First Person: Banning Large Sodas Violates My Consumer Rights

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | As a consumer, I don't love New York these days.

According to an article by FoxBusiness, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to eliminate soft drinks larger than 16 ounces at mobile food carts and delis as well as in stadiums, restaurants and movie theaters throughout New York.

I only drink natural soda from the Whole Foods Market, probably because I'm closet yuppie. Nevertheless, I can't believe the liberties some politicians are taking when it comes to controlling food businesses and restaurants in the name of "good health."

Don't get me wrong. I actually loved the fact that a law was passed in 2008 that required restaurants to post the calorie count of a meal or food item in New York City. Here where I live in Florida restaurant chains such as Panera Bread clearly label the calories on the board.

In fact, I'm actually more likely to frequent a restaurant or eatery that openly displays the nutritional information. I think restaurants owners were positively influenced by the New York law to be more transparent about calories.

I think as a consumer I definitely have the right to know what's in the food I'm eating. But, I would never have the audacity to impose my eating habits on another person. And it's downright ridiculous for the government to fine businesses that provide consumers with large sizes such as 16-ounce sodas. Some people like to share their sodas at the movie theaters to save money.

Don't food businesses have enough headaches and issues to deal with?

Evidently Bloomberg wants to help solve the obesity problem. Good luck with that.

While walking through the park a few weeks ago, I saw a mother feeding her toddler a mocha frozen coffee drink. I've seen parents at Panera Bread feed their babies cookies. I've heard parents let their children order dessert as their meal because they didn't like the healthy vegetable dishes at the Thai restaurant. All of the ignorance disgusts me. But I don't tell the parents they are morons. I don't think the government should fine the restaurants.

When it comes to obesity, t's true we have to start somewhere. Still, the solution isn't to harass and penalize the restaurant owners. The solution is to educate consumers so there is no demand for super-sized sodas, junk food and sweets.

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