drives up prices. If you limit the quantity of soda that can be sold in a public venue, some people will end up spending more money, while others (in theory) will consume less soda. This was the theory behind cigarette taxes too, which appear to have reduced smoking.

    There are other reasons, though, why public health measures tend to create more negative repercussions for those without privilege than for those with it (is that tautological? I think it may be tautological…). Reading the history of vaccinations is instructive. There are many accounts of public health doctors going into tenement housing and ripping children from the arms of their weeping mothers to inject them with vaccines which had been poorly tested (or else tested on the poor and disenfranchised — in the 1950s a lot of vaccine research was done on institutionalized autistic and mentally disabled children whose parents were coerced economically in assenting to treatment, or else not informed at all).

    The face of public health among poor people, immigrant people, people of color has been the all-knowing paternalistic doctor who will do this to you FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, whatever you may say. In the case of vaccination, there were many, many, many positive effects. But eugenics and sterilization were also done “for your own good”. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the author notes that it was routine as late as the 1960s for hospitals which treated the indigent to do medical tests and clinical trials on them without their consent, or at least without informed consent. This is not just.

    What I’m saying is that this is not simple. It is not as simple as saying that HFCS leads to health problems which strains universal health care. This may be true; in 50 years history may bear out the Bloombergs of the world as far-sighted pioneers. But at the same time this is, once again, the government telling people how they will run their lives, how their bodies and choices will be regulated.

    The middle class and the well-educated do not feel these pressures in the same way, not only because they have more money, but also because the middle class and the well-educated are far more likely to be drinking 2.50-a-12-oz-bottle drinks from Whole Foods and worrying about the consequences of gluten in their diets — and even those who DON’T do that still do not face the same kind of pressure to be ever virtuous and compliant, or else be seen as a wretched, ungrateful burden upon dutiful, hard-working Americans.

  247. Lindsay Beyerstein
    Lindsay Beyerstein June 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm |

    Fructose is metabolized differently than other sugars and it seems to have some uniquely bad effects. However, it’s unlikely that HFCS soda is that much more dangerous than cane sugar soda. That’s because the high-fructose corn syrup used in soda is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. Cane sugar is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. So, it’s not that big a fructose spread between the two.

    It’s more likely that the rise of HFCS coincided with rising obesity levels because HFCS made big portions of sugary foods and drinks cheaper. Also, HFCS is only found in highly processed food and drink. You don’t see much of it in meals cooked at home from scratch. So, if the population’s HFCS intake is rising, that suggests our diet is changing in other ways, too.

    That said, there’s no reason for HFCS to exist. It tastes bad, it’s bad for us, and it’s bad for the environment to make it. It only seems cheap because of billions of dollars in hidden subsidies. If Iowa wasn’t such an early primary state, it probably wouldn’t have insinuated itself into our food system.

  248. miga
    miga June 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm |

    I’m interested in hearing about people’s thoughts on a comparable ban that happened several years ago in NYC: trans fats.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_fat#United_States

    How does the ban on trans fats in restaurants compare with the ban on soda sizes? Both HFCS and man-made Trans Fats became popular because they were cheaper for the producer to include in their products versus the traditional and natural product/s. Both are very unhealthy for you in many ways, but both were/are fought against in large part because they are associated with the boogey-man of fatness.

    The ban in NYC led to several companies greatly reducing/eliminating trans fats in all of its products all over. Do y’all think this will have a similar effect with soda size?

    Are we better off in the long run with little/no trans fats? Has the conversation about “you are what you eat” changed at all? Was there anyone having this same argument before who has changed their position?

  249. duck-billed placelot
    duck-billed placelot June 5, 2012 at 11:02 pm |

    I have this awesome slinky top that is beautiful, and everytime I wear it in a car, it gets all stupidly crinkled from my seat belt. Now, mind you, not wearing my seat belt is illegal, but not criminally so. If I were to not wear my seat belt and got pulled over, I would have to pay a fine. But I have the option, the choice, to not wear it and just…pay the fine. However: click-it or ticket campaigns (as well as not wanting to die if I get in a minor fender bender) have made it natural to wear a seat belt. It is societally normal to wear a seat belt. And I know why: safety! Now, not wearing a seat belt is a decision, rather than the default.

    Super duper large sodas in one sitting are the current societal norm. Changing it to not the societal norm won’t reduce your ability to actually do it, just make a structural difference that makes it more normal to not drink huge amounts of a thing that has been proven to be wicked bad for you.

    And yes, Bloomberg is selling it in a douchey way.

  250. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 5, 2012 at 11:30 pm |

    >_> <__< 0_0 :p

    (not taking this discussion seriously ^^)

  251. misakyra
    misakyra June 5, 2012 at 11:50 pm |

    It’s more likely that the rise of HFCS coincided with rising obesity levels because HFCS made big portions of sugary foods and drinks cheaper.

    The problem with this statement is that you’re equating obesity to overconsumption, when it’s actually a lot more complicated. It also doesn’t really address that even if there was a one-to-one correlation between fat and overconsumption, it would still not be the government’s business. This is an issue of basic bodily autonomy, and is also some advanced FA. I have the right to eat a giant plate of the world’s greasiest nachos and wash them down with a 200 oz. Pepsi if I so desire. I don’t owe anyone an explanation. Period.

    Also, HFCS is only found in highly processed food and drink. You don’t see much of it in meals cooked at home from scratch.

    Here, it seems like you’re assuming that everyone has the time and resources to make something like that happen, which is both classist and ableist. Healthier food options are more expensive, which is a genuine problem. However, making healthy options affordable is only one piece of the puzzle. It still doesn’t address the fact that many poor people have to work multiple jobs to feed themselves and their families, leaving them with little or no time to cook. People with disabilities get left out, as even when healthy food is an option, preparing it might not be. Then there are the people who just can’t cook. And as someone who can, I know how easy it is to go “But but but! Cooking is so easy, you just…”

    Except that cooking isn’t always that easy, especially to someone who doesn’t know how and may not have anyone around to teach them.

    @Safiya Outlines: Yay! I have warm fuzzies now!

  252. Annie D
    Annie D June 6, 2012 at 12:07 am |

    Wow. Culture shock.

    In Australia it is compulsory to wear helmets on bikes, purchasing of cigarettes is regulated to the hilt — you’re barely allowed to smoke in the CBD of my city, public schools are only allowed to sell a limited amount of sweets and soft drinks, you need a public liability statement to run a club fundraiser, guns are for hunting only, big engines on cars (and big incomes) incur a greater rate of tax.

    But you know what? Things are pretty good. I’m free to smoke if I want to — I just have to pay more and walk further to the designated smoking area; it’s harder for the criminals to get guns and easier for the cops to limit their access to them. We have federally funded healthcare, and a state run system of hospitals. Regulation isn’t all bad — it makes it easier and cheaper to live in society.

  253. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 12:16 am |

    Yeah, meanwhile racism flourishes, people are still homeless and hungry, women and children are raped and abused but let’s make sure we take care of important shit like how much John and Jane Doe drink while watching The Avengers. Coming to that decision didn’t take up time and resources better used for actually protecting people. Last I heard, sugar didn’t shoot a black man 57 times for the crime of existing while black. HFCS didn’t rape a Native woman because it could get away with it. People were pepper sprayed and beaten by cops for exercising their right to protest but large soda’s have been banned, let’s hear it for progress!

    People need to be healthy when they’re murdered. Otherwise, what’s the point right?

  254. miga
    miga June 6, 2012 at 12:25 am |

    (Comment is stuck in mod, so i’m reposting)

    I’m interested in hearing about people’s thoughts on a comparable ban that happened several years ago in NYC: trans fats.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans_fat#United_States

    How does the ban on trans fats in restaurants compare with the ban on soda sizes? Both HFCS and man-made Trans Fats became popular because they were cheaper for the producer to include in their products versus the traditional and natural product/s. Both are very unhealthy for you in many ways, but both were/are fought against in large part because they are associated with the boogey-man of fatness.

    The ban in NYC led to several companies greatly reducing/eliminating trans fats in all of its products all over. Do y’all think this will have a similar effect with soda size?

    Are we better off in the long run with little/no trans fats? Has the conversation about “you are what you eat” changed at all? Was there anyone having this same argument before who has changed their position?

  255. Alexandra
    Alexandra June 6, 2012 at 12:26 am |

    Then again, Australian regulation under John Howard gave you guys some of the most repressive and paternalistic anti-Aboriginal peoples legislation you’ve had in decades.

  256. Annie D
    Annie D June 6, 2012 at 1:00 am |

    That’s not an argument against regulation though, particularly considering that Howard had to suspend an anti-discrimination act in order to do it, it’s fairly apparent that the problem was racist policy not regulation itself.

    People need to be healthy when they’re murdered. Otherwise, what’s the point right?

    If you felt like getting really radical, you could regulate the availability of automatic weapons and particularly destructive types of bullets, impose a high rate of tax on arms sales and expensive licensing fees, or limit the ability of the mentally ill or those with a criminal record from purchasing weapons. Regulations aren’t just about food. Food just happens to be less controversial.

  257. Alexandra
    Alexandra June 6, 2012 at 1:16 am |

    Respectfully, I think you’re missing the point, Annie. Regulation is not inherently bad – I’m not staking out a libertarian position. But the libertarians have a point when they say that the more power you give government, the more it will exercise. Exercise of power has given Australians excellent universal health care; my grandfather practices in Brisbane and left America after twenty years in the country in part because of his disgust at our ad hoc insurance scheme.

    But there is no denying that governments also use power to oppress and repress and to destroy. Some governments and societies are more prone to it than others. I think, though, when someone like phenobarbitol is speaking of her inherent distrust of government due to the effects of colonialization upon her community, you have to treat that with respect — because the govt that gave you a flourishing society also destroyed the way of life of many aboriginal peoples.

  258. Annie D
    Annie D June 6, 2012 at 2:00 am |

    You’re right. I read phenobarbitol’s comment in the light of the other comments about regulation instead of in the context of the racism they were directly referencing.

    However, I do believe that in a healthy and socially liberal democracy regulations can be used in a way which is mostly helpful, and which brings greater benefits to society than the alternatives.

    In terms of my government’s policy towards Aboriginal communities, they are in a bit of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. Without some measure of intervention to limit chronic alcoholism and substance abuse in Aboriginal communities (originally fostered by past governments as a way of keeping them down and tied to white society) there is little which can be done to help Aboriginal people out of poverty. All children in Australia have a right to a comprehensive state funded education until yr 12, and there is an obligation on the government to lift the literacy, numeracy and graduation rates of Aboriginal children to something approximating the norm.

    There were attempts on the part of the Howard and Rudd governments to justify their actions by quoting and promoting the views of Aboriginal elders favouring the ban and asking for extensions of it. I’m not sure of how widespread the support for it actually was among the elders, but the policies were not completely without community support.

    I’m sorry if my privilege is showing; I’m not really sure how to be an ally to people of colour in a meaningful way (I grew up in a racist society and in a disproportionately white and middle class Catholic community) and I’ll be grateful for guidance.

  259. Ens
    Ens June 6, 2012 at 3:33 am |

    Add me to the chorus of people who are afraid of the unfortunate implications of “but government healthcare means we should regulate anything that could be unhealthy”. No. Being unhealthy is disincentive enough for making unhealthy choices. Trying to pile economic incentives on top is just unnecessary. Let’s never use that argument. We should stick to arguments about what adversely affects individuals or unprivileged classes of people.

    If the justification is the “big portion sizes skew our idea of what a reasonable portion is” argument, then my counter is that we can do better than blocking off large sizes. We can instead encourage small sizes. What if we had a law providing a “maximum minimum size”. This is the biggest size that the smallest drink can be. It might need a minimum minimum size too, just so that people don’t try to loophole the law by selling thimbles full of Pepsi.

    If you’re afraid that the stores will sell twice the drink for two cents more, you could rule that the price per unit volume of the smaller drinks has to be reasonably cheaper than larger versions according to the volume difference, and it must be an available option in any promotional deal with proportional cash savings, etc.. And if you still want 32 oz despite a 16 oz pop at about half the price, that’s your business.

    Even with that model, anything that involves a price control is going to disproportionately affect the poorer one way or another. The other option is to try to educate about smaller portion sizes, which I think is always the ideal if possible.

    Regulations that I’m in favour of are generally things where:

    – Unregulated, it would or could directly affects individual or groups of people who didn’t choose freely to be affected (so being economically coerced is grounds for regulation).
    – Unregulated, people would not understand how it is harming them (eg. labelling laws).

    I’m more troubled when people are unable to get things that they NEED, vs. an extra 16oz of soda. I’m sorry, I just can’t get up in arms about that.

    Well, this isn’t the world’s most important issue. I agree. In the context of things like abortion rights etc., this really doesn’t move the needle. At the same time, it is the direct consequence of the subject of this post so it’s going to come up, and we can address issues that aren’t the most important issue ever. If buying two at half size were exactly as easy as buying one, and buying one at half size was possible either way, then there would be literally no point to this law because it would do nothing.

  260. Meowser
    Meowser June 6, 2012 at 3:51 am |

    Yes, and in this case, not even a dog whistle, but a whistle everyone can hear because the mayor stated specifically that this was about “obesity.” He did not even try to spin it as ‘soda is bad for the health of people of all sizes.’

    Yes, THAT, right there. This was ALL about stereotyping the fatties as stupidly intemperate Pepsi-guzzlers, as if this is going to make any kind of dent in people’s weights. If he actually bothered talking to fat people, he’d find out that most of us don’t do that, and a little more digging would reveal that in fact, most of the intemperate Pepsi-guzzlers are skinny teenaged boys with brushfire metabolism. Not that Pepsi is magically health food for them, either, but Bloomberg couldn’t care less; if everyone was thin, he wouldn’t bother. It’s all about the illusion of health, and the self-congratulation that goes with Doing Something About the Sad Dumb Fatties, not the reality.

  261. miga
    miga June 6, 2012 at 8:32 am |

    Hi Jill. Respectfully asking you to take my comments out of mod, since I’ve done nothing that falls under unacceptable content and I feel my post brought up an interesting angle to the convo. I wanted to ask people about comparisons between the ban on trans fats and this current ban on large-size sodas.

    Thanks!

  262. Andie
    Andie June 6, 2012 at 8:33 am |

    We can instead encourage small sizes. What if we had a law providing a “maximum minimum size”

    I’d like to see more available smaller options.. I jumped for joy when Dairy Queen started selling ‘Mini-Blizzards’ because even when I ordered a small, I’d still end up wasting half of it.. (ice cream is not one of those ‘put-the-rest-away-for-another-time’ foods when it’s already half-melted)

    This is where I get irritated because if it’s not the government saying how much you can buy at one time, it’s the establishments coercing you into buying more than you need in the name of a ‘good deal’.

  263. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery June 6, 2012 at 8:39 am |

    We should just get it over with and put a big “NO FATTIES” sign at all NYC ports of entry.

    All this obesity and public health nonsense is Bloomberg’s version of Guiliani’s cabaret laws — Personal preference masquerading as public policy. Here’s a thought — if we want to reduce the city’s expenditures on needless bullshit, we could stop locking up thousands of poor black and latin@ citizens for minor drug offenses. But heaven forfend we save money by NOT telling people what to eat, drink, or smoke.

  264. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 6, 2012 at 8:40 am |

    The thing is, this isn’t all about economics. This is about trying to force people to make a behavior change.

    That comment is one of the funniest things I think I’ve ever read here.

    What, exactly, do you think economics is?

  265. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 6, 2012 at 8:50 am |

    Also funny: the people who think HFCS (or is that spelled HCFS?) is responsible for massively sweetened drinks being unhealthy. And then citing scientific studies which contradict their theory.

    Factually, the general scientific consensus is that HFCS is not significantly more harmful than sugar.

  266. Revolver
    Revolver June 6, 2012 at 8:51 am |

    Hmmm, for some reason I didn’t think economics was about health behavior change. Stupid me!

    Yes, it may change consumer habits as far as purchasing. But it is not going to make a sustainable health behavior change.

  267. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 6, 2012 at 9:06 am |

    Hmmm, for some reason I didn’t think economics was about health behavior change. Stupid me!

    Not stupid, just not knowledgable. Sorry if that came across as overly snarky, it’s just that human behavior, and particularly human behavior as it related to deciding which actions to take or what to consume, are exactly the purview of economics. Probably not college Econ-101, but behavioral economics and cognitive biases are bread and butter topics for a lot of economists.

    Yes, it may change consumer habits as far as purchasing. But it is not going to make a sustainable health behavior change.

    Except non-montetized transactions can be analyzed by economic theory- it’s just slightly more complex to do so. When you decide whether to excercise or watch more TV, that is an economic choice which can be described in purely economic terms. Weighing costs and benefits doesn’t have to happen in terms of dollars and sense. If the cost of consuming 4 hours of excercise is 1 unit of uncomfortableness, I can model that just as well as buying 4 hotdogs for 1 dollar.

  268. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 6, 2012 at 9:07 am |

    cents*

  269. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig June 6, 2012 at 9:47 am |

    karak: I’d rather drink cold, unsweeted tea than soda, but I can’t fucking get it here, either in prepackaged form or whatever kind of delicious tea leaves that they use.

    Actually, you can find some of the teas in the US/Canada. There are specialized import companies, tea stores and Asian grocery stores. Mugicha from the Asian grocery store is fairly cheap, as are some of the lower-grade long leaf oolongs.

  270. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 6, 2012 at 9:53 am |

    I do not sit at the computer all day intentionally putting comments into mod.

    Filthy lies from the omnipotent Jillstocracy! :D

  271. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 10:57 am |

    If you felt like getting really radical, you could regulate the availability of automatic weapons and particularly destructive types of bullets, impose a high rate of tax on arms sales and expensive licensing fees, or limit the ability of the mentally ill or those with a criminal record from purchasing weapons.

    Can’t. We’re far too busy taking the Pepsi Challenge. Next up, I hear Colonel Sanders and Little Debbie should watch their backs. They’re on the list after Bin Laden.

  272. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 6, 2012 at 11:05 am |

    The scientific and health community consensus is that obesity-related diseases cause a lot of the early death and disability that is being seen lately in America. Whether or not people agree with that consensus, those are the facts that the government is working with so of course these measures are framed as anti-obesity. The intention is still to save and improve lives.

    It would be better to frame it as anti-type II diabetes/heart disease/etc. than to just call it all “obesity” but it’s not like we can expect a lot of subtlety from a measure targeted at a large and poorly-educated population. And frankly, I think this is a remarkably un-shamey attempt –language surrounding it aside– because it targets a product rather than a people.

  273. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 11:10 am |

    Actually, you can find some of the teas in the US/Canada.

    Pre-bottled tea is sacrilege. Why they insist on adding that nasty fake lemon flavor is beyond me. I can find unsweet, but I cannot find it without lemon added.

    I like unsweet, with lime added if I add anything. Real lime. Not lime flavoring. I can usually accomplish this at eating establishments, but that crap usually sold at the movies or arenas needs to be drug outside and shot for treason.

    Had a hell of a time finding any ice tea the 2 years I lived in Canada. The bottled crap was everywhere though.

  274. Emolee
    Emolee June 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm |

    It would be better to frame it as anti-type II diabetes/heart disease/etc. than to just call it all “obesity” but it’s not like we can expect a lot of subtlety from a measure targeted at a large and poorly-educated population.

    Whoa- a “large and poorly educated population”? This measure was targeted at “obesity.” There are obese people who are VERY educated, myself included. Also, poorer and less educated people can understand the concept of disease. This does not need to be dumbed down to “fat” instead of “poor health” because soda drinkers just couldn’t possibly understand the concept of health! And even if they couldn’t, it is still not fair to use those with specific body types as scapegoats.

    Here is something that I honestly think a lot of people do not realize: “the obese” consists of ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS. Imagine if a law was enacted to target an obvious, observable physical characterisitc that YOU have, even though that law had nothing to do with your and many other people’s having of this characteristic. It is insulting to say, yeah, this was a bad way to frame this, but who cares?

  275. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm |

    Whoa- a “large and poorly educated population”?

    Yes, New Yorkers. More generally, Americans.

  276. misakyra
    misakyra June 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

    Yes, New Yorkers. More generally, Americans.

    That’s not better. Suggesting that any group of adults are just too stupid to know what’s good for them is paternalistic and really damned offensive.

  277. Emolee
    Emolee June 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

    Yes, New Yorkers. More generally, Americans.

