Cumberland Times-News

August 20, 2013

Drink up!

Government has no place deciding what we consume


Cumberland Times-News

— It’s no surprise that an appeals court has ruled New York City’s ban on big sodas is unconstitutional. And you know what? We’ll drink a 64-ounce Coke to that.

After all, telling convenience stores and restaurants they no longer have the right to serve up big-sized sodas because someone in government thinks it’s not healthy (and, it's probably not the best choice you could make) is like banning ice cream, potato chips, french fries and chocolate. You get the idea. There’s just no end to it, nor is it the government’s job — sans public health — to tell us what to eat.

The court has ruled unanimously that sugary drinks such as sodas are not “inherently harmful,” and has slapped down the New York City Board of Health, saying it has exceeded its legal reach in telling private businesses that they can’t serve more than 16-ounce soft drinks.

Now New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he will appeal the decision. Here’s why we think it’s an important one to watch: When government starts making all our decisions about what’s good for us and what’s not, well, this just isn’t America anymore.

Doctors, health educators and even Dr. Oz can explain the dangers of eating or drinking too much of a good thing. Even the government can do that.

But ultimately we can’t allow the government to be our keepers.

Editor’s note: This editorial originally appeared in The Joplin (Mo.) Globe and was distributed by CNHI News Service.