Bloomberg is doing a good thing by banning servings of soda above 16 ounces.
Is it perfect? No. Will it singularly solve America’s obesity crisis? No. But it’s a step.
Now everyone just quiet down for a minute so we can wait for it to come into effect, root for it and see what happens.
1. This is not a consumer choice issue
Banning servings of soda above 16 ounces does not prevent you from drinking large amounts of soda. If you want more than 16 ounces, buy two. All this policy does is create a (slight) disincentive to overconsume diabetes-juice at every meal. It’s not a panacea, and it’s not pretending to be.
2. This effort does not preclude others.
Yes, America should deal with its farm subsidies. And bring PE back into schools. And educate parents. And stop playing video games. And cook more. And jog in barefoot-shoes. Fine, whatever. Those are not arguments against this particular policy, and efforts to make them reality are helped, not hindered, by it. This is what cultural change looks like: Dozens of initiatives in dozens of jurisdictions, until a new consensus forms.
3. Political actors need to freedom to experiment
Fundamentally, this policy represents an elected official doing what is within his power to reduce the negative impacts of obesity. I hope that mayors, governors, principals, civil servants and bureaucrat across the country are watching what Bloomberg did with his authority today, and thinking about what they can do with theirs.