    I will give you the benefit of the doubt that this is the population you meant, though I did not read it that way. However, I would not characterize New Yorkers as a whole as “poorly educated,” at least not so “poorly educated” that they are unable to understand the concept of disease. And again, scapegoating a marginalized population is not ok, even if it helps get a point across.

  278. seisy
    seisy June 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm |

    @pheenobarbidoll

    Try Tejava – it’s pretty good tea, nice and strong, no sugar/sweeteners, no flavorings. It’s just tea. Glass bottles, too, so you don’t get that plastic-y taste, either.

  279. Jessica
    Jessica June 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm |

    The author of the book you have in your head’s name is Annie Leonard. She has books and videos about consumption. You are right, thank you very much for explaining your reasons in an easily comprehensible way. You would collaborate well with Annie Leonard!

  280. April
    April June 6, 2012 at 4:40 pm |

    So the fuck WHAT? There’s also hot chocolate but I don’t want hot chocolate or fucking water, I’d like a pepsi.

    WHY do I need your approval for that? Do you possess some super power making you more qualified to make my decisions for me?

    If you’re going to start making my decisions for me you better start paying my bills while you’re at it.

    Seriously. While we’re at it, we should sue all the businesses to whom it never occurred to serve your precious Pepsi out of 64oz containers, while we’re at it. I mean, the business needs to serve whatever you damn well want to consume that day OR ELSE, right? So, get on it. Let us know it works. Can’t wait until we can just demand that anyone provide us with absolutely anything we want at any time, so long as we want to pay for it.

  281. April
    April June 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm |

    Still waiting for Jill to defend restrictions on food stamps. Because it just makes sense, right? And if the needy can only buy fresh veggies along with pasta, that isn’t stopping anyone from buying pasta.

    Different things, and Jill already covered it back in like, comment 5 or something. Grocery stores are for buying food and food products in varying quantities. This is different from having some god-given right to purchase one soda size you feel particularly entitled to.

  282. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig June 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

    Phenobarbiedoll: I wasn’t talking about prebottled stuff- I buy the tealeaves/teabags.

    Joefromanalternateuniverse: I need to add, with universal health care, I think the fear is that “Carrie Nation” kind of groups sprouting up and starting campaigns for sugar and fat temperance movements and using an already in place system to enforce it.

    Oh, yes, this. This is what makes me think universal health insurance is a nice idea, but likely to be terrible in operation. I’m fat, yes, but I’m in very good health. I don’t need anyone to tell me I should eat more veggies/drink less soda/do yoga, etc. It’s also one of the reasons I’m avoiding my physical. (Pap smear is the other- most people would avoid a painful humiliating experience, women have to repeat it every year.)

    I’m also not thrilled with the idea that someone might look over my medical record and find out I’m not taking my meds for ADD- I haven’t refilled that prescription in four years. Partly because of cost, mostly because I decided not to. I’m not taking any SSRIs either, despite my diagnosis of depression, and I’m sure as hell not talking to any psychiatrist or psychologist, ever. And under universal health insurance, someone might decide I’m too much risk to be left unmedicated.

  283. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

    Suggesting that any group of adults are just too stupid to know what’s good for them is paternalistic and really damned offensive.

    You’re right, acknowledging that Americans are not well educated about health and portion size and disease is so clearly false, isn’t it? Countless studies have proven exactly that (like the stale popcorn experiments), but heaven forbid anyone mention it!

  284. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm |

    I mean, the business needs to serve whatever you damn well want to consume that day OR ELSE, right?

    I want a pony!* Why don’t concession stands sell those?

    *Not to consume. Just to sit on during the movie.

  285. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm |

    I mean, the business needs to serve whatever you damn well want to consume that day OR ELSE, right?

    Yes. Telling the government that I’m perfectly fucking capable of looking at a menu and deciding on my own what I want off of it is exactly like demanding all businesses everywhere cater to my ever changing whim!

    Why oh why didn’t I see this before??? I’m just being all entitled to my own goddamn decisions! I forgot I’m not allowed to make them lest the Health Gods don’t approve. Thank you oh wise April, thank you for showing this lowly, uneducated (and probably fat too) fool that it’s unrealistic to expect to make my own decisions and anything remotely resembling free will of my own is JUST ABSOLUTELY LIKE being a selfish, entitled overly demanding consumer.

    The unwashed uneducated masses are beholden to you. Instead of cake, what shall we be allowed to eat?

  286. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 5:50 pm |

    This is different from having some god-given right to purchase one soda size you feel particularly entitled to.

    Yeah, I do actually have the right to purchase whatever size I want, especially when it’s offered. Let’s ban small sizes, because you can get soda and small glasses other places. It’s not like you have a right to order a small if it’s on the menu.

    It’s no longer your decision. It’s mine. Feel comfy with that?

  287. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm |

    Try Tejava – it’s pretty good tea, nice and strong, no sugar/sweeteners, no flavorings. It’s just tea. Glass bottles, too, so you don’t get that plastic-y taste, either.

    I don’t know if I should. April, Bagelsan and the fucking Mayor haven’t weighed in with their almighty opinion yet. I require their approval because I must be uneducated on portion sizes and nutritional needs.

    It’s amazing I can even spell portion sizes and nutritional needs!

  288. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm |

    You’re right, acknowledging that Americans are not well educated about health and portion size and disease is so clearly false, isn’t it?

    And the government making dietary decisions for people has never been problematic in this country. It’s so clear they have our best interests at heart and are so very capable of making these decisions. Don’t go by their past history, it means nothing. It’s not like these types of governmental interference ever lead to people facing starvation because the were left with meat “spiced” with maggots.

    Oh wait. I’m just looking at this from the perspective of the colonized. I’m sure you colonizers have nothing to worry about. If they offer you a blanket though, you may want to think twice about accepting it. Just a word to the wise.

  289. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm |

    Yes. Telling the government that I’m perfectly fucking capable of looking at a menu and deciding on my own what I want off of it is exactly like demanding all businesses everywhere cater to my ever changing whim!

    Firstly, menus are not always accurate. McDonalds touted their french fries as ‘suitable for vegatarians’ until it was revealed that the fries were partially cooked in beef tallow. So, by saying that you are capable of looking at a menu that is entirely unregulated as regards to content and see through the lies enough to ‘decide what you want off of it,’ means that you are clearly far superior in intelligence to all the rest of us. As such, your above comment is essentially able-ist.

    Secondly, I want to push back at the idea of freedom of choice being what flavorings are added to fizzy water. It’s an illusory choice, as is the size issue. I would have no problem with an additional rule, that if a family was buying more than one soda, that soda should be discounted as I am receptive to pheenobarbidoll’s class/income related argument. But the idea that your personal freedom is somehow linked to the ability to drink your soda out of what is basically a fez without a tassel is, in my opinion, ludicrous.

  290. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date June 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm |

    Pheenobarbidoll, I am having real trouble with the logic of the idea that because the government does bad things, therefore everything the government does is bad. Am I misunderstanding?

    (Though part of of my trouble is personal. I am a government employee and would prefer not to think of myself as a force of evil.)

  291. irishup
    irishup June 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm |

    Bagelsan @291 that right there is utter bullshit.

    Somebody’s going to ask for my bona fides so I’ll just say IRL I am a clinical researcher with 20 years experience published in first tier medical journals. I have done the motherfuckin legwork on this.

    A) The consensus you speak of does not exist. The Obesity Epidemic Booga Booga(TM) has been HOTLY contested since it’s invention in the 80s – early 90s. I will refer you to the publications of Linda Hayes PhD, the Rudd Center at Yale, Paul Campos et al in the International Jnl of Epidemiology, and the excellent breakdowns found at Junk Food Science should you so desire to be less poorly educated.

    B) “Obesity” is a risk factor yes, but (and sing along, with feeling) CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. The best PRIMARY science data suggests that “Obesity” is more likely to be a *symptom* than a *cause* of pathology.

    C) I put the O word in quotes because it’s a poorly defined measure. The BMI standards are arbitrary, and have been “adjusted” arbitrarily. BMI itself was never meant to be used for individuals, it’s a POPULATIONAL measure of nutritional status only, and has NEVER been validated for use on people who have not finished adult growth.

    D) Weight is as heritable as height – ~70-80% of observed variability in weight is genetic. An individual’s genetic weight has about a 10-15lb range, absent environmental factors or PRIMARY pathology.

    E) There is NO primary science indicating that portion sizes lead to weight changes. Study after study shows that enterically thin people cannot be over-fed to get fatter than their genetic range, and since diets fail to work >95% of the time, we already know people can’t eat their way thinner.

    F) To quote The Fat Nutritionist “ALL FOOD HAS NUTRIENTS. NUTRIENTS ARE GOOD FOR YOU. No, really. I’m serious.”

    The idea that people (poor people, fat people, New Yorkers, whomever) are just too stupid to know what’s good for them is patronizing as hell. It supports and reinforces very ugly schema, and is marginalizing and victim blaming rhetoric with absolutely NO value socially OR from a public health standpoint.

    FFS

  292. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm |

    The idea that people (poor people, fat people, New Yorkers, whomever) are just too stupid to know what’s good for them is patronizing as hell.

    Yet, your entire implication is that those of us New Yorkers who favor this law are too stupid to know what’s good for us.

  293. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm |

    Pheenobarbidoll, I am having real trouble with the logic of the idea that because the government does bad things, therefore everything the government does is bad. Am I misunderstanding?

    When it makes day to day living decisions for people, yes. Bad. When it decides it knows what’s best for you, bad. When it micromanages your life down to the size of drink you can purchase, it’s bad. When it decides anything on the idea that people are too stupid, it will, without fail, make the wrong decision and no good can ever come of it.

    It decided that certain people stuck in certain places in this country needed to be told how and what to eat for a long time. The results were those people sickened, starved to death or were introduced to diseases never seen before. The affects are still killing those people today.

    Any good an occupying government comes up with can never, ever erase all the bad. The only honorable good thing it can do is stop.

  294. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm |

    Firstly, menus are not always accurate. McDonalds touted their french fries as ‘suitable for vegatarians’ until it was revealed that the fries were partially cooked in beef tallow.

    It doesn’t actually take superior intelligence to grok that fried anything is generally fried in FAT. Animal fat. It doesn’t take superior intelligence to consider that McDonald’s isn’t shelling out extra money for different fat.

    But when people rely on the government to do their thinking for them, laziness occurs. Now we have the government thinking for them about portion size. So no one will have to learn, the heavy lifting has been done for them. Ta-daaa!

    But the idea that your personal freedom is somehow linked to the ability to drink your soda out of what is basically a fez without a tassel is, in my opinion, ludicrous.

    So now you’re in charge of defining my personal freedom too? There’s a line forming now, it seems. I regret to tell you that I seriously doubt anyone here (or in the governments employ) will meet my requirements in regards to qualifications for thinking for me. Sorry.

  295. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm |

    So now you’re in charge of defining my personal freedom too? There’s a line forming now, it seems. I regret to tell you that I seriously doubt anyone here (or in the governments employ) will meet my requirements in regards to qualifications for thinking for me. Sorry.

    No, I clearly said IN MY OPINION. You are perfectly entitled to yours, but this law affects me and not you. SO who is defining whose personal freedom?

  296. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 8:46 pm |

    No, I clearly said IN MY OPINION. You are perfectly entitled to yours, but this law affects me and not you.

    Mississippi attempts at personhood laws don’t affect me either. YET.

  297. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 8:54 pm |

    So… where does the FDA, for example, fall into this? Should the government control food supply at all? Drug supply? Or should they just let private corporations decide what’s best for you? Because make no mistake, someone is pulling the strings, and no (wo)man is living in the land of totally free choices so long as the government just doesn’t interfere.

    It’s falls to the point it’s MY decision and MY responsibility.

    It’s not that hard, really.

    Just like requiring medical licensing shouldn’t spill over into say, my deciding if I want dentures or implants.

    You don’t want an invasive government, then stop enabling an invasive government. If you give them leave to make your decisions, rest assured they will. And you earned it.

    Some of us have had first hand experience in how the road to hell gets paved with good intentions.

    The governments claimed business ( if you’re inclined to believe them. I am not) is protecting people’s rights. Full stop. Right to life includes things like not ingesting opium or arsenic in one’s food. It does not include telling me or you how much of anything we should be eating or drinking. That falls onto the individual. It’s my responsibility and yes, my right even though it may be a little one. I’m not down with having them all chipped away, no matter how unimportant YOU may find them. It’s NOT for you to say.

  298. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 6, 2012 at 8:55 pm |

    Somebody’s going to ask for my bona fides so I’ll just say IRL I am a clinical researcher with 20 years experience published in first tier medical journals. I have done the motherfuckin legwork on this.

    Well, I don’t have any first tier medical journal bonafides having, as I explained in a different thread, dropped out of two colleges, both of which were decidedly third-tier. However, I do have over 20 years experience overeating and gaining weight in direct proportion. So although my ‘motherfuckin legwork’ consists of mostly smoking weed and eating Devil Dogs, I too have put in the legwork. Which is why I find statements like the one below utterly unbelievable.

    There is NO primary science indicating that portion sizes lead to weight changes. Study after study shows that enterically thin people cannot be over-fed to get fatter than their genetic range, and since diets fail to work >95% of the time, we already know people can’t eat their way thinner.

    That is an utterly ridiculous statement. As I said, I don’t have your first tier medical experience, but a quick google found this study:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/magazine/11Calories-t.html?pagewanted=all

    99% of the reason why 95% of diets fail to work is because people fail to stick with them. Back when I was 35 I stuck to a healthy diet with relatively restricted portions and went from 230 lbs to 170 lbs in 9 months, losing an average of 1-2 lbs per week. I kept it off for a few years, but started to binge eat and feast on junk foods again, and now I’m back to almost 220 again. So, what, I’m just like imagining this and it’s not over-eating that makes me fat? What a load of nonsense.

  299. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm |

    So… where does the FDA, for example, fall into this? Should the government control food supply at all? Drug supply? Or should they just let private corporations decide what’s best for you? Because make no mistake, someone is pulling the strings, and no (wo)man is living in the land of totally free choices so long as the government just doesn’t interfere.

    Right. And there is a huge difference between “people don’t know enough medically to determine whether an abscure chemical formula will have dangerous side effects” and “people don’t know that either sugar or HFCS are bad for you.” Particularly when the regulator isn’t regulating *the drug* but is instead regulating certain products used by a certain segment of the population. Particularly when those people are already disenfranchised. And particularly when the rationale for the regulation is that the disenfranchised population is “gross” or “wrong” because of its use of food.

  300. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm |

    So no surprise: here goes pheeno, singing the same song to the privileged whiners, over and over. bagelsan, you are being a complete and utter asshat and a bully. You’re not even trying to argue in good faith. Why bother answering, then? Just so you can prove how meanly “funny” you can be? Har de har har.

    macavity is correct also, as are gratuitous violet, samanthab, misakyra, and others. These comments, and this post, are appallingly classist and fat-shaming. Yeah, yeah, I know. You didn’t MEAN them that way. It’s not ABOUT being fat because it’s just about, y’know, being FAT! And deathfattiez guzzling down disgusting drinks! Eeeeeyeeew! Why on EARTH does anyone “need” soda? I will decide what you “need” vs. what you “want,” you ignorant, uneducated, obese, too-stupid-to-know-better poor person! Just eat dried beans, fresh veggies, fruit, and oatmeal. And drink water. You’re too poor to indulge yourself in any treats. HOW DARE YOU WANT A BIG SODA AT AN OUTDOOR EVENT? Oh, and I’ll be monitoring your food purchases like a hawk, in the grocery line behind you.

    And by the way, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you,” pheeno. Please just set your own experience, history, and heritage aside and listen to ME.

  301. misakyra
    misakyra June 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm |

    99% of the reason why 95% of diets fail to work is because people fail to stick with them.

    And poor people aren’t rich because they just don’t work hard enough! And women only need to be better negotiators at work, then that silly pay gap thing would just go away! Why didn’t anyone tell us these things before?!

    Jeez. AYFKM?!

  302. EG
    EG June 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm |

    99% of the reason why 95% of diets fail to work is because people fail to stick with them.

    That’s like saying that abstinence works to prevent pregnancy, and when it doesn’t, it’s just because people don’t stick to it. Sure, that’s true, but if your plan isn’t usable by 95% of human beings, it’s a lousy plan. If it is not possible for 95% of dieters to stick to their diets, then the diets don’t work. The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.

    And God! I can’t believe I wrote that on a feminist blog, as though “man” was a gender-inclusive category, and as if we all believed in the sabbath anyway! Sure, I say it’s a metaphor, but words MATTER and intent is not MAGIC. What is wrong with me? PROBLEMATIC.

  303. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm |

    And poor people aren’t rich because they just don’t work hard enough! And women only need to be better negotiators at work, then that silly pay gap thing would just go away! Why didn’t anyone tell us these things before?!

    Jeez. AYFKM?!

    Ok, yeah, sure, it’s just me. I’m the one making fat people look bad. I’m the worst sort of fat person, I’m the only disgusting pig who is fat because I don’t eat healthy foods, eat too much, and don’t exercise. Every other fat person has a perfect diet and exercise regime. Please…and you talk about shaming?

  304. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm |

    Wait, now we’re quoting Ronald Reagan in a positive way?

    Do you think he was for or against micro-managing the peasants lives?

    One person tells me it’s for my own good (even though I know that’s a lie) and another person tells me it’s for my own good(even though I know it’s a lie). The only difference is the speaker, not the message.

  305. misakyra
    misakyra June 7, 2012 at 1:40 am |

    Ok, yeah, sure, it’s just me. I’m the one making fat people look bad. I’m the worst sort of fat person, I’m the only disgusting pig who is fat because I don’t eat healthy foods, eat too much, and don’t exercise. Every other fat person has a perfect diet and exercise regime. Please…and you talk about shaming?

    I never said any of those things. It’s not actually possible for you (or me, or any other fat person) to “make fat people look bad”, because none of us represents the rest of us. Fat people aren’t any more of a monolith than any other marginalized group. Your fat is none of my business. Really. But the flipside of that is that my fat is none of yours. And it’s definitely not the government’s.

  306. matlun
    matlun June 7, 2012 at 3:29 am |

    Um, actually, as a former vegetarian who is not exactly stupid, when someone says that a fried product is “suitable for vegetarians,” I understand that it’s fried in vegetable oil. Which lots of fries are. And which McDonald’s fries weren’t, because they simply lied.

    OT and kind of nit picky, but anyway:

    They were fried in vegetable oil. However, they still used beef extract for flavoring. AFAIK they did not label it as “suitable for vegetarians” either, but they did publish that they used vegetable oil and gave no information that it was not vegetarian or contained beef.

  307. EG
    EG June 7, 2012 at 4:26 am |

    Do you think he was for or against micro-managing the peasants lives?

    Honestly? I’m not sure that letting the peasants starve and die is a big improvement. It was Reagan who began attacking families on welfare and characterizing women with children on AFDC as “welfare queens,” with all the coded racism he could muster.

    I’m not attacking your position on this law, Pheenobarbidoll. I just loathe Reagan.

  308. irishup
    irishup June 7, 2012 at 6:38 am |

    FatSteve,

    I probably wasn’t clear enough – by primary science, I mean looking at the full complexity of diet, nutrition, hunger and satiety at a molecular level.

    And no, my implication is NOT that anyone supporting this law is too stupid. My implication is that if you are supporting this law, you’ve got a LOT of shit to unpack AND you are helping to further marginalize people AND you are supporting an overly-invasive government AND you are not thinking about the consequences of this kind of legislation on other people with sufficient depth and empathy. None of which is stupidity.

    Now, of course, you are the expert on you. You know your experiences best. I’m going to point out that just because you belong to a marginalized group doesn’t mean you haven’t internalized a lot of crap. As a woman, I know I’ve got HELLA misogynist scripts I’ve got to actively root out and fight. I’m going to point out that the plural of anecdote is NOT data. I’m going to point out that even if you are completely correct, and in your particular case your weight is ONLY due to “over-eating” , however you define that, your experience is not only *expected* in a large population – like over say, 7-8million people? or 300mil? or 7 billion? – because there are always outliers, and when populations are large, outlier numbers are going to be large. I’m going to point out that even if “over-eating” and “over-weight” co-occur in you or anyone else, that does not rule out that there isn’t some underlying pathology involved. I’m going to point out that US medicine is biased against fat people, that this has negative health consequence, one of which is under-diagnosing pathologies and diseases because ONLY the body habitus is evaluated.

