NYC Health Board: Why stop at soda? Ban milkshakes and popcorn, too

Forget Mike Boomberg???s soda ban, it???s time to confront the evils of milkshakes and popcorn. The New York City Temperance Union offered it’s support for the proposed Mike Bloomberg soda ban this week,  but some of the members couldn’t understand why anyone would stop there, explaining that ???we??? (as in “they”) should be considering other limits on high-calorie foods:

One member, Bruce Vladeck, thinks limiting the sizes for movie theater popcorn should be considered.

“The popcorn isn’t a whole lot better than the soda,” Vladeck said.

Another board member thinks milk drinks should fall under the size limits.

“There are certainly milkshakes and milk-coffee beverages that have monstrous amounts of calories,” said board member Dr. Joel Forman.

The Bund agreed to formalize the soda ban with a six-week public comment period.

Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs had the temerity to call the process — which entails an unelected board hand-picked by the mayor rubber stamping all proposals — “very serious ” and “incredible legacy of public health reforms that have really made a mark on the nation’s public health agenda.”

Rasie your hands if you give a whit what Bruce Vladeck or Dr. Joel Forman “think” about your popcorn consumption. But they do have a point. Listen, if government can force a person to buy something in the marketplace or it can define what appropriate food portion sizes should be, why not just get it over with and start complete food prohibition? Once you accept that it can be done, really, what???s the argument against it?

I???m often told I???m overreacting about the nanny state. These are, after all, common sense reforms that will help people. Or haven???t you heard? We???re in an obesity crisis, an epidemic. When Mike Bloomberg started talking about banning large sodas, many of those who defended him asked: what???s the big deal? Get two sodas. Refill the first one. It???s just slight inconvenience for the common good.

But Bloomberg wants to start a national movement to restrict your freedom. He doesn???t simply want to inconvenience you, he wants to ban insalubrious foods and ingredients. Plain and simple. That???s the crusade of a number of self-important authoritarian characters like Michael Jacobson, Kelly Brownell and Marion Nestle. After all, an emergency of epic girth forces the paternal hand of government to get involved.

And isn’t that always the case?