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Recently, in an attempt to combat obesity, New York City's Board of Health banned the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks sold in restaurants, movie theatres and other commercial venues. Under the new law, the new limit is 16 ounces.
This is ridiculous on a number of levels.
First, the law doesn't even affect grocery or convenience stores, where a majority of such drinks are sold. Two-liter bottles will still be on the supermarket shelves and Big Gulps will still be the big draw on a hot day at the 7-11.
Secondly, even the restaurants that ARE covered can still offer free refills – which kind of defeats the purpose.
But most importantly, as long as their behavior affects no one but themselves, Americans should have an inalienable right to be stupid.
Of course 64-ounce soft drinks are bad for you. So are Twinkies, double cheeseburgers or deep-fried anything. But what all those things have in common is that they harm only one person – the one who chooses to consume them.
Unlike cigarettes, which pollute everyone's air, junk foods only harm the people who eat them. And their decision to risk diabetes or an early heart attack is no business of mine.
Fighting obesity is a fine idea. But let's do it with education – not a nanny state.