    All of these or none of these things may be true in *your specific case*. None of these things may resonate for *you* in particular. I’m not challenging your authority on yourself. I would suggest from what you’ve written, that you should read around the Shapely Prose archives, and Linda Bacon’s HAES sites, and the other places I posted above. I think they might help you reframe your thinking about this.

    Not being able to eat less than your body needs for more than 2 years is not a FAILURE. “Binging” after food deprivation is the body’s natural response to starvation. It’s not a moral issue, it’s not a “willpower” issue. No one thinks you have no willpower if you can’t hold your breath for more than 10min. They understand that your body takes over to get the oxygen it needs. Food is no less necessary than oxygen. Your body will keep trying to get the stuff it needs.

  309. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 7, 2012 at 8:16 am |

    Right to life includes things like not ingesting opium or arsenic in one’s food. It does not include telling me or you how much of anything we should be eating or drinking.

    And that’s not nearly as bright a line as you think. Opium doesn’t kill you instantly any more than ultra-unhealthy food does, but both do a number on your body in the long run (they’re also both addictive). Sure, there’s a difference, but it’s a difference of degrees. So if you acknowledge the government has a role in preventing people from consuming one thing because it’s bad for them (opium), I’m not sure how you can say another attempt to stop people from consuming something that’s bad for them (soda) is OMGEVULZ.

    You can definitely argue one is good public policy and one is bad public policy, but the argument that supporting one is common sense and supporting the other is bigoted is as hypocritical as it is incoherent.

  310. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 7, 2012 at 8:48 am |

    AFAIK they did not label it as “suitable for vegetarians” either, but they did publish that they used vegetable oil and gave no information that it was not vegetarian or contained beef.

    Letter from Mcdonalds circa 1993 listing their items suitable for vegetarians:

    http://hbharti.com/h_bharti_mcd/mcdonlads%20_letter_05_05_93.jpg

  311. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 7, 2012 at 8:57 am |

    Wait, now we’re quoting Ronald Reagan in a positive way?

    No. It was snark. I think perhaps you misread what I wrote.

  312. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 7, 2012 at 9:01 am |

    Watch out, pheeno. Big Pepsi at a 4-hr graduation is almost as bad as arsenic.

  313. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 9:42 am |

    So if you acknowledge the government has a role in preventing people from consuming one thing because it’s bad for them

    Actually I don’t care if people ingest it. The unknowingly part is my only issue. I don’t support the war of drugs either though. If some grown adult wants to drink something with opium or even arsenic as an ingredient, it’s not my place to tell them they can’t. Shouldn’t be the governments either. Making drugs illegal is for our own good too, and that’s worked out so well. As long as I can make an informed decision, the decision is mine.

  314. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 9:47 am |

    Honestly? I’m not sure that letting the peasants starve and die is a big improvement. It was Reagan who began attacking families on welfare and characterizing women with children on AFDC as “welfare queens,” with all the coded racism he could muster.

    Laws that end with people starving and dieing are rarely ever worded that plainly. They tend to be worded in ” this is for your own good, and for the good of the country” language.

    Just as this little ban experiment is. Obesity is a danger to the country! Fat people are a drain on health care! It’s for your own good!

  315. WithinthisMind
    WithinthisMind June 7, 2012 at 10:12 am |

    I go to the movies maybe once a year. When I do, I would rather get a single large soda to share between myself, my husband, and my kid, so that we don’t have to get up during the middle of the movie and miss 2-10 minutes of film (depending on the line) getting a refill. It’s less expensive and more convenient.

    If this bothers you, I respectfully request you get your fucking self-righteous, fat-shaming, grand-standing, classist, downright stupid, nosy ass out of my business.

  316. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 7, 2012 at 10:17 am |

    I go to the movies maybe once a year. When I do, I would rather get a single large soda to share between myself, my husband, and my kid, so that we don’t have to get up during the middle of the movie and miss 2-10 minutes of film (depending on the line) getting a refill. It’s less expensive and more convenient.

    If this bothers you, I respectfully request you get your fucking self-righteous, fat-shaming, grand-standing, classist, downright stupid, nosy ass out of my business.

    If other people knowing ‘your business’ bothers you so much, I suggest you stop revealing it on websites.

    You’re clearly the one bothered, and I would be willing to bet that none of the first paragraph is true.

  317. EG
    EG June 7, 2012 at 10:21 am |

    Laws that end with people starving and dieing are rarely ever worded that plainly. They tend to be worded in ” this is for your own good, and for the good of the country” language.

    I agree (except in the cases where it is the absence of law or language in any way that allows the death–see Reagan’s refusal to address the AIDS crisis), and the attack on welfare was a prime example; it wasn’t the only kind of rhetoric brought to bear, of course. As I said, I don’t object to your position on this ban; I just object to any positive thing being said about Reagan at any time in any context ever. Because he was, in my considered opinion, lower than pond scum. Pond scum never supported marauding, torturing, child-killing terrorists against an elected government. As far as I know.

  318. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 7, 2012 at 10:22 am |

    Actually I don’t care if people ingest it. The unknowingly part is my only issue. I don’t support the war of drugs either though. If some grown adult wants to drink something with opium or even arsenic as an ingredient, it’s not my place to tell them they can’t. Shouldn’t be the governments either. Making drugs illegal is for our own good too, and that’s worked out so well. As long as I can make an informed decision, the decision is mine.

    Alright, I can respect the ideological consistency of your position. I don’t really believe in pure libertarianism myself, but I think that’s probably a basic philosophical difference we’re not going to resolve by arguing online.

  319. Revolver
    Revolver June 7, 2012 at 10:28 am |

    One thing that bothers me is that there really is only a representation of the argument for sharing a large drink, when as misakyra put it in comment 149, it doesn’t the fuck matter why and how I drink a large soda. It is still not a good policy.

    Reminds me of how the argument for medically-necessary abortions gets held up as somehow a better argument than abortion for other reasons. (Not that those arguments aren’t an effective strategy, I understand that. More that the arguments still serve to demonize people making choices for other reasons.)

    Doesn’t matter the reason, women should be able to get abortions, even if she’s using it as her primary source of birth control. Doesn’t matter the reason, people should be able to buy large sodas, even if they drink it all by themselves.

  320. WithinthisMind
    WithinthisMind June 7, 2012 at 10:33 am |

    If other people knowing ‘your business’ bothers you so much, I suggest you stop revealing it on websites.

    You’re clearly the one bothered, and I would be willing to bet that none of the first paragraph is true.

    Look ma, a troll!

    May I poke it with a stick?

  321. EG
    EG June 7, 2012 at 10:35 am |

    Hmm. I don’t have a problem with people deciding to ingest arsenic. I do have a problem with corporations turning a profit off of convincing people to ingest arsenic. And I’m not sure how, other than government intervention, to stop corporations from doing so.

  322. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 10:37 am |

    I don’t consider respecting grown adults rights to govern their own bodies as pure Libertarianism. As long as they contain harm to their own bodies, it’s none of my business. It’s your hair, your uterus, your liver, your lungs etc. What you do with them is your own business. If the government meddles in one, it can and will meddle in them all. I do not give my consent to the government.

  323. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 10:42 am |

    I just object to any positive thing being said about Reagan at any time in any context ever.

    This is how I feel about the US government. It’s an occupying, actively genocidal government. It shouldn’t even BE here, much less making my decisions for me. That a monster periodically pets kittens while it eats people doesn’t make me feel ok about it petting kittens. It’s still a monster.

  324. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 7, 2012 at 11:04 am |

    I don’t consider respecting grown adults rights to govern their own bodies as pure Libertarianism. As long as they contain harm to their own bodies, it’s none of my business. It’s your hair, your uterus, your liver, your lungs etc.

    Except we live in a society where even ostensibly personal choices can affect others, and it’s pretty damn difficult to ‘contain harm to their own bodies.’ Someone’s decision not to get a vaccination increases the likelihood I’ll get sick, just like their decision to smoke is paid for, in part, by publicly funded hospitals, and their decision to drive a Hummer damages the air we all breathe. Maybe in some of those cases, the government still should butt out, because individual liberty is incredibly important. But in some cases, the public good should win out- like, for example, telling people their children can’t come to school without being vaccinated.

    In a libertarian utopia with no public hospitals or police or firefighters- really, no government- maybe your argument would be true. But reality is a bit more complex than that.

  325. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 7, 2012 at 11:10 am |

    This is how I feel about the US government. It’s an occupying, actively genocidal government. It shouldn’t even BE here, much less making my decisions for me. That a monster periodically pets kittens while it eats people doesn’t make me feel ok about it petting kittens. It’s still a monster.

    But we’re not talking about the US government, we’re talking about local government.

    And as far as the US government being ‘genocidal’, that seems to absolve the actual people of the blame as it seems to imply that the US citizens were against the genocide, yet it was forced upon them by the US government. The genocide of Native Americans started before there even was a US government, not that I need to tell you that. I can understand you having an issue with the colonizing people and their offspring, but I don’t understand how this translates to the US government.

  326. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 7, 2012 at 11:37 am |

    Except ingesting a big coke is not equivalent to driving a large hummer. And the rationale for regulating ingestion is not because soda causes pollution. There is a meaningful difference in regulating something because it causes harm to third parties or because theere is an externality that can ethically be assigned (and no health care cannot ethically be assigned when the effects disproportionately harm a disenfranchized population) and regulating something because you think certain people do not have the capacity for good decision making.

    For fucks sake, thongs have been shown to cause health problems. If Bloomberg banned thongs because women are too slutty to know what’s good for them, we’d all be pretty damn pissed off. Andit wouldn’t matter that yes, people would probably have fewer doctors visits or if its fighting against corporations that tell us thongs are sexy or if no one really needs a thong anyway. It would still be a fucked up, sexist, bullshit law.

  327. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 11:53 am |

    But in some cases, the public good should win out- like, for example, telling people their children can’t come to school without being vaccinated.

    They make religious exceptions for this, so the whole ” kids can’t come to school without being vaccinated” is pointless. Kids can and do. One of many examples of the laws for “the public good” being pointless.

    In a libertarian utopia with no public hospitals or police or firefighters- really, no government- maybe your argument would be true. But reality is a bit more complex than that.

    Funny how it’s always spun as a Libertarian thing, when I’m looking at it through a Tribal perspective. We managed quite well without no “government” (your version at any rate)

    But we’re not talking about the US government, we’re talking about local government.

    I have a feeling the Algonquian might have an opinion on just how local that government actually is.

  328. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 11:57 am |

    but I don’t understand how this translates to the US government.

    First you have to understand that the US government is the hammer of the people.

    Guess who’s the nail?

  329. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 7, 2012 at 11:59 am |

    By the way pheeno, I should have added, though I disagree with your anti-government stance philosophically, I do respect the hell out of your consistency and your commitment to your ideals. They just differ from mine.

  330. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm |

    The scare quotes around genocidal is a shitty thing to do. That the US Govt is colonialist and genocidal is not up for any kind of good faith debate in exactly the same way that racism, sexism and global climate change are not. Fuck that shit.

    The fact that health care is a human right is NOT contingent on each of us only behaving in ONE EXACTLY RIGHT WAY APPROPRIATE TO OUR STATION IN LIFE. It’s contingent on our shared HUMANITY. You get to be you, I get to be me, and we EACH get to have our health care needs met, capice?

  331. Caperton
    Caperton June 7, 2012 at 12:27 pm | *

    You’re clearly the one bothered, and I would be willing to bet that none of the first paragraph is true.

    What the hell?

  332. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm |

    What the hell?

    Sorry Caperton if that seemed incredibly presumptuous. I’ve just noticed there tends to be a certain type of anonymous poster who appears out of nowhere and magically comes up with a scenario that refutes the argument in a way which takes into account every single previous argument given. If this was not the case, then I apologize.

  333. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

    The scare quotes around genocidal is a shitty thing to do. That the US Govt is colonialist and genocidal is not up for any kind of good faith debate in exactly the same way that racism, sexism and global climate change are not. Fuck that shit.

    Those weren’t scare quotes, I was actually quoting pheenoB. In no way would I deny the genocide committed by the people of the US, I just disagree that ‘government’ is responsible, so I probably should have put that in quotes.

    My argument was that the US people are genocidal, the government is just the tool they use. As pheenoB said, government is the hammer of the people. It is a shame that it has been consistently used to bash people over the heads rather than to build things.

  334. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm |

    B) “Obesity” is a risk factor yes, but (and sing along, with feeling) CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. The best PRIMARY science data suggests that “Obesity” is more likely to be a *symptom* than a *cause* of pathology.

    Ridiculous. Have you heard of a cute little molecule called resistin? Leptin? Ghrelin? Insulin resistance in general? Asthma? Having more or less body fat translates into actual measurable differences in health outcomes.

  335. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh June 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm |

    I can understand you having an issue with the colonizing people and their offspring, but I don’t understand how this translates to the US government.

    You don’t?! Wow.

  336. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm |

    Fat Steve, that was a hideously nasty thing to say to WithinthisMind.

    You know who’s “bothered” by this? Jill. And you. And every other person here tsking and fat-shaming others for putting “sugary drinks” (the horror!) into their own bodies. That’s what the entire post is about. So telling another anonymous poster she shouldn’t make a relevant comment,mostly because you disagree with her, is a bullying and silencing tactic.

    Also, why would you be willing to bet that “none of (her) first paragraph is true?” Because it’s outside of your white, male experience? To quote caperton, What the hell?

  337. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm |

    regulating something because you think certain people do not have the capacity for good decision making.

    Studies have shown that, when it comes to portion size, people do not have the capacity for good decision making. All people, at least in American culture, tend to overconsume past even what they find pleasurable, let alone what is healthy. People under the right conditions will miserably try to clean their plates and finish their meals even if they hate every bite, because we’re not well-adapted to an environment of plenty.

    Making it harder to make yourself physically ill at the behest of a corporation is pretty much the point of government. Sure, you have the right to eat a huge bucket of stale popcorn –maybe you have a stale popcorn fetish, and I’m too popcorn-privileged to understand, whatever– but I have no problem with the government making it illegal to sell stale popcorn and market it heavily to people like little kids, who don’t know better. We already tried the “hands off” thing on food before, and it resulted in poisoned infants and hamburger that was part immigrant. Not a good default.

  338. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm |

    Finally, NOBODY here said anything good about Ronald Reagan. The quote was a joke. Go back and re-read.

  339. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm |

    You don’t?! Wow.

    No, but I don’t blame the current German government for the Shoah. That’s just me though. Maybe you are all right. I’m not saying I know everything. I’m certainly not going to insist I’m right about this because y’know, I’ve been wrong plenty of times before.

  340. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm |

    Finally, NOBODY here said anything good about Ronald Reagan. The quote was a joke. Go back and re-read.

    I liked him on the George Burns/Grace Allen Show. (reruns with my grandmother.)

  341. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

    No, but I don’t blame the current German government

    You must not be aware that the current (as in right now, modern day) government is still actively engaging in genocide against Native Americans.

    It didn’t just happen in the past. It’s ongoing.

  342. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve June 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm |

    Fat Steve, that was a hideously nasty thing to say to WithinthisMind.

    @tinfoilhattie

    You know what? It is about time I shut the fuck up. I should learn by now, after 300 posts, I’m not going to say anything on a thread which isn’t a response to something that pisses me off and I tend to respond to something that pisses me off by saying something that pisses someone else off. Thanks tinfoil, for slapping me out of it, see you on another thread.

  343. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh June 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

    No, but I don’t blame the current German government for the Shoah. That’s just me though. Maybe you are all right. I’m not saying I know everything. I’m certainly not going to insist I’m right about this because y’know, I’ve been wrong plenty of times before.

    Jesus Christ. Poor pheeno. She’s only explained a thousand times in recent weeks (and beyond, probably) how the U.S. government is an ongoing force in the continuing genocide of the NA people….dios mio…

  344. Andie
    Andie June 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    Finally, NOBODY here said anything good about Ronald Reagan. The quote was a joke. Go back and re-read.

    I liked him on the George Burns/Grace Allen Show. (reruns with my grandmother.)

    For some reason, this reminded me of the ‘What have the Romans ever done for US?’ bit in Life of Brian.

    Don’t ask me why. My frames of reference can be a little off sometimes.

  345. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

    They make religious exceptions for this, so the whole ” kids can’t come to school without being vaccinated” is pointless. Kids can and do. One of many examples of the laws for “the public good” being pointless.

    …so because the law isn’t written exactly the way I wish it was, I don’t get to believe the underlying principle is a good idea? That’s a very strange position to take.

    Anyways, in practical terms, the religious exemption isn’t that problematic from a purely public health perspective, because you don’t actually need everyone to be vaccinated- you just need to get above a critical mass to prevent outbreaks.

    And the rationale for regulating ingestion is not because soda causes pollution.

    …it’s an analogy. You can’t possibly have read my post to say I think soda causes air pollution, right? So this is just arguing against straw men?

    here is a meaningful difference in regulating something because it causes harm to third parties or because theere is an externality that can ethically be assigned (and no health care cannot ethically be assigned when the effects disproportionately harm a disenfranchized population) and regulating something because you think certain people do not have the capacity for good decision making.

    So we shouldn’t tax cigarettes and use the money to help defray the costs of paying for smoker’s cancer treatment? Well, I guess that could just be a legitimate philosophical difference, but I tend to believe that internalizing externalities leads to better outcomes, in most cases.

    For fucks sake, thongs have been shown to cause health problems. If Bloomberg banned thongs because women are too slutty to know what’s good for them, we’d all be pretty damn pissed off.

    You really are in love with your strawmen, aren’t you? I said very, very clearly that sometimes the government should butt out even in the face of a utilitarian benefit, because of the importance of individual liberty. I’m assuming you purposefully chose to ignore that in the service of scoring cheap points, because seriously, nothing I said suggested I supported banning every single unhealthy thing.

    So yes, I agree that the thong ban would be a bad law. Huzzah, we agree! Read what I said; it’s a balancing act. My point is not that the soda ban law is a good law, or even that laws like it are good laws; my point is that this blanket condemnation of any law which interferes in ‘personal liberty,’ ever, ignores that fact that even ostensibly personal choices have effects on others, and that people who think drinking soda is one of those cases aren’t inherently prejudiced, or facists, or even necessarily wrong.

    Incidentally, I think the ban is pretty silly on simple economic grounds; a per-ounce tax would make way more sense.

  346. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh June 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm |

    Ronald Reagan. Now there is a man I will hate from here to eternity, for lying about the UFW (and by extension my grandfather) when he was governor of California.

    And yeah, no one was seriously praising the lying a-hole, people.

  347. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm |

    No, but I don’t blame the current German government for the Shoah.

    I think the difference that a lot of people see is that the Holocaust isn’t still ongoing. Not sure if I agree with that assessment or not, but pheenobarbiedoll makes some pretty convincing points.

  348. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm |

    @Bagalsan,

    People choosing poorly isnot the same as poeple not having the capacity to make a decision. Those studies do not in any way demonstrate that people are incapable of choosing differently. Peopleoften to do things that are “bad” for them. That doesn’t mean they are incapable of choice, it means that sometimes people make choices you don’t agree with.

    Again, your analogy is full of suck. Poisoned meat is not the same as big sodas. Monitoring the food supply is appropriate regulation because individuals cannot monitor their food on a individual basis for parasites or what ever. The regulation is solving a market problem. Tell me what the rational basis for this regulation is that doesn’t involve using classist or fatphobic scripts.

  349. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm |

    Okay Kirsten, why is no one upset about the lack of 128oz drinks? Because those haven’t been marketed to people as if they’ve a fundamental right to them, as if they need them. In the absence of marketing and pressure very few people would choose to consume the amounts and substances that they do. This measure is aimed at making selling of an unhealthy product marginally harder, just like how regulation of any food-esque item is aimed at making unhealthy things harder to sell or profit off of. Probably the HFCS should be the target, not the drink size itself, but that’s impractical. Banning certain additives from milk also adversely affected the poor, in that they could no longer afford milk for their children, but it also helped them because that milk was full of poisonous crap that their children were being sickened by.

  350. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 7, 2012 at 1:42 pm |

    *Kristen. I always call you Kirsten for some reason. :p

  351. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm |

    Okay Kirsten, why is no one upset about the lack of 128oz drinks? Because those haven’t been marketed to people as if they’ve a fundamental right to them, as if they need them.

    See you’re moving the goal post here. We’re not talking about *making* people provide a product that they aren’t willing to provide. We’re talking about putting in place a regulation targetted at a disenfranchised population based on a classist and fatphobic rationale. These are not equivalent.

  352. LongHairedWeirdo
    LongHairedWeirdo June 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm |

    And a big part of the problem is American culture. There’s an entire book in my head about this that will someday get itself written, but Americans love to consume. We love a deal rather than quality — we want bigger faster more.

    I grew up with little pocket money, and I often tried to stretch it by looking for deals. When I was an adult, the stretching continued. Now, well, now I’m a highly skilled IT professional, and I can choose to spend $30 a person (or more, if it’s a special occasion) on a meal that I might think is a bit skimpy on size, but is prepared by a skilled chef. But I still find myself appalled by even really good sushi, because I look at that $5 for 2-4 pieces of sushi, and think “I used to get a large Italian hoagie for $5.” I like sushi, but I have to be *ready* for it. (And I’m probably better off giving my partner the money, and saying “you order for us; ask me what I’d like, but don’t tell me how much it costs.”)

    Anyway.

    That book – if it touches on how the middle class has been squeezed, and the working class *smashed*, and maybe that explains part of why that $1 double cheeseburger at McDonald’s sells so well, I might want to read it. And I’m down with how marketing pushes things in a particular direction – that’s good too. But it sounded like it might go toward “those poor rubes, not even realizing how unhappy they are.” That is something I’d find really disappointing to read.

  353. misakyra
    misakyra June 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm |

    Probably the HFCS should be the target, not the drink size itself, but that’s impractical.

    No, it’s just less satisfying to all the people that want to point fingers and judge others for making choices that they wouldn’t.

    It’s true that Bloomburg doesn’t have any power to change things at a federal level. However, the very fact that we’re having this conversation does mean that he has a level of national visibility that most local polititians don’t. If he wanted to speak out against HFCS and pressure companies to change, he could. Instead, he’s taken the classist and fatphobic route, because it’s easier.

  354. Links 6/7/12 | Mike the Mad Biologist

    [...] Fortune’s Cookie” Research: It’s so important that someone else should pay for it Cracking Down on Sugary Drinks The most interesting findings — and the most interesting chart — from Pew’s mega survey [...]

  355. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

    If he wanted to speak out against HFCS and pressure companies to change, he could.

    Ok, once more; if all the HFCS was replaced with cane sugar, the overwhelming scientific consensus is that soda would not be noticeably less unhealthy.

    This is a convenient way of ignoring the actual problem, which is that as a country, we consume way to much sugar (and meat, and sodium, and lots of other things too).

  356. Muse142
    Muse142 June 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

    I know I’m commenting late on a long thread – I did read all of the comments, and I was surprised that no one mentioned: Soda is not “completely without nutrition”, because it has calories, and calories are nutrients.

    Everyone seems to forget that calories are nutrients. Every cell in my body can derive energy from sugar. Neurons in the brain derive almost all of their energy from sugar. HFCS might not be the healthiest sugar you can consume, but it’s still food. Eating it will keep you from starving. (This is not the case for water.)

    Being a third-generation poor person whose depression manifests by destroying my motivation, a lot of the time I don’t have the dollars and/or spoons to deal with feeding myself. To function in academia with all of that sitting on my shoulders, I often take the route of getting one of those giant sodas from a drive thru and sipping on it for hours. Sugar = instant energy = I don’t crash out halfway through my day.

    Mental health is health too, and the things I do to maintain my mental health (including my giant bucket of caffeinated sugar water) is part of how I practice HAES.

    So the derogatory remarks about an “HFCS I.V.”, followed by the whole “large sodas are CLEARLY anti-HAES”, and the generally accepted assumption that calories without micronutrients is useless… ugh.

    It’s hard to not read that as a microaggression, because some days I am indeed practically living on caffeinated fructose, but if I switched to water I WOULDN’T BE GETTING CALORIES AT ALL on those days. You can tell me all day how I “should” be living, but that doesn’t actually give me any more spoons, or dollars – and if I had either, you’re damn right I’d be doing things differently.

    So maybe it would be kind of good if we could all lay off the harshness towards soda-drinkers? :/

    The above has minimal relation to what the actual policy should be; I’m not so important that every health policy needs to take my personal life story into account… but it does have some relevance to the borderline-bullying snark that’s been tossed about in this thread.

  357. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 3:59 pm |

    Okay Kirsten, why is no one upset about the lack of 128oz drinks?

    To keep them cold enough you’d have to add so much ice that by the time you were half done with it, it would be watery and gross.

    There.

    Now, can you finally move on from asking stupid shit?

    Thanks.

  358. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm |

    so because the law isn’t written exactly the way I wish it was, I don’t get to believe the underlying principle is a good idea?

    You can believe what you want. Just take care in believing there’s not loopholes for other people that render the law utterly pointless.

  359. JB
    JB June 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm |

    Speaking as a person who was formerly much fatter than I am at present (and who is still fat), I roll my eyes at the claim that it’s not unhealthy to be fat. Sure, some people don’t suffer health consequences (or aren’t suffering them yet!), but at the very least , the more you weigh, the more mechanical stress there is on your heart, lungs, and joints. The body can compensate for this only up to a certain point. I’m frightened by how many teenagers I see whose mobility is already impaired by their sheer size. Teenagers! Having trouble walking!

    Many things contribute to the fatness of Americans — car culture for starters — but what we perceive as “normal” portion size is right up there as a factor. We all expect to eat until we’re full (and then some) instead of eating till we’re not hungry.

    I fault Bloomberg for any number of things. The man is a pillock. But he can’t control corn subsidies, can he? Tinkering at the edges like this is all he has available. Is it paternalistic? I really don’t give a rat’s patoot. At least he’s trying.

  360. Muse142
    Muse142 June 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm |

    And of course, now that I’ve hit “post” on my Non-Threatening Opus of Hey I Exist Over Here Too, I realize I cut off the lovey parts! Macavitykitsune, pheenobarbidoll, tinfoil hattie: represent yo <3 <3.

  361. S.H.
    S.H. June 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm |

    This is a convenient way of ignoring the actual problem, which is that as a country, we consume way to much sugar (and meat, and sodium, and lots of other things too).

    But I still think you can address the problem in a better way. Generally I prefer the idea of labeling, even when it’s government mandated. For instance in Philly they mandated restaurants to publish nutritional info for all their menu items. Now it wasn’t entirely fair because it only applied to restaurants that are designated chains, but it gave people the options of knowing exactly what they were consuming without banning random stuff and shaming people in the process.

    We’re also assuming people will all know about this ban and the purpose behind it, and I don’t think that’s the case. But if they created some type of label for drink cups, people would become informed as to the issue and make choices based on that information. I think it’s a win-win in that it would be less controversial and ultimately more effective.

  362. misakyra
    misakyra June 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

    This is a convenient way of ignoring the actual problem, which is that as a country, we consume way to much sugar (and meat, and sodium, and lots of other things too).

    Oh for the love of…

    Look, why is this so hard for people to understand? Bodily autonomy doesn’t just include getting to choose who we love, what gender we present as, and whether or not to have children. It extends to lots of other choices, including food choices.

    It’s really easy to sit back and judge people for making choices you think are bad (and to support public policy that does the same thing), but it’s not productive. It doesn’t address the fact that truly healthy options are more expensive – and that’s when they’re even available.

    There’s this attitude among middle-class liberals (I see it elsewhere, not just here) that people who make bad food choices are all just uneducated, and that if only we knew what bad choices we were making, we would choose differently. I will say it as many times as I have to: This is classism. I don’t buy ramen noodles because I think they’re the healthiest (or even the tastiest) choice ever. I buy them because a twelve pack costs $2 and I only have $13 and I still need cat food and milk. And if I want to take what little I have left and get something that’s tasty and makes me happy, you can shut up about it thank you very much, because it’s none of your business.

    The attitude also assumes that overconsumption is the direct cause of the obesity (non)crisis, which is not true. This is fat acceptance 101. Fat is not a public health issue. Fat bodies are not public property. Fat people are fat for lots of different reasons, and none of them are open to scrutiny. Fat people are people, and deserve to live their lives in whatever manner they wish. There are no exceptions to this.

  363. WithinthisMind
    WithinthisMind June 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm |

    Sorry Caperton if that seemed incredibly presumptuous. I’ve just noticed there tends to be a certain type of anonymous poster who appears out of nowhere and magically comes up with a scenario that refutes the argument in a way which takes into account every single previous argument given. If this was not the case, then I apologize.

    Yeah, yeah, and everyone on welfare is scamming the system. We get that you have no idea how the real world works and prefer to judge everyone else by whatever bad apples are in the box you want to twist them into.

    Here, in the real world, we recognize that there are lots of different types of people, with many different motivations, and there is no ‘one size fits all solution’, as much as you self-righteous me-so-perfect dipshits want to imagine otherwise.

  364. Katniss
    Katniss June 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm |

    The attitude also assumes that overconsumption is the direct cause of the obesity (non)crisis, which is not true. This is fat acceptance 101. Fat is not a public health issue. Fat bodies are not public property. Fat people are fat for lots of different reasons, and none of them are open to scrutiny. Fat people are people, and deserve to live their lives in whatever manner they wish. There are no exceptions to this.

    Well said.

    As a more general thank-you comment, I’ve been following this thread but haven’t had the chance to post, but thank you to all the people offering excellent push-back against the classism, fat-phobia and downright bullying that has been going on here.

  365. Shoshie
    Shoshie June 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

    I’m frightened by how many teenagers I see whose mobility is already impaired by their sheer size. Teenagers! Having trouble walking!

    Ok, seriously people, this is super ableist, fatphobic, and scare mongering. I am a very fat person. I am 5’2 and weigh 250 lbs. My BMI is in the super obese category (in the 40’s). Statistically speaking, I am an anomaly. There are very few people as fat as I am. I am usually the fattest person or one of the fattest people in a room full of age-diverse people, including people who are young, middle-aged, and old. That being said, I am not hobbled by my size. I can walk plenty. Can we please kill the stereotype of the very! fat! young person who can’t walk? Because we’re talking about a very small number of people who are so fat that they can’t walk. We are talking about the very very small end of the bell curve.

    There are people who have mobility issues because of their size. There are people who have mobility issues that are exacerbated by their size. And there are people who are fat and have mobility issues independent of their size (oh hi there, 3rd degree ankle sprain). And if you see a fat person who has mobility issues, you cannot know by looking at them what is causing those problems.

  366. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm |

    Fat is not a public health issue. Fat bodies are not public property.

    Those are two really different issues; an upward trend — an undeniable upward trend — in obesity in a population is absolutely a public health issue, while fat people are still not public property. Just like vaccination is a public health issue, while immunocompromised people are not public property. Sheesh, can we please avoid the hyperbole of no-large-soda = virtual slavery? Trying to change a population measure with economic incentives does not imply ownership of anybody.

  367. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm |

    No. Just the “authority” to force them economically to make decisions you think are best. You (and the Mayor) are so very qualified, after all.

    And this from a government that gave people spam to make up for meat protein.

  368. misakyra
    misakyra June 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm |

    Just like vaccination is a public health issue

    Except that fat isn’t a contagious disease. Comparing fat to vaccinations is a massive false equivalance. My rights end where yours begin. If I am not vaccinated against known contaigions, I run the risk of spreading disease to people who aren’t me, as well as weaken the overall group immunity. That infringes on the rights of others to remain disease-free. Thus, vaccinations are a public health issue.

    Science doesn’t know how to make thin people fat (really, it doesn’t, and before you ask, you can educate your damn self about this because I am not a font of all-things-FA), and it certainly doesn’t know how to make fat people thin. You aren’t going to magically wake up one day and find that you’ve caught DEATHFATZ!(tm). Thus, not a public health issue.

  369. formersexworker
    formersexworker June 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

    In response to the OP, not the thread: maybe he did it to distract from the fact that NYC gave the same amount of funding to homeless youth services as to homeless cats and dogs, and that was before the 60% cut to homeless youth services. Four thousand young people homeless in NYC on any given night, maybe a few hundred beds.

  370. misakyra
    misakyra June 7, 2012 at 5:22 pm |

    Also, so I know, is there a special prize if I get a fate hate bingo on a progressive blog?

    I think there should be a special prize.

  371. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm |

    I liked him on the George Burns/Grace Allen Show. (reruns with my grandmother.)

    HA!

  372. emersonthor
    emersonthor June 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

    crap. bunch of crap. two things.

    one: please, PLEASE stop telling people what to do. it is really annoying. stop trying to save everyone all the time.

    two: he doesn’t give a crap about you. two days later he introduced a foot-wide entenmann’s donut for national donut day.

    HE DOESN’T CARE AND YOU SHOULDN’T EITHER.

    why is it that it is only okay to tell people to screw off when they tell you what to do with your body but not okay when you tell them what to do with theirs?

  373. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm |

    Science doesn’t know how to make thin people fat (really, it doesn’t, and before you ask, you can educate your damn self about this because I am not a font of all-things-FA), and it certainly doesn’t know how to make fat people thin.

    I’m really tired of this myth, honestly. It doesn’t take a nutritionist to realize that thin people gain weight all the time, fat people occasionally lose weight, and thermodynamics is a thing. But if it does require a nutritionist, then please take the word of every doctor and nutritionist I have spoken with. Eating meal plans based on the DASH diet, for example, have been shown to result in sustained weight loss and improved health. There’s FA-101 and then there’s science-101, and I hate it when the twain cannot meet.

    No one’s gonna “catch deathfats” by doing anything other than overconsuming calories, but if they do that then yes, they will gain weight. Changes in basal metabolic rate will accommodate somewhat but the body doesn’t have a perfect system and it is happy to raise its set point if given the chance. Especially with aging, it is common to gain weight as the BMR drops without a concomitant drop in caloric intake. And because large amounts of body fat cause — yes, cause — several health problems, including insulin resistance, the overall health of the population declines. If government doesn’t worry about keeping its people healthy then I’m not clear what government is for. :p

  374. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm |

    In response to the OP, not the thread: maybe he did it to distract from the fact that NYC gave the same amount of funding to homeless youth services as to homeless cats and dogs, and that was before the 60% cut to homeless youth services. Four thousand young people homeless in NYC on any given night, maybe a few hundred beds.

    But that’s not as important as people buying large sodas at the movie theaters.

    HEALTH is important!!! That’s what the governments for! You can’t very well pay attention to homeless kids when you’re busy making sure fatties are buying smaller drinks!

  375. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm |

    If government doesn’t worry about keeping its people healthy then I’m not clear what government is for.

    Reconcile that with this please-

    60% cut to homeless youth services

    Your government sounds totes worried about keeping it’s people healthy.

    Bang up job there. You should be proud.

  376. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm |

    You’re right, pheeno, let’s make this thread about X, Y, and Z issues instead of the one in the OP. That’s never been tried before!

  377. Anon
    Anon June 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm |

    Jill, and others supporting the new law:

    We ALL want people to be healthier, and we mostly agree that corporations should not be able to market anything they want to people regardless of how much harm they do.

    BUT, we can’t do anything really meaningful towards these goals right now. So instead, here’s a law which helps in some small way, it’s the best we can do right now, so we should do it!

    Those disagreeing:

    This law will not make people healthier.

    And even if it did help in some way, this law reinforces fat shaming and blaming in society, which is a huge problem already.

    This law diverts people’s attention from those who are really to blame for the problems we all want to fix, and instead people will be further encouraged (as if they needed it) to point the finger at fat people.

    Therefore, we should be addressing these problems in different ways, rather than supporting policies which blame fat people for everything.

    Jill and company:

    We’re not trying to shame fat people! Obviously no one should be judged for being fat, or poor, or drinking sugary drinks. BUT, surely this law is better than doing nothing!

    … On and on, they refuse to listen, and won’t acknowledge the harm done by their attitude, insisting they are just being reasonable.

    The thing is, I’m pretty sure Jill and the others supporting this law are usually on the other side in this sort of argument, aren’t they?

  378. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm |

    The People’s Health is what you said the government is for Bagelsan.

    And banning soda’s that are the least likely to be purchased on a regular basis is being touted by the government and by you as the governments loving way of protecting the health of the people.

    Only, the government doesn’t give 2 shits about your health. It can place ineffectual insignificant bans on sodas and fool you into thinking it does though.

    So tell me exactly how allowing kids to go homeless while banning 32oz sodas is proof of the government worrying about the public health?

    *places chin on top of fists and waits for this story with wide eyed anticipation*

  379. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm |

    let’s make this thread about X, Y, and Z issues instead of the one in the OP.

    You mean like ” this is about health not fat shaming” even though is SAYS SO RIGHT IN THE LINKED ARTICLE??

    Like that?

  380. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm |

    @Bagalsan

    Really? No one? Because I from 120 to 160 in 3 weeks without changing anything in my diet or activity after I changed birth control. At the time two doctors said I was lying and that the records of my prior weight were wrong. Two years later it was “duh, it was the meds.” Then there was when I went from 140 to 120 in a week after the bar exam without any change in diet or activity. My doctor thought I had been purging. Then last year when it happened again my new doctor said…”duh, cortisol.” And that’s just the shit they’ve figured out in the last few decades. Medical science is not infallible…in fact they are highly fallible and that whole calories in and calories out has so many caveats for individual differences in body type and metabolism and hormone levels that its about as useful as the theory of retrograde motion.

  381. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm |

    Kristen, it’s spelled “Bagel” like the food. C’mon.

  382. QLH
    QLH June 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm |

    No one’s gonna “catch deathfats” by doing anything other than overconsuming calories, but if they do that then yes, they will gain weight.

    Demonstrably untrue.

  383. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig June 7, 2012 at 9:28 pm |

    Bagel-san: As Kristen said. In my case it was massive weight gain (a bit more slowly) from anti-depressants. Part of the reason why I no longer bother with them. I could give up the food too, but a steady diet of rice cakes makes suicide look appealing.

    Kristen: Oh, god yes. I never did understand the doctor worship that a lot of people on our side of the fence are prone to. And that’s part of why I’m so skeptical of the selling of universal health insurance as the BEST THING EVER. All it means to me is more tsking from the white coat brigade.

  384. red3blog
    red3blog June 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm |

    Also, so I know, is there a special prize if I get a fate hate bingo on a progressive blog?

    I think there should be a special prize.

    Sadly no. Paternalistic fat hate is rather non-partisan, so no special distinction when progressives do it. As a progressive, though, you are always free to be more disappointed.

  385. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm |

    Kristen, it’s spelled “Bagel” like the food. C’mon.

    Too bad. Bagalsan has been accepted by my Swype so you are stuck with it for ALL ETERNITY.

  386. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 7, 2012 at 10:28 pm |

    I’ll adjust to “Bagal” then. I kinda like it; ‘slike a “cabal” of evil, which I apparently am. On account of all my fat hate or poor hate or cat hate or whatever. :D

  387. Meowser
    Meowser June 7, 2012 at 10:57 pm |

    No one’s gonna “catch deathfats” by doing anything other than overconsuming calories, but if they do that then yes, they will gain weight.

    Ahhh, here we have the crux of the matter. If we’re fatasses, we must be guzzling Pepsi all day, and if we say we’re not, we’re liars. Past dieting or involuntary food insecurity, medication use, endocrine disorders, and just plain old luck of the DNA draw count for zilch. So even though every fat person I know, myself included, says they never, ever drink more than 12 ounces at a sitting if they ever drink it at all, banning big cups will totally save our lives, because we’re not reliable witnesses to our own experiences and nobody ever needs to ask us what we actually do, when it’s obvious based on cursory visual assessment of pants size.

    Seriously, Bloomberg actually does think that, just ask him.

  388. Natalie
    Natalie June 7, 2012 at 11:24 pm |

    I can understand this because it’s so bad for you, I use to drink my calories, I was so addicted to Pepsi it was terrible so it would be nice to see the 32 oz and 44 oz drinks gone in gas stations too, heck I use to drive up to the gas station ask for a 32 oz pepsi and drive off. Luckily I’m off it now and I’ve lost 124 lbs it’s so addictive and bad for you.

  389. im
    im June 8, 2012 at 1:14 am |

    I support this. Besides me not being fat-positive, the *INCREASE OVER TIME* in obesity is an actual issue greatly exacerbated by the ready availability of soda and other very unhealthy food. If this was not an increasing trend, I would not be so worried.

    There’s an interesting subconscious thing. A person is much more likely to buy one big soda than two smaller sodas with the same total size and total cost. Each portion being the correct amount to eat helps you control your subconscious.

    Frankly, fat advocacy/positiveness, while VERY IMPORTANT to end eating disorders and body hate both among people with OK bodies and the paralyzing, demoralizing kind among people who would gain significantly from changing their bodies, has done huge harm in ignoring freaking thermodynamics and divorcing people from consequences for their actions, even when it contradicts science. Which is not always right, but isn’t ever too wrong.

    Also, I support paternalistic stuff in general. As far as I am concerned, all bodies including my own are public property, and this mayor guy managed to help people with overcoming subconscious evolutionary holdovers — one of the reasons why weight control is so hard — without even instituting any hard restrictions on what people can do.

    And a worryingly large number of people do drink a huge amount of soda, and suffer for it, with fatness or with other changes.

    Incidentally, you might really NOT be a reliable witness to your own experiences. Humans in general SUCK at that. It’s the biggest flaw in the human power. Part of why writing things down can help so much, especially when hindsight bias and overconfidence are compounded with primal urge.

    Doctor worship? Ohhh, dear. I guess that we have to remember that Western science and medicine only applies to Westerner patriarchs because postmodernism? Or maybe science is too important to be left in the hands of well trained experts? Oh, I know! They are not just imperfect: they are so horrible that being able to afford health care hurts the greater good rather than helping it.

    Ok. Rant over.

    Overly simple science is certainly a problem. But science is already working on improving that. Meanwhile, it’s not ALL wrong. Sufficient amounts of fat (Probably well above the BMI limits which are 1. way too simple, to really measure fat you need to dip someone in water a la Archimedes or use an air pressure chamber and 2. way too narrow) do have health consequences. Losing weight is hard, and not always the best option even if one is suffering negative consequences from weight. But science has determined what is more likely to work, and it will not benefit us to bury that under a misguided self-deluding form of self-respect. Laws like this one, as well as changes in what kinds of foods are cheapest, easiest to prepare, or most commonly available, can help with the willpower problem and take away a lot of the difficulty.

  390. Anon
    Anon June 8, 2012 at 1:26 am |

    Jill and Co, take note – when you’re on the same side as ‘im’, you should be worried. This is what these ‘PERFECTLY SENSIBLE’ changes lead to.

  391. im
    im June 8, 2012 at 1:32 am |

    Just as this little ban experiment is. Obesity is a danger to the country! Fat people are a drain on health care! It’s for your own good!

    repeating a valid argument in a sneering tone does not count as a refutation.

  392. Anon
    Anon June 8, 2012 at 1:58 am |

    No, it does not, im. But repeating hideous fat-hating rhetoric in a sneering tone should alert supposed progressives that they are not being very progressive. Especially with you being here to make the point better than I ever could.

  393. LongHairedWeirdo
    LongHairedWeirdo June 8, 2012 at 2:00 am |

    I agree with those who are pushing back against making individual size a public health issue. But I’ve heard something.

    What I’ve heard is this: there have been plenty of times when we’ve had plenty of food, and no need for exercise. And, we’re seeing obesity rates rising past the levels we’ve seen in those other historical instance.

    Now, if you have a bunch of animals, and you notice a lot of them are changing, even in a health-neutral way, that’s a health concern, because you’re seeing something new, and something new means that you don’t know if the observed change is the *only* thing going on.

    I don’t care that people are getting fatter – I am concerned that we don’t know why. The obvious answer (“too much food, too little exercise”) doesn’t fit because it doesn’t explain why, in other situations, we haven’t seen the same level of people getting fat. So, I’m concerned.

    Are there “safe” pollutants, or “safe” food chain issues, that are singly, or in combination, causing some changes? If so, saying “some people are just fat, deal with it, and cut out the fat hatred” might keep us from finding those issues.

    So, while I agree that fat people are not a public health issue, I *am* concerned about what seems to be an unexpected rise in obesity, and wondering if we can find a cause other than the blanket assumption that it must be what’s eaten, and how much exercise is done.

  394. im
    im June 8, 2012 at 2:12 am |

    I want to ask all of you. I make no presumptions in this, but I still wonder, and some of you may benefit from thinking about the question.

    Do you truly believe that fat is as neutral as you say

    Or do you just _think_ you believe that fat is as neutral as you say?

  395. misakyra
    misakyra June 8, 2012 at 2:20 am |

    Do you truly believe that fat is as neutral as you say

    Do I truly believe that I’m a full and autonomous human being who is perfectly capable of making my own decisions, regardless of whether my body meets with your approval?

    I’m going to go with yes.

  396. Anon
    Anon June 8, 2012 at 2:21 am |

    I’ll answer your question im, because I really have thought about it.

    I used to think that we should be kind to fat people, but that we needed to help them be healthier, without being cruel (hah!). My husband’s sister is fat, and I love her, but when people raised the issue of her weight, I would say (thinking I was being such a good person!) that it was not an appearance issue – she’s beautiful just as she is! – but rather a health issue. See, I’m so charitable to fatties!

    But seriously im, I was fed a line, and I bought it. I hate that I did. Hating fat people, supporting policies that encourage fat hatred, do not ‘help’ fat people. The only help fat people need, is the absence of our judgemental bullshit.

    So stop it.

  397. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh June 8, 2012 at 2:49 am |

    I’ve mostly stayed on the margins of this thread and lurked, because so much of the commentary in the thread is so very alienating and gross. Yeah, I’m fat. I’m 5’4″ and have hovered around 290-300 pounds over the last couple of years. Yeah, I drink a lot of soda. Yeah I know it’s not healthy. Yeah I know that there are a lot of dietary changes I can make. My mother is now diabetic, and I’d really like to totally overthrow our current diet, but NO, I’m not some stupid person who needs Bloomberg to explain portions sizes to me, or to have some thin-privileged, class-privileged feminist lecture me on what I should do with my body.

    I almost feel like it’s worthless to even take the time to write about this, but food insecurity shapes people in a whole shit load of ways that class-privileged people have no idea about. My food issues date back to the winter of 1993 when I was in the sixth grade. My father was dying of cancer, and the trailer park we lived in needed to have the entire gas line system replaced. For the entirety of January and some of February, we had very little ways to heat our trailers (which are always lots colder or hotter than a comfy house). My mom, who was the manager, didn’t have time for me, and the only heating we had in our trailer had to go to dad, so I lived with our neighbors, who are campesinos, and have nine kids and a huge extended family. You know you are poor when the Red Cross comes to help with things like this, and I knew too when the school secretary heard evidence of my cold and asked if I lived in the trailer park w/o heating. Anyway, food wise, people were forced to get fast food junk, barbeque out in the cold, etc. My mom got a microwave then so when I ate there, we had frozen foods. At the neighbor’s house, there was outside cooking, and there was also something that every other diet related book I’ve read says is a bad thing: people eating standing up because there was no room in the trailer, and because people ate in shifts. The men who were picking oranges at the time ate first, then the kids, then finally the women and older girls, if they were lucky.
    Once we had heat again, I went back home, but we continued to have fast food or microwave goods because my father couldn’t eat (aside from a feeding tube) and mom didn’t want him to get depressed by the good smells and since she was his 24/7 caregiver and working a 24/7 job, she had fuck all in the way of time to cook. By the time he died 14 months later it was an ingrained habit.

    When I got to high school, I had money and buy lunch for my best friend many times because there was no food at her home, and she was coming to school dizzy, sick, and unable to function. I had to learn to be patient when she raided our fridge when she spent nights or weekends at my place.

    Mom’s diabetic now, and she has health issues that I am now caregiving for. I am caregiving, working full time on my AA, doing the bulk of the housework (and mostly failing because I don’t have time or energy), and I don’t have the time or mental space to really worry about how much damn soda I am drinking or how much I weight. At times I even have to beg for some alone time to do Algebra, forget going for a walk or going to the gym or trying to cook more often for my small family.

    One last point. Other thing I’ve read over and over. When you have food insecurity (or financial insecurity) in your personal or family history, people often develop a feast or famine mentality. People will buy up or eat up or drink up if they finally have the money to keep bellies full, or to just have something that is enjoyable (which includes soda for many people). I saw some of that in my father when he was alive. He would lecture mom for buying me sherbert instead of ice cream, because he saw that as deprivation. So yeah, deprivation, food insecurity, etc. does shit to people. I’m glad there are people who are able to lecture others in the thread about consuming in moderation (without any self-awareness of their privilege), but good grief.

  398. Meowser
    Meowser June 8, 2012 at 3:55 am |

    Obesity rates have leveled off in the last decade or so, per the CDC. (Google “obesity rates leveled off” and you’ll get a slew of links.) The significant increase happened between 1980 and 1999 — which, not coincidentally, was when HFCS began appearing in every frigging food sold in the U.S. It’s not like we’re getting fatter and fatter and fatter and fatter, no matter what the panicmongers say. We’re just not getting thinner and thinner and thinner like they want us to.

    The fact that most fat people would give ten years off their lives to get thinner and thinner and thinner, and can’t ever manage to get there and stay there no matter what they do, and gain weight despite trying desperately from a shockingly early age not to do so, should give everyone tremendous pause when it comes to the shame and blame game. But it never does. They want to believe, just like the tighty-righties want to believe Jeebus will strike you dead for taking the Pill, that our hedonistic appetites have led us to ruin.

    And this, right here?

    Incidentally, you might really NOT be a reliable witness to your own experiences. Humans in general SUCK at that. It’s the biggest flaw in the human power.

    If this is actually how most “normal” people think — and I fear that it is — we’re in much bigger trouble than can be solved by smaller soda cups. What people really “suck” at is not needing social inferiors to whom they can feel superior, and taking in information that would make those feelings harder to sustain.

  399. matlun
    matlun June 8, 2012 at 4:01 am |

    @Anon

    Hating fat people,…

    Not sure if that should be labelled as a strawman argument or ad hominem. But anyway – no one here seems to be doing that.

    I most certainly disagree with im due to comments like

    As far as I am concerned, all bodies including my own are public property,…

    but that’s no reason to become hysterical.

    Being obese myself (by BMI definition), I have no problems recognising that it would be good for me to lose weight, especially since I and my family have a history of hypertension and related health issues. I do not see being fat as a neutral issue, but on the other hand I see no reason to over dramatise the issue either.

  400. Norma
    Norma June 8, 2012 at 5:42 am |

    I think soda– the full-sugar kind and the diet kind– should be heavily regulated. It causes health problems for people of all sizes, like cancer, tooth decay (even diet soda), and metabolic syndrome (again, even diet soda). It’s arguably addictive because of the caffeine.

    It’s absurd that soda companies get a free pass from the government to sell gallons of the stuff–particularly to children–without warning labels or sin taxes. It’s doubly bad that they can make the stuff dirt-cheap because of corn subsidies.

    The government absolutely has a responsibility to regulate a product proven to contribute to America’s most widespread illnesses.

  401. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 8, 2012 at 7:14 am |

    *** dons Suzanne Pleshette hostess gown *****

    May I offer anyone still watching this shitshow some popcorn with extra butter? Some baby-flavored donuts? Please, take two, they’re small. The 128oz Pepsi Throwbacks are on the table to your left.

  402. m
    m June 8, 2012 at 7:22 am |

    As far as I am concerned, all bodies including my own are public property

    That’s the most horrifying thing I’ve read today, congratulations.

  403. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 8, 2012 at 8:16 am |

    You can believe what you want. Just take care in believing there’s not loopholes for other people that render the law utterly pointless.

    Either you’re no longer arguing in good faith or you are having problems with reading comprehension, since I gave a pretty specific explanation as to why allowing some people to go unvaccinated doesn’t render vaccination programs pointless.

    Look, why is this so hard for people to understand? Bodily autonomy doesn’t just include getting to choose who we love, what gender we present as, and whether or not to have children. It extends to lots of other choices, including food choices.

    There’s a huge difference between criticizing individual’s choices and acknowledging that those choices can have ramifications for others. Is saying that bottled water is bad for the environment the same as attacking people’s autonomous choice to put bottled water in their bodies? No.

    I am not saying we should judge, or criticize, or attack individuals or what they eat, but the fact is that Americans consume way more meat/sodium/sugar than is healthy, which comes with demonstrable costs to health, and animal welfare, and people living in areas where Coca-Cola wants to extract water, and all kinds of other problems. There is a distinction between attacking people who ‘make bad food choices’ (I really don’t think this is a very useful way of putting it, considering how limited people’s food choices typically are) and attacking a system which markets unhealthy food incredibly aggressively while making healthy food unavailable for many people.

    It doesn’t address the fact that truly healthy options are more expensive – and that’s when they’re even available.

    QFT.
    re are no exceptions to this.
    Right.

    Fat is not a public health issue.

    Wrong. There’s a huge distinction between saying we shouldn’t judge/criticize/discriminate against fat people, and saying we should ignore the fact that Americans have gained a huge amount of weight on average in the last several decades, and that this has come with significant costs.

    There is a way to have this conversation without fat-shaming; in fact, the only way to have this conversation productively is without fat-shaming because to be fat isn’t a choice people (usually) make. It’s the result of a system which pushes incredibly unhealthy food and is propped up by government subsidies and powerful vested agricultural interests. The people who are convinced size is nearly all genetic are purposefully ignoring the fact that Americans have gained significant average weight within the span of only a few years. The average American in 1990 was 23lbs lighter than the average American in 2012. Genetics don’t move that fast.

    To simply yell ‘fat-shame’ every time someone mentions that yes, our public health is suffering as a result of poor nutrition, is not only counter-productive but actively working against fixing real problems with real people’s lives.

  404. Angel H.
    Angel H. June 8, 2012 at 8:17 am |

    Just wanted to say thank you to the awesomeness that is pheeno, macavity, Kristin J., tinfoil hattie, misakya, Shoshie, IrishUp, Meowser, Anon, and everyone else who’s calling out the classism and fat hatred!

  405. Angel H.
    Angel H. June 8, 2012 at 8:24 am |

    As far as I am concerned, all bodies including my own are public property

    That’s the most horrifying thing I’ve read today, congratulations.

    Yeah. That is just….wow.

  406. Brandy
    Brandy June 8, 2012 at 8:32 am |

    LongHairedWeirdo, you might be interested in reading Weighing In by Julie Guthman, which explores other possible causes for the rise of obesity (like environmental toxins).

  407. Liz
    Liz June 8, 2012 at 8:34 am |

    This is a hilarious clusterfuck of a conversation for anyone who isn’t a USAian to witness. The idea that there is some sort of right to consume giant portions of food and anyone who attempts to take this right away is classist and fat- shaming, is beyond belief. No other country serves such humongous portions and poor people manage to cope without drinking giant buckets of sugar and corn syrup. Try drinking water. If your water is foul, as it is in some Australian places, then buy bottled water. It will be cheaper too.

    When I’ve been in the USA I’ve been shocked at the portions. No where else in the world eats like you do. And I always come back fatter because of the huge servings. Of course obesity is related to this. And don’t get me started on the foul buckets of shitty coffee flavoured substances, that you guys think is coffee. One of my proudest moments was when Starbucks went broke in Australia, cos no-one would drink that shit.

    I’ve loved visiting the USA, the the eating habits are hard to understand.

  408. Shoshie
    Shoshie June 8, 2012 at 8:51 am |

    Just throwing another hat in for science. I am an electrochemist. That means my bread and butter is thermodynamics. So don’t talk to me about what is thermodynamically feasible. The body is incredibly complex and scientists do not understand it at all right now. It is dangerous when we say that critiquing bad science is hating on science. Critiquing bad science is how science happens.

    But, y’know what? I’ve become less and less interested over my years of FA over whether it’s actually possible to lose weight long term. I know some people who have. Not many, but some. But I do know that most people that I have met do the best they can with what they’re given. You want to improve public health, I think that’s great. I live in Seattle, one of the healthiest cities in the US. We have awesome bike paths and public parks and a bajillion organic food co-ops that take food stamps and a public food forest and a massive community garden program. The city runs buses to hiking trails.

    But you can do those things that foster a culture of good health without shaming people who don’t buy into those things or building them on the backs of fat people. It would be great of obesity was a neutral issue and everyone approached it as scientists trying to solve an anomaly, but it’s just not. When you write policies with the express purpose of “fighting obesity,” you hurt fat people.

    As I said before, I can’t get too worked up about this policy because I just don’t see it as such a huge deal in the scheme of things, but there are other ways to go about diminishing consumption of pop that are far less destructive. Many of them have been mentioned here (require availability of water/larger cup sizes for water, require small sized cups to be available, regulate the price difference between small and large pop). And when those policies get implemented, specifically don’t call out obesity as the reason. Saying that your policy is because of all the fat people is not a value or health neutral action (there’s a fairly large health risk from the stress of stigmatization, even when isolated from other variables), and the truth is that large quantities of pop is not healthy for anyone, fat, thin, or in between.

  409. tmc
    tmc June 8, 2012 at 8:58 am |

    Just wanted to say thank you to the awesomeness that is pheeno, macavity, Kristin J., tinfoil hattie, misakya, Shoshie, IrishUp, Meowser, Anon, and everyone else who’s calling out the classism and fat hatred!

    Ditto to this! Much love to you all!

  410. tmc
    tmc June 8, 2012 at 9:01 am |

    If your water is foul, as it is in some Australian places, then buy bottled water. It will be cheaper too.

    Proof positive that you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

  411. Milquetoast
    Milquetoast June 8, 2012 at 9:30 am |

    In Liz’s defense, I live outside the US in a country where drinking the water is risky, and the bottled water here is cheaper than soda, tea, gatorade, beer, etc. I’m not really sure why that’s the case. My only guess is that the market for designer bottled water is non-existent, even in the areas heavily geared toward tourists.

  412. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig June 8, 2012 at 9:30 am |

    Liz: If your water is foul, as it is in some Australian places, then buy bottled water. It will be cheaper too.

    Nope. I often forget my water bottle, and trust me that shit adds up. Plus, buying water a gallon at a time for a family is not only expensive, it forces the family to ration water. Buying juice or soda lessens the burden and frees up the water for other things. Like, say, cooking foods so they don’t taste like mud or rust. Also, have you ever been around kids? Kids crave variety. Offering them water day after day after day is a way to ensure mutiny.
    Finally, if you’re just going to make fun of us ugly, fattie fat Americans, feel free to bow out. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  413. Caperton
    Caperton June 8, 2012 at 9:36 am | *

    At the risk of repeating myself, I’m still interested in an answer to my question: Why does the government get to have an interest in controlling what I do? If my personal choice for self-destructive behavior–smoking at home, guzzling HFCS, giving myself ugly ballpoint-pen tattoos, cashing out my 401k and spending it all on shoes, whatever–is harming only myself, why does the government get to have any say in it? If it’s bad for my health, it’s bad for my health. And yes, I could still get two 16-ouncers instead of one 32-ouncer, by why should I have to do that? Why does the government get to make even the smallest imposition into my life, if it’s not absolutely necessary?

    What concerns me about this discussion is the assumption that the state gets to come in and control my behavior this way because it’s not a big deal, or it’s not that bad. Well, no, if the state wants to control my behavior in any way, to any degree, it is a big deal. And I want them to explain to me why they should, instead of making me explain why they shouldn’t.

  414. Andie
    Andie June 8, 2012 at 9:42 am |

    There are people who have mobility issues because of their size. There are people who have mobility issues that are exacerbated by their size. And there are people who are fat and have mobility issues independent of their size (oh hi there, 3rd degree ankle sprain).

    True, true. There are also people who are big because they have mobility issues (which I guess is kind of covered under point #3).

  415. EG
    EG June 8, 2012 at 9:42 am |

    And don’t get me started on the foul buckets of shitty coffee flavoured substances, that you guys think is coffee. One of my proudest moments was when Starbucks went broke in Australia, cos no-one would drink that shit.

    Seriously? This is coming from someone whose countrymen, of their own free will, consume vegemite? I’d dial back the superiority of taste you seem to ascribe to Australians, if I were you.

  416. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 8, 2012 at 10:20 am |

    “What concerns me about this discussion is the assumption that the state gets to come in and control my behavior this way because it’s not a big deal, or it’s not that bad. Well, no, if the state wants to control my behavior in any way, to any degree, it is a big deal. And I want them to explain to me why they should, instead of making me explain why they shouldn’t.”

    Q for the MFT

  417. outrageandsprinkles
    outrageandsprinkles June 8, 2012 at 10:33 am |

    Hey, Liz-You know you don’t have to eat every bite someone puts in front of you, right? I mean, if eating in the US makes you fatter (THE HORROR) just because the portion sizes are big, it seems you have a problem with stopping when you are full or taking more than you need. Either that or the smaller sizes you’re getting in other countries aren’t enough to actually make you full. Either way, nice attempt at blaming fatty fat American portions for magically making you gain weight. Try a doggie bag sometime, contrary to popular belief we Americans actually do take leftovers home with us sometimes, since the portions are so big and all. Or, just deal with putting on a few pounds, because it’s really not a big deal, and stop aiming your anger at us.

  418. L
    L June 8, 2012 at 10:37 am |

    Seriously? This is coming from someone whose countrymen, of their own free will, consume vegemite? I’d dial back the superiority of taste you seem to ascribe to Australians, if I were you.

    Hahaha. Freal though.

    This whole conversation is f-ing ridiculous. I’m pretty sure people have the capability to decide for themselves what goes in their bodies. The real issue is forcing corporations (for example soul destroying Monsanto) to be accountable for their aggressive advertising (including pushing unhealthy processed shit on children) and cost-cutting measures (genetically modified corn/soy, high fructose corn syrup) that is making everyone sick. People don’t make ‘bad’ food choices because they’re stupid and don’t know any better; they are literally doing their very best to get by in a country where more and more people are joining the poor, struggling population. People take advantage of huge portion sizes because sometimes they need to make 2 or 3 meals out if it. Why is this a difficult concept to understand?! As far as I’m concerned, ‘obesity’ is a completely separate non-issue. Corporations that are allowed to wreak havoc on our collective health with little to no regulation are the problem, not fat bodies.

    I’ve spent the last 4 months living in the Netherlands, and in Europe there is significantly less processed, GMO food…plus it has to be labeled if it contains it. Though my weight hasn’t changed much here, I feel LOADS healthier, less sluggish and am sick less. I know it’s just anecdotal but when I return to Canada I will do my best to avoid HFCS and genetically modified corn and soy, because it’s clear that it was not doing my body any good.

  419. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 8, 2012 at 10:54 am |

    this

    “What concerns me about this discussion is the assumption that the state gets to come in and control my behavior this way because it’s not a big deal, or it’s not that bad. Well, no, if the state wants to control my behavior in any way, to any degree, it is a big deal. And I want them to explain to me why they should, instead of making me explain why they shouldn’t.”

  420. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date June 8, 2012 at 11:08 am |

    Why does the government get to have an interest in controlling what I do? If my personal choice for self-destructive behavior–smoking at home, guzzling HFCS, giving myself ugly ballpoint-pen tattoos, cashing out my 401k and spending it all on shoes, whatever–is harming only myself, why does the government get to have any say in it? If it’s bad for my health, it’s bad for my health.

    Caperton, how do you feel about the government telling you that

    1. you have to wear a seatbelt when you’re driving a car and a motorcycle helmet when you’re driving a motorcycle
    2. you are not allowed to have a job that pays less than $7.25 per hour
    3. you have to use fall protection if you’re in residential construction working six feet or more above a lower level
    4. you are not allowed to buy unpasteurized milk
    5. you are not allowed to rent an apartment in a windowless basement?

    These are all government restrictions of personal choices that, arguably, potentially harm only yourself.

  421. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 8, 2012 at 11:19 am |

    wow.

    2-5 do nothing to contradict my belief that public protection laws really only exist for white people.

  422. matlun
    matlun June 8, 2012 at 11:40 am |

    2-5 do nothing to contradict my belief that public protection laws really only exist for white people.

    Why?

    I would have believed that these types of laws affect underprivileged groups more. If you have money you have a much easier time finding alternative choices in many cases, and are not affected by minimum wage laws etc.

  423. Mxe354
    Mxe354 June 8, 2012 at 11:41 am |

    People don’t make ‘bad’ food choices because they’re stupid and don’t know any better; they are literally doing their very best to get by in a country where more and more people are joining the poor, struggling population. People take advantage of huge portion sizes because sometimes they need to make 2 or 3 meals out if it. Why is this a difficult concept to understand?! As far as I’m concerned, ‘obesity’ is a completely separate non-issue. Corporations that are allowed to wreak havoc on our collective health with little to no regulation are the problem, not fat bodies.

    QFT.

  424. WithinthisMind
    WithinthisMind June 8, 2012 at 11:45 am |

    Hey, self-righteous privileged folks, let me throw something else at you that you haven’t considered in all your fat-shaming bullshit.

    That big soda we split at the movies?

    It contains diet coke.

    Please sweep up the shattered pieces of your mind off the floor. It’s rude to leave a mess.

  425. WithinthisMind
    WithinthisMind June 8, 2012 at 11:54 am |

    1. you have to wear a seatbelt when you’re driving a car and a motorcycle helmet when you’re driving a motorcycle

    Except for all the places where you don’t. Like here. State of Minnesota.

    2. you are not allowed to have a job that pays less than $7.25 per hour

    Unless you are a server, migrant worker, on ‘salary’, or any other of the many, many loopholes in this particular rule. And assuming your boss is honest and that you can work above the table.

    3. you have to use fall protection if you’re in residential construction working six feet or more above a lower level

    BWAAHAHAHAHAHA, you’ve never actually been to a construction site, have you?

    4. you are not allowed to buy unpasteurized milk

    Except from your neighbor, a co-op, or if you are willing to let it be labeled ‘not for human consumption’ even though everyone knows you are drinking it. I buy the stuff all the time to make cheese.

    5. you are not allowed to rent an apartment in a windowless basement?

    Theoretically, you also aren’t allowed to live in a dumpster, alley, or cardboard box under a bridge. How is that working out for about 3.5 million Americans?

  426. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 8, 2012 at 11:57 am |

    Well, its pretty simple actually. One is borderline since it arguable prevents harm to third parties by reducing the scope of multi car accidents. 2 through 5 resolve market failures caused by power imbalances or high information costs. Of course those points have been addressed repeatedly in this thread.

  427. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  428. EG
    EG June 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm |

    Withinthismind, it seems like your objections to points 2-5 are not that they exist, but that they are unevenly, unjustly, and stupidly enforced, usually to benefit industries with government pull. That’s different from saying that the government shouldn’t be regulating any of those things.

  429. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date June 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm |

    @Withinthismind, as your examples point out, there is a distinction between a law and enforcement of the law. As I understand it, this discussion is about whether Bloomberg’s rule is a good idea in principle, not about whether New York City will be able to enforce it.

    @Kristen J., how does telling milk producers that they are not allowed to sell raw milk for human consumption resolve a market failure caused by power imbalances or high information costs?

  430. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 8, 2012 at 12:47 pm |

    Also, have you ever been around kids? Kids crave variety. Offering them water day after day after day is a way to ensure mutiny.

    Huh, kids in the rest of the world survive on water pretty well. It’s mostly American kids who feel deprived when they don’t get constant soda. As a child I lived on milk, fruit juice and tap water. There was no mutiny.

  431. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

    People are generally terrible at judging portion sizes and calorie content, myself included. I recently measured the bowls in my house and they can fit twice the volume I had guessed they might. And when I actually track my calorie intake it’s almost always higher than I predict. This is a pattern that has been found time and again in human beings; we’re kind of shit at measuring things, and extra shit at self-reporting, especially about emotionally-loaded topics.

  432. Mxe354
    Mxe354 June 8, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

    Also, have you ever been around kids? Kids crave variety. Offering them water day after day after day is a way to ensure mutiny.

    Only when they get pummeled by consumerism and so believe that water, juice (not the fake kind), milk, etc. aren’t “enough.” The consumerist culture has done a great job at creating “needs” that never before existed.

  433. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm |

    I didn’t say CONSTANT soda. I lived on milk, fruit juice and tap water too. And we had an occasional soda. As well as root beer floats. And guess what? That doesn’t make me any less fat. I don’t think the occasional treat-shared or individual- should depend on income, location, or size of the kid.

    While humans are shit in general, I do think people can learn to judge portion sizes. We’re not as dumb as you think.

  434. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm |

    giving myself ugly ballpoint-pen tattoos,

    I’m sorry. The U.S. must draw the line somewhere. How dare you?

    Also, Fat-Haters: If fat-shaming worked, everybody would have a body-size of which you, personally, approve.

  435. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 8, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

    Why?

    I would have believed that these types of laws affect underprivileged groups more. If you have money you have a much easier time finding alternative choices in many cases, and are not affected by minimum wage laws etc.

    Because that’s who these laws only apply to. Migrant workers don’t get paid 7.25 an hour. No one is storming the farms enforcing it either- unless it’s a border patrol raid.

    POC often live in unsafe housing.

    Reservations are full of unsafe housing, complete with no electricity or running water. No heat. Things like that. Aside from a few activists making youtube documentaries, no one seems to even be aware of this.

    If these laws were meant for us, why the hell are we still working in the fields for a buck an hour? Why are we still living in ghettos and reservations that rival 3rd world conditions? Why are we only able to afford milk from a neighbors cow, and not the spoiled milk at the grocery store nearest a rez? Why do food banks hand out spoiled milk? (yes. I was given spoiled milk from our food bank more than once)

    This entire thing is just ridiculous. I’m handed spoiled milk from a food bank, but thank god I’m saved from 32 oz movie drinks when I go to the movies about twice a year.

    I can be attacked and raped by a non Native on Indian Land, but I’m safe from 64 oz sodas at the ball park.

    Priorities are really screwed up if anyone thinks banning large drinks from places most people don’t actually go to on a regular basis is fucking progress.

  436. amblingalong
    amblingalong June 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm |

    If it’s bad for my health, it’s bad for my health.

    Do you plan to use Medicare or Medicaid? If you get sick, will you go to a hospital?

    Societies are not loose collections of autonomous individuals who’s ‘personal’ choices affect only themselves. Whether one person is fat or not is nobody’s business but that person. Whether society as a whole is getting drastically fatter (and we are, at a rate of ~1lb per year for the last twenty years) is very much the business of the government. If you really think acknowledging that is fat-shaming, do you also believe programs which promote literacy are ableist, since some people have learning disabilities which prevent them from reading?

  437. Christina
    Christina June 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm |

    Societies are not loose collections of autonomous individuals who’s ‘personal’ choices affect only themselves. Whether one person is fat or not is nobody’s business but that person. Whether society as a whole is getting drastically fatter (and we are, at a rate of ~1lb per year for the last twenty years) is very much the business of the government.

    Quoted because the few examples of sense in this absurd thread deserve some acknoledgement.

    (Seriously, do the people advocating against government interference of this type not believe in, e.g. rules against sex discrimination in the workplace???)

  438. Emolee
    Emolee June 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm |

    I want to step back in to thank all of the people who have been pushing back against the fat-shaming. It can be so tiring to make the same arguments over and over that basically boil down to: I deserve to exist (in the body I have now, without your interference).

    I will also reiterate: Freedom to make autonomous choices about our bodies includes food choices. You may not agree with those choices. But it’s not your body.

    And to those people saying they know people are fat because they eat too much because “I got fatter when I ate more,” just no. This is like saying you know people are poor because they don’t work hard enough because “when I quit my job, I got poorer”. There are often many causes for the same thing. And just because something happened to you doesn’t mean… well anything other than it happened to you.

  439. S.H.
    S.H. June 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

    If you really think acknowledging that is fat-shaming, do you also believe programs which promote literacy are ableist, since some people have learning disabilities which prevent them from reading?

    I think we’ve hit about the 4,000 inappropriate analogy on this thread. Random laws that ban things and programs that promote things are not the same thing. Many people who have spoken out about this ban have often suggested policy alternatives that would promote health initiatives and greater food choices and access for the urban poor. But God forbid we actually do the hard work (and put up the money) to address the underlying issues surrounding health and poverty when we can easily shame people and insinuate they’re a drain on “society”? So much more fun!

  440. junk
    junk June 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm |

    This is a hilarious clusterfuck of a conversation for anyone who isn’t a USAian to witness. The idea that there is some sort of right to consume giant portions of food and anyone who attempts to take this right away is classist and fat- shaming, is beyond belief. No other country serves such humongous portions and poor people manage to cope without drinking giant buckets of sugar and corn syrup. Try drinking water. If your water is foul, as it is in some Australian places, then buy bottled water. It will be cheaper too.

    When I’ve been in the USA I’ve been shocked at the portions. No where else in the world eats like you do. And I always come back fatter because of the huge servings. Of course obesity is related to this. And don’t get me started on the foul buckets of shitty coffee flavoured substances, that you guys think is coffee. One of my proudest moments was when Starbucks went broke in Australia, cos no-one would drink that shit.

    I’ve loved visiting the USA, the the eating habits are hard to understand.

    Arghhh. But all the people arguing against the law on this thread have not been arguing for the “right to consume giant portions of food.” They have been arguing for bodily autonomy, arguing for their right to make informed choices, arguing against a law that assumes fat people consume too much soda/ food and that that’s why they are fat, arguing against the classism of saying that people who choose to drink soda or consume unhealthy things are ignorant and don’t know what their doing, arguing against the classism and privilege of people who have more expendable wealth and/or are going to the movies on their own or with friends and who can all afford their own drinks and/ or who don’t have kids to share with. Sharing drinks has been brought up repeatedly on this thread, so many times it’s making my eyes bleed when people suggest that others can just “buy more than one drink if they omg need that much soda.” People have been saying that it makes more sense to go after the companies putting HFCS into so many of our foods beyond soda, solutions that would make it more possible for people to drink other kinds of drinks at the movie theater and other events if they wanted to (such as making water in large quantities free — small cone of water, anyone? Mmm, I feel refreshed now!), that this law, by being framed as a measure to combat “obesity”, is targeted at people and not really targeted at soda companies/ corporations — if you wanna hurt them, restrict their ability to put crap into soda that will kill us and make them put damning labels all over their products like we do with cigarettes, and that it is extremely fucking messed to basically say that fat people and/or poor people should only get what they “need” and not what they “want” like the rest of us.

    Quit it with the “I’m Australian and OMG you disgusting USians crap” too.. I’m British, I live in the USA, and this thread is about a law in the USA. The USA is a different country with different issues and it makes sense that people are arguing specifically about the ramifications of a law like this in relation to this context. The US is a country where poor and/or fat people are constantly told to “eat better” and yet there is no access to/ ability to buy better food. People are making the choices they can, based on what they have available to them and shaming people makes everything worse, as annalise’s story illustrates. And yes, sometimes fat and/or poor people want to treat themselves to a fucking soda. OMG — how dare they!!!

  441. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

    @Past,

    Market failure due to information asymmetry and high monitoring costs.

  442. misakyra
    misakyra June 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm |

    Do you plan to use Medicare or Medicaid? If you get sick, will you go to a hospital?

    Possibly. But really, what’s your point? It’s entirely possible that right now, as I type this, someone with a heart condition is getting on a roller coaster, even though the sign posted says that they don’t. If they go to a hospital, my tax dollars might pay for that. The same thing goes for bungee jumpers, skydivers, and any and all athletes. Anyone who does anything that might compromise their physical safety is a potential burden on the healthcare system. That’s how universal health care works. Acting like one group of people is somehow less deserving is incredibly fucked up.

  443. EG
    EG June 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm |

    Anyone who does anything that might compromise their physical safety is a potential burden on the healthcare system. That’s how universal health care works. Acting like one group of people is somehow less deserving is incredibly fucked up.

    I agree with this strongly. We all do something. There are people who are terrible at remembering to take–or who refuse to take, or who can’t afford to take–daily medications for chronic illness; should we have the state monitor them and force them to do so, on pain of not receiving treatment at a hospital if their condition results in an emergency? I have chronic depression–should I be forced to exercise by the state? I have asthma–should I be forced to move out of the city to someplace with better air quality, even though I would be miserable (hmm…thus triggering my depression, perhaps)? Everybody has vulnerabilities and competing interests, and we all balance them as best we can. I find the argument that “we’ll have to pay for your health care” to be absurd and self-serving. Are the people who make it that sure that their own habits would stand up to such scrutiny?

  444. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm |

    Fyi, The Untold Story of Milk has a cool section that actually discusses the asymmetry and monitoring cost problem . It fairly interesting if you are into that sort of thing.

  445. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date June 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm |

    Market failure due to information asymmetry and high monitoring costs.

    But I don’t think that the point of milk pasteurization laws is that people who buy milk don’t know about the herd health and hygiene of the dairies it came from (information asymmetry) or that it costs too much to have a USDA inspector full-time at every dairy farm (high monitoring costs). I think that the point of milk pasteurization laws is to stop people from drinking unpasteurized milk, even if they want to drink unpasteurized milk, because drinking unpasteurized milk can make them sick.

    So milk pasteurization laws restrict your personal choice to ingest something because that something might make you sick (with — to be sure — some potentially communicable diseases). Just like the pop law restricts your personal choice to ingest something because that something might make you sick (though not with communicable diseases).

    I don’t think that it’s logically consistent to oppose the pop law on grounds that you have a right to ingest whatever you want to ingest, even if it’s bad for you, while at the same time supporting the milk pasteurization laws.

    Which is why I asked Caperton what she thought about milk pasteurization laws.

  446. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date June 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

    (Whoops, off to look at “The Untold Story of Milk”.)

  447. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm |

    “I agree with this strongly. We all do something.”

    Not only that but it’s *impossible* that everyone does everything right all the time. Even granting that we knew what Right is for each person, which we don’t.

    “To will oneself free is also to will others free.”
    – Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity

    In a just world, concern for our shared humanity would render this “I have to pay for your health care” asshattery moot. Or mute.

    Also, in a just world, pheeno would be getting AT LEAST $7.25/hr for the 101 she lays down, with hazard pay differentials and doubletime on Sundays. Just saying.

  448. Emolee
    Emolee June 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm |

    I find the argument that “we’ll have to pay for your health care” to be absurd and self-serving. Are the people who make it that sure that their own habits would stand up to such scrutiny?

    Exactly. Everyone makes choices that are motivated by something other than using as few healthcare resources as possible.

  449. Emolee
    Emolee June 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm |

    sorry, blockquote fail. The first paragraph above is EG.

  450. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm |

    Do you plan to use Medicare or Medicaid? If you get sick, will you go to a hospital?

    Do you? If yes then please hand over your grocery budget and items so that I may erase any item I don’t approve of and add only items I think you should eat. ( I don’t care if you can afford it or not either. MAKE it work because I fucking said so) I will also be monitoring how you prepare food and it had better meet with my approval or I will be sure to let you know you’re a medical care thief stealing money from me with your unapproved choices.

    That’s what you’re doing here. Calling us thieves. Undeserving abusers of the system. Welfare cheats.

    If you’re going to call me a health care thief your happy ass better be sitting in a bubble room eating nothing but what I hand you through a portal.

    Do you bathe? Well that’s going to stop right now. Have any idea how many accidents happen in the shower? Sponge baths for you from now on. No soap either, that shit can be toxic. Water better be filtered too.

  451. Emolee
    Emolee June 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm |

    If you’re going to call me a health care thief your happy ass better be sitting in a bubble room eating nothing but what I hand you through a portal.

    Do you bathe? Well that’s going to stop right now. Have any idea how many accidents happen in the shower? Sponge baths for you from now on.

    pheeno, this made me laugh, and in the way that only something that is truly NOT funny can make a person laugh when she has been battling the kind of prejudice that you are pushing back against here for way too long. I admire your tenacity and your patience.

  452. LongHairedWeirdo
    LongHairedWeirdo June 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm |

    Meowser:

    Obesity rates have leveled off in the last decade or so, per the CDC. (Google “obesity rates leveled off” and you’ll get a slew of links.)

    Thank you! I didn’t know that.

    Brandy:

    Thank you, I’ll have to check that out!

  453. Torie
    Torie June 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm |

    It’s all about money! I now a woman that lost sixty pounds when she stopped drinking soda. It is so ingrained in society that it is sad. Coca Cola is an a classic. The movies, advertisement, fast food meals, etc… I’m sure that pharmaceutical companies appreciate their business. Diabetes and obesity being the problem it is has definitively been aided by sugary drinks like soda. We don’t buy them in our home except for on special occasion. Most things are alright in moderation. I think the only thing that can be done about it that will truly help is education at a young age. My son understands what sugar is and reads labels to see what is a better choice. Some children get serious behavioral problems from sugar. It can be like flipping a light switch even if they only have a small amount. Parents need to be warned about the dangers of these drinks. They should come with a warning labels.

  454. Liz
    Liz June 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm |

    Actually, junk people have been arguing their right to consume giant amounts of food. This isn’t about banning soda. It’s about banning giant buckets of soda in some places. You can still buy soda.

    Turning this into an argument about bodily autonomy is really pushing that right into a weird place, IMO.

    In what way is drinking soda a right anyway? Do you have a right to eat and drink everything you want? Where does this right come from?

    As I’ve said poor people in other countries do just fine without giant buckets of soda. Is this an argument about American exceptionalism? Somehow you guys have to have this?

  455. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 8, 2012 at 7:18 pm |

    I dubb these zombie comments…because no matter how many times you address them someone knew will come along and say them AGAIN. (Someone else may have dubbed these zombie comments or something similar, but my brain has conveniently forgotten.)

  456. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm |

    Gawrsh, Torie! Thank yew! Ahm fat – ayund – Ah was born in West Vuhginya, so Ah din’ know all that sugary soda made me s’dayumn fat!

    Wait, Jethro … whaddaya mean, Ah acshully have ta DRINK sugary soda fer it t’make me fat? Now Ahm all cornfyoozed. Ah guess Ahm just a dumb ol’ hick. A fattie hick, too.

  457. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm |

    By the way: this post is titled “Cracking down on sugary drinks,” but the law is really “Cracking down on greedy fat people & their repulsive food habits.”

  458. Meowser
    Meowser June 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm |

    It always makes me larf (cross between laugh and barf) when the “you’re mooching off me for your health care!” bingo square gets marked, because the very same people who say things like that are also the very same people who are sure that they’re going to live to be 100 because they and their health habits are so awesome, whereas I and my self-indulgent fat ass won’t live to be 70. But somehow an extra 30 years of life is supposed to be lower maintenance for their fellow taxpayers?

    Guess what: If you’re on Medicare, even if you never set foot in a hospital or doctor’s office or nursing home ever, and are 100% independent with ADLs until the day you die and never need anything like home health nursing (and good luck with all that if you’re going to last to 100), taxpayers still subsidize your Medicare premiums. And if you’re in a Medicaid-supported nursing home, guess who pays for that? And that’s not even considering an extra 30 years of Social Security, resource consumption, etc. I mean, come on now. If I actually do die young, by your own calculations, I cost youless. By a lot.

    Also, having observed over 150,000 medical records during the course of my job, I can tell you right now that even the healthiest seniors need things like hearing aids, cataract surgeries, joint replacements, biopsies for random lumps and bumps, and hospitalizations for things like pneumonia that are treated outpatient — at considerably lower expense — in younger people. And of course, the longer you live, no matter how abstemious your diet is, the greater your chance of contracting some form of cancer, or having a stroke or heart attack or developing Alzheimer’s. Sorry, but if you actually go a whole century needing no health care, or very little, you’re very much an anomaly.

  459. LongHairedWeirdo
    LongHairedWeirdo June 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm |

    Diabetes and obesity being the problem it is has definitively been aided by sugary drinks like soda.

    There’s no proof that sugar consumption causes diabetes, and no reason it should.

    Sugar (in fact, *all* carbohydrates, except insoluble fiber) get turned into glucose, and your body will store the glucose as glycogen (which can be turned back into glucose) or fat. (Your body can also turn protein into glucose if needed.)

    Your body is very good at doing this; an ordinary person can eat as much sugar as they want, and typically, their blood sugar will not go above 120 mg/dl, and a variety of factors will tend to keep it in the range from 70-100 most of the time.

    For some people, this control system ends up going wonky, and although there’s plenty of insulin, the body doesn’t seem to be using it right. If they don’t exercise to burn off blood sugar (muscles can burn sugar directly), it’ll stick around and damage the body. (Any sugar level above about 140mg/dl is known to be risky.) If your sugar stays high enough, long enough, it can even poison and kill off the beta cells, which produce insulin, and, obviously, that can be really bad.

    Once this system goes wonky, excess sugar probably makes things much worse, because the sugar will raise blood glucose that much higher, for that much longer. But there’s no proof, just correlation, that sugar *causes* the wonkiness, and there’s no reason it should.

    Sure, if people diagnosed with diabetes typically had less insulin than normal, *that* would be strongly suggestive that sugar may have caused it (because we know excess sugar levels can damage the beta cells), but they typically have *higher* insulin levels – meaning the stuff the body should do with sugar is already trying to happen, but it’s not working right.

    Sugar does increase the risk of obesity; it doesn’t have the same satiation qualities as fats or protein, and it gets turned into fat because that’s what one’s body *does* to excess carbohydrates. But “just” subcutaneous fat (which most excess sugars will turn into) doesn’t have any immediate health effects.

    (Sugars can also turn into visceral fat – that’s correlated with bad health outcomes. But this still raises the question of cause and effect. Does something about the body make it start to build up visceral fat? Or does the visceral fat start causing problems of its own?)

  460. Shoshie
    Shoshie June 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm |

    Torie and Liz- you’re late to the party. Try reading the past 400-odd comments and then asking questions.

    Anyone who does anything that might compromise their physical safety is a potential burden on the healthcare system. That’s how universal health care works. Acting like one group of people is somehow less deserving is incredibly fucked up.

    This. I acquired the above-mentioned sprained ankle by being a good fattie and dancing. Landed on my foot wrong and it went pop. For said ankle, I had 2 rounds of x-rays, saw two doctors, and have been going to physical therapy for 3 months. Talk about your health care expenses.

  461. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet June 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm |

    junk people

    I think we have a repulsive winner, typo or no.

  462. Aunt B.
    Aunt B. June 8, 2012 at 11:15 pm |

    You know who’s going to love selling you two $3 small Cokes instead of one large $5 Coke? Soft drink companies.

    What lesson about being better corporate citizens are they supposed to learn from that? That if they don’t shape up, politicians will find ways for them to get more of our money? And that they’ll pass that off as being for the health of the population?

    People have been trying to get at this in various ways in this thread (and thank you all for that), but let me be blunt–follow the money. Who is financially hurt by this and who benefits?

    New York is making a policy change that majorly benefits the very corporations that make the product that New York thinks needs to be regulated. And doing this under the guise of improving the health of the people who would be adversely affected by the policy.

    I’m sorry, but I just have to laugh at this. People are actually acting like Mayor Bloomberg’s soft-drink company enrichment policy is going to be good for the public health. Because the soft-drink companies are so good for the public health now?

  463. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 8, 2012 at 11:39 pm |

    You know who’s going to love selling you two $3 small Cokes instead of one large $5 Coke? Soft drink companies.

    Thought about that too, but people are too hell bent on controlling me so I didn’t figure they’d care.

  464. Liz
    Liz June 9, 2012 at 12:31 am |

    Shoshie, I’m simply agreeing with Jill’s OP and amblingalong. @ 425. People can still buy soda. It’s sale is restricted in some ways, that’s all. I have read all the posts. I simply disagree that this is an issue about bodily autonomy. If it was completely banning soda, I’d have a bit of sympathy for this argument. But, you can still buy soda.

    I keep pointing out what occurs in other countries because it’s relevant to compare what happens in different countries. More than one way to skin a cat and all that. I’m pretty sure that once upon a time in the USA giant portions weren’t available and people didn’t suffer. This is an example of increased portion sizes normalising giant serves and creating adverse health outcomes.

  465. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 9, 2012 at 2:22 am |

    But, you can still buy soda.

    I guess the poor in other countries can now afford to buy 2 of something. How nice for them.

    This is an example of increased portion sizes normalising giant serves and creating adverse health outcomes.

    Spare me. The day the government gives an actual crap about adverse health outcomes is the day I’m crowned Queen of Unicorn Land.

  466. Anon
    Anon June 9, 2012 at 2:42 am |

    Wow, Kristen was right, these totally are zombie comments.

  467. Mandella Nelson
    Mandella Nelson June 9, 2012 at 2:57 am |

    When I get a big gulp, I fill it all the way up with ice. I probably have less than 16oz of coke zero in the 32oz cup. It is a stupid rule. It only gives gop fuel for their ridiculous fire; so they can say: “look at the stiff regulations the dems impose! Rah Rah! We’re fair and balanced!!” All the while infringing on women’s rights, obsessed with female reproduction and bodies. It is asinine.

  468. R J K
    R J K June 9, 2012 at 9:50 am |

    WithinthisMind @446

    Hey, self-righteous privileged folks, let me throw something else at you that you haven’t considered in all your fat-shaming bullshit.

    That big soda we split at the movies?

    It contains diet coke.

    Please sweep up the shattered pieces of your mind off the floor. It’s rude to leave a mess.

    My understanding is that the size restriction only applies to beverages that contain more than 25 calories per 8 ounces, and even some of those are exempt (alcohol, juice, dairy drinks).

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18285462

    http://blogs.discovery.com/dfh-insider/2012/05/sugary-drinks-may-be-banned-in-nyc.html

  469. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 9, 2012 at 10:24 am |

    The most profound, important invention of my lifetime…

    the Big Gulp.

  470. misakyra
    misakyra June 9, 2012 at 10:29 am |

    the size restriction only applies to beverages that contain more than 25 calories per 8 ounces, and even some of those are exempt (alcohol, juice, dairy drinks).

    Aaaaaannnd that’s why it’s nothing but fat-hating classist garbage. It’s arbitrary, poorly thought out, logically inconsistant, and doesn’t address any real issues surrounding healthy food choices and their availability. It’s entirely based on incorrect assumptions and seeks to punish people who are already marginalized.

  471. R J K
    R J K June 9, 2012 at 11:17 am |

    I don’t live in New York, so I hope someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the availability of healthy food (drink) choices is a major concern insofar as the municipal government appears to provide ample clean drinking water.

    It also seems that the rules regarding size limits are logically consistent and not arbitrary. The premises that the policy rests on are shaky, that much is clear after reading the posts in this thread. If we grant them for the sake of argument though, it seems that the conclusions do follow.

    If the goal is to reduce the consumption of drinks with next to no nutrients outside of calories by a single person in a single sitting, the exemptions make sense. I have to assume–and I could be way off base here–that the only alcoholic beverages that exceed the 16 oz limit are intended to be shared. People don’t expect that someone will polish off a whole pitcher of beer or bottle of wine alone at a bar. Evidently the practice of sharing or saving large sodas is more prevalent than a lot of people may realize, but it certainly isn’t normalized in the same way. Dairy drinks and juices also provide nutrients other than calories to the drinker. I’m not about to claim that all fruit juice is particularly healthy, but it should at least have a pile of vitamin C. Dairy drinks should have some calcium and vitamin D.

    At the end of the day, I suppose it doesn’t really matter if the argument is valid since it appears not to be particularly sound.

  472. L
    L June 9, 2012 at 11:26 am |

    You know who’s going to love selling you two $3 small Cokes instead of one large $5 Coke? Soft drink companies.

    Precisely.

  473. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable June 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm |

    Aaaaaannnd that’s why it’s nothing but fat-hating classist garbage.

    How is it classist if somone can purchase a diet version of that drink in the same size to share or take home? Or are you saying a poor person is purposefully going to the movies to consume calories for sustenance from this drink? Because I have to tell you, I don’t believe that’s a thing.

  474. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl June 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

    Nothing like pimping poverty just so you can tell folks to fuck off your Big Gulp.

    I mean, really?

    I don’t think poverty means what you think it means.

    (hint: if it’s 100 degrees outside and your sitting there for 4 hours for a graduation ceremony, that’s an outlier, not a norm)

  475. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl June 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

    Nothing like pimping poverty just so you can tell folks to fuck off your Big Gulp.

    I mean, really?

    I don’t think poverty means what you think it means.

    (hint: if it’s 100 degrees outside and you’re sitting there for 4 hours for a graduation ceremony, that’s an outlier, not a norm)

  476. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm |

    I don’t think poverty means what you think it means.

    nah, how could I ever know what poverty means?? It’s not like I’ve ever been homeless or lived someplace considered to be 3rd world conditions.

    if it’s 100 degrees outside and you’re sitting there for 4 hours for a graduation ceremony, that’s an outlier, not a norm

    Going to the movies isn’t the norm either. The average person goes to a movie 3.9 times a year.

    It was 109 today and I spent most of it outside. Going to be hotter tomorrow and I have an outdoor event to attend then too.

    Last week was the last school event I had to attend, but I’ve spent 12 years going to track meets and soccer games. Unless there’s a cold front, the temp doesn’t get below 90 here during the summer. And summer starts in March,so don’t presume you know my norm.

  477. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh June 9, 2012 at 10:32 pm |

    I don’t think poverty means what you think it means.

    Yep, growing up in a household that depended on food stamps and having to be farmed out to another equally poor family because there wasn’t enough resources in your own family, why that’s living high on the hog!

  478. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh June 9, 2012 at 10:34 pm |

    Yep, growing up in a household that depended on food stamps and having to be farmed out to another equally poor family because there wasn’t enough resources in your own family, why that’s living high on the hog!

    Or growing up in a region of the country where welfare recipients are sometimes *paid* to leave the area, and where some schools have the entire student body qualifying for free lunches, nah, that’s not poverty, bunch of whiners!

  479. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh June 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm |

    Also, since lived experience is not good for Q Grrl, here’s some cold, hard stats for the congressional district that I was born, raised, and still live in.

  480. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 10, 2012 at 1:15 am |

    Q Grrrl, your comment is just appalling. APPALLING. “Meh, these people aren’t POOR! Why, they attend GRADUATIONS and drink soda!” Good god. Please list for us the proper criteria for “poor,” and then tell us how your magical internet powers let you know which people are LYING about it.

    Then let us know which, if any, indulgences low income family are allowed.

  481. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 10, 2012 at 2:19 am |

    Wow, that is pretty much an all time low. Pimping poverty…Charming. A lot of people have taken the time to explain in many different ways why this idea is unethical. If after all of that you can’t exercise a little empathy on behalf of your fellow travelers…then all I can say is Fuck right the hell off.

  482. Anon
    Anon June 10, 2012 at 2:35 am |

    I am so terribly disappointed that people are posting all this crap with only a few stragglers telling them how wrong they are. I would like to know where all the other social justice-minded people are.

    Why is it that feministe posters will band together in outrage to tell trolls to back off with their oh-so-reasonable-just-trying-to-be-helpful comments, but on this thread, fat-shaming is actually receiving support from regular posters?

    Is only some oppression worth fighting against? Who will you turn on next, feministe? Are fat people and poor people not welcome in your revolution? Or are they welcome only if they’re well behaved, by the standards you set for them?

  483. kungfulola
    kungfulola June 10, 2012 at 9:50 am |

    Is only some oppression worth fighting against?

    In some people’s opinion, yes. The more marginalizing it is, the more likely it is that the commentariat here will clutch their pearls and say; “But that can’t be!”

    Who will you turn on next, feministe? Are fat people and poor people not welcome in your revolution?

    Feministe is only one of a handful of feminist communities that has made it clear that they are ready to bring the transfail, racefail, classism, ableism and child-hate as it suits them. Feminism as a whole has historically failed to recognize the intersections of oppression, and although it is improving, WOC created Womanism as a response to the racism they encountered in the feminist movement.

    Or are they welcome only if they’re well behaved, by the standards you set for them?

    Experience would show that this is an accurate statement. I’ve been reading here since 2009, and nothing in this thread surprises me. I can see a pattern of people having to pleadingly justify themselves, and posters here engage in exceptionalism all the time. “Fatties are lazy, not you though, you’re a marathon runner who identifies as fat, but you’re special. Not like all those lazy fatties, who definitely exist, amirite?”

    I feel like I should apologise for the cynicism of this comment, but as I write it, I am realising how accustomed I am to seeing this pattern on Feministe.

  484. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl June 10, 2012 at 10:24 am |

    Q Grrrl, your comment is just appalling. APPALLING. “Meh, these people aren’t POOR! Why, they attend GRADUATIONS and drink soda!”

    Good thing those are your words and not mine.

    I just find it odd and somewhat problematic to use poverty as the measure of moral rectitude that I am reading in this thread.

  485. Angel H.
    Angel H. June 10, 2012 at 10:46 am |

    I just find it odd and somewhat problematic to use poverty as the measure of moral rectitude that I am reading in this thread.

    Good thing those are your words and not what anybody has said.

  486. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm |

    Well, gee, Q Grrrl, I find it problematic to use FATNESS as the measure of moral rectitude on this thread.

    Also, I find your wealthy, smug, nasty attitude toward poor people to be quite disgusting.

  487. Anon
    Anon June 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |

    kungfulola, you’re right, I was quite naive to expect any better.

    I was horrified a while back, by a thread in which Jill and some others angrily defended their right to use ‘crazy’ as an insult, with the added implication that the commenter objecting to it was crazy herself, and over sensitive.

    And I can certainly think of more than a few incidents of racefail, transfail, and child-hate.

    Now this classism and fat-shaming. Perhaps Feministe needs to amend their ‘about’ page: ‘a feminist blog, primarily for middle/upper-middle class white women – no fatties or crazies, please!’

  488. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm |

    People sure are happy to make assumptions of wealth and size on here. People who disagree with you are all rich and skinny? Damn, please let my bank account and my waistline know this, because they are clearly mistaken!

  489. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm |

    Aaand people sure are happy to make assumptions about who is or isn’t crazy to boot! Interesting, that. ‘Salmost like crazy/fat/poor people aren’t a monolith that agrees about everything.

  490. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 10, 2012 at 7:41 pm |

    People who disagree with you are all rich and skinny?

    A sight better than being called weak willed, lying thieves yes?

  491. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl June 10, 2012 at 8:04 pm |

    I am poor. And I am quite fat. Satisfied that I “qualify” yet?

  492. Anon
    Anon June 10, 2012 at 8:39 pm |

    Bagelsan – I’m fairly sure no one is saying everyone who disagrees is skinny and rich.

    Fat people are perfectly capable of oppressing other fat people, just like plenty of women are misogynists. Pointing out that your attitude is harmful to fat people and poor people does not imply that you can’t possibly be poor or fat yourself.

    I’m surprised you missed that point, since you said yourself that there is no ‘poor/fat/crazy people’ monolith.

    And as for ‘crazy’ – I wasn’t making any assumptions, I was simply pointing out that it isn’t a great word to use on a blog that is supposedly inclusive, and that therefore maybe Feministe isn’t so inclusive after all. There are of course many people with disabilities who have no problem with the word. But anyone should nevertheless be able to understand why it is problematic to use it, and why some people may rightly be offended by it.

    Do you have any genuine arguments to make against people who are angry about being marginalised on a progressive blog, or are you just hoping we’ll give up and go away if you keep making snarky, irrelevant comments?

  493. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm |

    I am poor. And I am quite fat. Satisfied that I “qualify” yet?

    You weren’t, so why the fuck would I give you a consideration you didn’t give me?

  494. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh June 10, 2012 at 9:39 pm |

    You weren’t, so why the fuck would I give you a consideration you didn’t give me?

    This. It’s fucking rich of Q Grrl to pull that.

  495. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh June 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm |

    It’s fucking rich of Q Grrl to pull that.

    And by rich, I mean “a lot of goddamn gall.”

  496. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 10, 2012 at 10:04 pm |

    Pheeno, I’ve been quiet but reading, and this is just to repeat that you and Annaleigh are fucking awesome ♥ thank you!

  497. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 10, 2012 at 11:29 pm |

    Do you have any genuine arguments to make against people who are angry about being marginalised on a progressive blog

    I flat out don’t think people are being marginalized by this discussion. I think that there’s been a lot of reading-into of things by people with chips on their shoulders, but no actual oppression of fat or poor people in any way. I just think that accusations of classism, etc, are being used as a neat way of shutting down discussion. Which is a pity, because it cheapens the whole idea of calling out, when calling out is done at the drop of a pissy hat the second someone in your oppressed group disagrees with you.

  498. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh June 11, 2012 at 12:17 am |

    I just think that accusations of classism, etc, are being used as a neat way of shutting down discussion.

    Uh huh, and building up a wall of snark and borderline bullying behavior is excellent for maintaining a serious, thoughtful discussion.

  499. misakyra
    misakyra June 11, 2012 at 12:42 am |

    I just think that accusations of classism, etc, are being used as a neat way of shutting down discussion. Which is a pity, because it cheapens the whole idea of calling out, when calling out is done at the drop of a pissy hat the second someone in your oppressed group disagrees with you.

    In other words, you’re not offended by this, so why are the rest of us being so damned sensetive?

    Gee, can’t think of a reason.

  500. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 11, 2012 at 1:05 am |

    @Bagelsan

    Right…no one in this discussion has pulled the “obesity crisis”, “poor people don’t need things that they find pleasurable”, or “you’re wasting our money with your poor health” shtick. And even if they did then none of those things would be oppressive in the least. Nope. Just because we’ve heard this shit over and over and over about everything from hamburgers to non-organic fruit…it doesn’t mean shit. Glad to get that cleared up.

  501. Anon
    Anon June 11, 2012 at 1:24 am |

    ‘I just think that…’ – this really shows everything that’s wrong with your argument, Bagelsan.

    ‘You just think’, personally, that this new policy isn’t offensive, and therefore you want to tell us all how ridiculous it is to be offended by it. Do you think people are lying about being offended, or do you just not care?

    Why is it so important to you to defend a law which is deliberately making the point – yet again – that fat people can’t control themselves? A law which further scrutinises and judges the habits of people who are already constantly scrutinised and judged, and which subjects only certain classes of people to this indignity?

    You only have to look at some of the comments this thread has attracted to see how this policy does in fact encourage fat shaming and classism.

  502. L
    L June 11, 2012 at 9:25 am |

    How is it classist if somone can purchase a diet version of that drink in the same size to share or take home?

    Someone mentioned upthread that she buys super big sodas so that she can at least have some calories in her day, when she is too broke or does not have enough spoons to feed herself. If she bought a diet version, she would have chemical-water with no calories.

    And if this whole thing revolves around “health”, then why are diet drinks exempted from the rule? Diet drinks are no better for you, they’re full of chemicals which supposedly cause cancer. If we’re discussing nutritionally-void drinks, I believe diet pop would beat out regular soda in that category, because at least regular pop has calories. Which you need. For energy. And to, you know, live and stuff. Because of our fat shaming and diet centered culture, calories now represent the devil or something. But surprisingly you actually do need them to survive!

    And that’s how you know that this isn’t about health, it’s about fat shame. Because “buckets of sugary high fructose corn syrup” which could make you FAT OMG are not allowed, but buckets of calorie-less nutritionally void chemicals that cause cancer are.

  503. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl June 11, 2012 at 9:38 am |

    You weren’t, so why the fuck would I give you a consideration you didn’t give me?

    I thought it was more obvious that I am not trying to “qualify.” I agree with your points about Bloomberg’s legislation. I disagree with poverty pimping. There is absolutely no way in hell that you can convince me that being poor forces you to buy a super sized soft drink — especially not if what you’re trying to do is to stay hydrated. That isn’t poverty; that’s personal choice.

  504. L
    L June 11, 2012 at 10:04 am |

    There is absolutely no way in hell that you can convince me that being poor forces you to buy a super sized soft drink

    …..are you serious? Being poor forces you to buy a super sized soft drink because it’s cheaper and lasts longer, and water is way more expensive to buy in a bottle. You can get your calories AND stay hydrated for less money!

    Maybe you should go back and read the comments again? Because numerous people have pointed out how this would negatively affect people with limited coins and spoons.

  505. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 11, 2012 at 10:37 am |

    I thought it was more obvious that I am not trying to “qualify.”

    What was obvious was the sideways cowardly little way you tried to call me a liar without coming out and saying it.

    There is absolutely no way in hell that you can convince me that being poor forces you to buy a super sized soft drink

    Wasn’t aware you’re important or special enough to be the one I have to convince.

    I have my finances down to what we can spend to the penny. I’m the only one who needs to be convinced.

  506. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 11, 2012 at 10:38 am |

    Do you think people are lying about being offended, or do you just not care?

    I certainly believe that people are offended, I just don’t think that the discussion itself is offensive. And hey, plenty of people are offended that poverty has been dragged into this, as if all poor people depend on pure sugar to survive (perhaps the poor are hummingbirds), and that science is being left out of the discussion entirely, but somehow that offensive merits derision in a way that the offense taken by others does not.

    Like I said, I think a lot of people have been reading too far into things and taking them personally; when any attempt at discussing the pros of this policy get shut down with “you hate poor/fat people!” then that’s not a social justice discussion, that’s an ultimatum. It’s like the new Godwin: it “wins” the argument by rendering it ridiculous. And pretending that everyone who disagrees with you must hate you, or must have nothing in common with you? Extra ridiculous.

  507. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 11, 2012 at 10:41 am |

    water is way more expensive to buy in a bottle.

    Look, in NYC the tap water is fine. It’s totally drinkable and virtually free (especially if you hit up the public drinking fountains scattered around.) That argument just doesn’t fly in this situation. Once the no-giant-calorific-drinks policy hits a region where there truly aren’t other options, then maybe try flying it again and see how if goes.

  508. EG
    EG June 11, 2012 at 11:02 am |

    especially if you hit up the public drinking fountains scattered around

    Wait, what? Where are these alleged fountains? I’ve been in NYC all my life and I’ve never seen any public drinking fountains outside of parks, and even those don’t always work.

  509. L
    L June 11, 2012 at 11:04 am |

    Look, in NYC the tap water is fine. It’s totally drinkable and virtually free (especially if you hit up the public drinking fountains scattered around.) That argument just doesn’t fly in this situation. Once the no-giant-calorific-drinks policy hits a region where there truly aren’t other options, then maybe try flying it again and see how if goes.

    See above, AGAIN, the person who drinks pop because some days its the only way she can get some energy.

  510. Donna L
    Donna L June 11, 2012 at 11:19 am |

    even those don’t always work.

    And when they do, they often have a bitter, metallic aftertaste that’s extremely unpleasant, and the opposite of thirst-quenching. And that hasn’t changed since I was a small child, a long time ago.

    Outside of parks, I also can’t think of anyplace in the city that has outdoor public water fountains. I guess public libraries and similar places have indoor drinking fountains, but they’re hardly widespread or widely publicized.

  511. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

    when any attempt at discussing the pros of this policy get shut down with “you hate poor/fat people!”

    When all the attemps are couched in fat shaming, just what the hell do you expect? So far they’ve ALL boiled down to fat fatties don’t have control and are two fisting vats of sugary deliciousness down their gullets at a rapid fire beer chugging contest level, because they’re too damn dumb to know that’s not healthy. And they shouldn’t be griping because those sugar cows can just go to the local feed store and slap a bag on their faces. And they’re just making excuses or lying because WATER.

    There are no pro’s to this policy because the people who can afford it will just buy more or go back for refills while the people who can’t will have to figure out another way to get snacks and refreshments for the few times they can actually go do something for pleasure.

    And you can make use of the drinking fountains, sure but some of us aren’t down with sticking our MOUTHS where 5 million other mouths have been . Trading sugar for E. coli or hepatitis A isn’t my idea of a healthier trade off.

  512. librarygoose
    librarygoose June 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

    Someone mentioned upthread that she buys super big sodas so that she can at least have some calories in her day, when she is too broke or does not have enough spoons to feed herself.

    I can see doing this. When I was kid I would drink as much as possible to feel full. You were still hungry but the pain was lessened, and it helped keep cool in the summer (which was usually when I did this, no lunch in the summer). Soda does this better, I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the carbonation.

  513. Revolver
    Revolver June 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

    Bagelsan, you’re missing the crux of the matter. It is NOT your business why people drink large soda. It is NOT the government’s business. Besides being shitty public health policy, there really is no reason why someone else should tell me that I’m too dumb or too lazy or don’t have enough willpower to be at their standard of healthy weight. There is no reason for them to have ANY power to say what and how much I eat.

    I am a health educator. I am overweight. I drink soda. I eat brownies. Don’t you dare assume that I’m poorly educated / too stupid to know what’s good for me, or that I’m not doing anything healthy because I’m overweight.

    Which is a pity, because it cheapens the whole idea of calling out, when calling out is done at the drop of a pissy hat the second someone in your oppressed group disagrees with you.

    But whenever someone disagrees with you, they’re oversensitive and pissy.

  514. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm |

    Bagelsan, you’re missing the crux of the matter. It is NOT your business why people drink large soda. It is NOT the government’s business.

    If it’s a matter of the corporations taking advantage of basic psychological mechanisms to overfeed people for profit then yes, it is everyone’s business. If the reason is not actually the free choice you claim it is (pro tip, it isn’t) then the reason does matter. The reason is that corporations profit from you being less healthy, and from selling you huge sodas full of HFCS. It is quite literally the government’s business, because it is a business.

    And the whole point of asking why anyone would want a 32oz or 64oz or 128oz drink was because earlier in the thread everyone was saying they didn’t drink that much then they switched to saying they did drink that much, then they switched to saying they had to drink that much, yadda yadda, so it’s really become a historical artifact of the discussion due to the shifting goalposts on the pro-soda side. And the only people saying that “stupid fat” people “guzzle” soda were the same defensive self-proclaimed fat people, who followed up by claiming soda-guzzling as a God/democracy-given right. …I’m not actually sure why all the gross language is coming from the people who are simultaneously shouting about fat hate, but there you have it.

    I couldn’t care less what people eat; I care what is offered to them to eat. I believe the former should be self-regulated, while the latter cannot be and therefore depends on a regulatory body such as the government. We can agree to disagree on that really simple premise. But that is the crux of the matter: should government regulate what is marketed to consumers. I say yes.

  515. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm |

    LULZ FOREVER! Congratulations, the asshattery on this thread is now (appropriately) the object of mockery throughout the fatosphere.

    Y’all must be so proud. Here is my Standing Golf Clap.
    (h/t Mellissa, Brian et al)

    http://red3blog.tumblr.com/tagged/Agent-of-OBESITY

  516. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm |

    But that is the crux of the matter: should government regulate what is marketed to consumers. I say yes.

    So no Venti lattes right? No chocolate milk. No hard lemonade. No ice cream sundaes. Would you also like to regulate hot dog vendors? What about pretzel sizes? Actually pretty much all street fare is unhealthy. Should the government ban all of those types of food because people are uninformed about the fat content in hot dogs?

  517. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm |

    Kristen, I said “regulate” not “ban.” No one is banning soda. And yes, I do want hotdog vendors regulated, don’t you? :p

  518. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

    @Bagelsan,

    No. I don’t think the government should regulate the size of hotdogs vendors are permitted to sell. And you haven’t provided a rational justification for why they should other than you think so.

  519. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

    Soda is regulated, bagelsan. The manufacture and disclosure of ingredients is regulation enough. Street food? Who even knows what is in a hot dog? And yet I have eaten, and liked, them!

    WHY do you care if sodas are sold in huge servings? So far, your argument is, “Because corporations should not be allowed to exploit people,” which pretty much translates to, “People who drink ‘sugary drinks’ need to be protected from their own ignorance because the evil corporations are taking advantage of it.”

    People who drink soda are not, by and large, stupid or ignorant or self-destructive. So: WHY do you care? Seriously. What difference does it make to you? Soda-drinkers don’t need your “protection” any more than fat people need you to make cautionary statements about their “health.”

    And what net positive societal effect will this ban have? Answer: None.

  520. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm |

    First they came for our large sodas,
    then they came for our dirty-water-dogs …

  521. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm |

    First they came for our large sodas,
    then they came for our dirty-water-dogs …

    You know for our wedding reception Mr. Kristen and I had a hot dog and a large cola. Which we split. *GASP* If it helps it was *diet* cola.

  522. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

    That’s an EXCELLENT wedding day meal. I last had dirty-water-dogs and a large soda (24oz bottle) while waiting for a friend to finish the NYC marathon.

    BTW, need a ruling – sauerkraut’s a vegetable, right?

  523. misakyra
    misakyra June 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

    sauerkraut’s a vegetable, right?

    Fermented cabbage? Definitely a vegetable.

  524. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm |

    Well, hotdogs used to be part immigrant before regulation, but hey if cannibalism’s your thing then who am I to praise the FDA? :p

  525. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm |

    Soda is regulated, bagelsan. The manufacture and disclosure of ingredients is regulation enough.

    So you and I are both fine with regulation in theory, then. But we disagree on this particular regulation’s details, and the extent of regulation in general. Fine, glad to clear that up.

  526. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl June 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm |

    What was obvious was the sideways cowardly little way you tried to call me a liar without coming out and saying it.

    Really? I’m pretty sure that I don’t think you’re lying about your experiences.

  527. Saurs
    Saurs June 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm |

    I’m not actually sure why all the gross language is coming from the people who are simultaneously shouting about fat hate[...]

    Not gross language! Whatever next?

    Dressing up your contempt doesn’t make it any less obvious. I’d much rather you just call the victims of your noble-minded condescension ‘dole scum’ and have done with it. You’ll probably feel better.

    (pheeno, you are awesome. Never change. Between the snotty emoticon raspberries and the none-too-subtle, poorly constructed ad fems, I marvel at your patience and energy. )

  528. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm |

    “Really? I’m pretty sure that I don’t think you’re lying about your experiences.”

    Except for @496 & 497, which only make sense if the implication is that pheeno misrepresented the temperature, her needs, her internal cost-benefit analysis, or some or all of the above.

    But I grant you that the other comments, in which you call those who have illustrated how this law would affect their financial calculus “pimps”, are completely different clown horns.

  529. Q Grrl
    Q Grrl June 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm |

    Except for @496 & 497, which only make sense if the implication is that pheeno misrepresented the temperature, her needs, her internal cost-benefit analysis, or some or all of the above.

    And here I thought Pheeno was saying it was the poverty that caused her to buy the x-tra large soda. What you’re saying is that it was a carefully thought out personal choice.

  530. IrishUp
    IrishUp June 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm |

    “And here I thought Pheeno was saying it was the poverty that caused her to buy the x-tra large soda. What you’re saying is that it was a carefully thought out personal choice.”

    Those two things are not mutually exclusive, right?

  531. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm |

    Really? I’m pretty sure that I don’t think you’re lying about your experiences.

    Sell it to someone else.

    What you’re saying is that it was a carefully thought out personal choice.

    Yes. Bottled water was too expensive. The only other beverage besides coke was hot chocolate. I’m not going to drink hot chocolate in the heat. I couldn’t afford a bottle of water. I could afford a large coke that my husband and I split. I could not afford 2 smaller cokes.

    So my carefully thought out personal choice was

    Have nothing to fucking drink for 4 hours in the heat

    or

    Have a large coke to split with my husband for 4 hours in the heat

    Got it yet?

  532. LucyChi
    LucyChi June 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm |

    pheenobarbidoll, I believe I know you from Teh ‘Box (?) and I’m glad to see you haven’t changed. You’re saying everything I want to say about this, only better.

  533. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm |

    @bagelsan, I’m for regulation that prevents people from being poisoned or harmed.

    And you haven’t answered my question, not that you’re obligated to. But when you don’t, I am left with “Because fatties and poor people need me to protect them from their ignorant selves.”

  534. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm |

    Regulations protect people from being harmed. I am for that. I think this regulation also helps protects people from being (as) harmed. Simple stuff, really.

  535. S.H.
    S.H. June 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm |

    Regulations protect people from being harmed. I am for that. I think this regulation also helps protects people from being (as) harmed. Simple stuff, really.

    Well by your “simple stuff” theory, diet soda should be banned too. More and more studies are showing it can be harmful. Researchers still aren’t sure why these results are showing up (see here) but there’s been an association found between diet sodas and higher risk for metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and various other health problems:

    In one study, published in 2008, they followed 9514 individuals for 9 years. Those who drank the most diet soda had 34% greater chances of developing the metabolic syndrome. Regular soda had no effect.

    Another study followed 6814 middle-aged and elderly adults for several years and discovered that daily diet soda consumption increased risk of metabolic syndrome by 36% and type II diabetes by a whopping 67%

    A study of 2564 Manhattan residents found that those who drank diet soda every day had a 61% higher risk of stroke and heart attack. Regular soda did not increase the risk.

    In Denmark, a study of 59 thousand women discovered that 1 serving of diet soda per day increased risk of preterm delivery by 38%, while 4 servings per day increased the risk by 78%. Regular soda did not increase risk of preterm delivery.

    A study performed at the University of Texas discovered that consumers of diet soft drinks were 65% more likely to become overweight and 41% more likely to become obese, during a seven to eight year period. Regular soft drinks did not have any significant effect.

    Diet soda’s starting to sound pretty harmful to me and I drink a ton of the stuff.

  536. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 11, 2012 at 9:54 pm |

    Tinfoil- He’ll never answer your question.

    Lucy- Yep. I’m too stubborn to change. :) Plus, Wolf Clan.

  537. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 11, 2012 at 11:37 pm |

    I’m a woman, and I answered the question. You just don’t like my answer. And I’d be fine with banning 32oz diet sodas too, frankly.

  538. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 11, 2012 at 11:39 pm |

    See:

    “WHY do you care if sodas are sold in huge servings? So far, your argument is, “Because corporations should not be allowed to exploit people,” which pretty much translates to, “People who drink ‘sugary drinks’ need to be protected from their own ignorance because the evil corporations are taking advantage of it.””

    You are ignoring and rewording my answers. If you listened better I’d be more willing to engage with you.

  539. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm |

    Right, bagelsan. You’re oh-so-serious, and not at all snott, bullying, and fat-shaming. Your comments have all been in good faith.

    Damn rude fatties! We don’t even know how to argue with those who are WILLING to engage with us!

  540. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll June 12, 2012 at 12:01 am |

    You are ignoring and rewording my answers. If you listened better I’d be more willing to engage with you.

    *snorts*

    Your words carry words behind them. Perhaps you should listen better.

  541. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. June 12, 2012 at 1:00 am |

    Regulations protect people from being harmed. I am for that. I think this regulation also helps protects people from being (as) harmed. Simple stuff, really.

    This is the most ridiculous justification I’ve ever heard. As a principle it would give the government authority to regulate everything from pregnancy to marathons. No thank you. I do not think the government has a right to impose that far on individual freedom. I think we should be able to choose things that are harmful for us even though we choose under constraints.

  542. Anon
    Anon June 12, 2012 at 1:18 am |

    I just don’t understand, Bagelsan, why you are still arguing this point.

    Most people here are still arguing because they’re passionate about fighting against fat-shaming and classism, and refuse to stand silently by while Feministe indulges in a fat shaming free-for-all. What stake do you have in this?

    I have trouble believing that you think this law is so brilliant and beneficial that you have a moral imperative to defend it.

    It kind of seems like you’re just infuriated by the idea that our irrational feelings (never mind all the actual facts you’ve been given) should trump your ‘voice of reason’.

    If you’re just arguing for the sake of arguing, baiting people who genuinely care about the subject so that you can have the last word, and your clever debating skills acknowledged by all, then… that’s just cruel and obnoxious.

  543. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh June 12, 2012 at 1:58 am |

    Most people here are still arguing because they’re passionate about fighting against fat-shaming and classism, and refuse to stand silently by while Feministe indulges in a fat shaming free-for-all. What stake do you have in this?

    This.

    It’s not even so much about freaking soda anymore, it’s about people who fat-shame, who poor-shame, and people sneer at other people for daring to describe lived experience of being fat and/or poor and for trying to give perspective of how these laws disproportionally affect the poor, or having the nerve to try to give perspective on how surviving poverty or poor living conditions can influence people to make decisions that fat and poor shamers don’t approve of, but is perhaps the best damn things we can do at that moment. It’s about people who sneer at those people, accuse them of exploiting their own marginalizations, and then turning around and using their own fatness or poverty as an excuse to be an asshole.

  544. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan June 12, 2012 at 8:22 am |

    I just don’t understand, Bagelsan, why you are still arguing this point.

    Well, it started out as an interesting debate before it devolved into name-calling. At this point I’m a little curious whether it will actually turn back into a debate sans hyperbolic accusations, but honestly I doubt it. If I wanted to be randomly yelled at for disagreeing I could go hang with PrettyAmiable in the tarot thread. :p

  545. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie June 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm |

    Uhhhh, bagelsan, you’re being more than just a wee bit disingenuous here.

  546. which tastes better, spite-cupcakes or shame-cupcakes? | lol fat acceptance

    [...] http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/06/05/cracking-down-on-sugary-drinks/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Posted in fat acceptance, feministe | Tagged cupcakes, fat acceptance, feministe [...]

  547. gabby
    gabby June 24, 2012 at 10:16 pm |

    “There’s an entire book in my head about this that will someday get itself written, but Americans love to consume. We love a deal rather than quality — we want bigger faster more.”
    Check out sociologist George Ritzer and The McDonaldization of Society. That’s a book written about what you’re saying with Americans and consumption.

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