Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg as a Crazed Killer

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to to ban sugary drinks served in containers larger than 16 ounces.

Last time I looked in the Bible, I found no mention of  Bloomberg. I didn't find his name mentioned in the Koran either. So I am pretty sure he is no ones god. Further, I doubt that Bloomberg could ever draw out the molecular structure of Coca Cola or of  a Slurpee.

Thus, we have a man, who is not god and who is not close to a scientist telling us what to drink. Does this make any sense to you? I note that the Bloomberg proposal does not include "diet sodas", so is the evil bastard nudging people toward these drinks?

According to the Mayo Clinic:
...diet soda isn't a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss. Although switching from regular soda to diet soda may save you calories, some studies suggest that drinking more than one soda a day — regular or diet — increases your risk of obesity and related health problems such as type 2 diabetes.
So the Mayor's totalitarian move doesn't even make sense based on current scientific understanding. If you really wanted to fight obesity for health reasons, based on current scientific wisdom, you would have to place a ban on diet drinks as well. In other words, the Mayor's proposal, at best, has to be seen as amateur night, from a current scientific perspective.

But beyond the conservative Mayo study, others see even greater dangers with diet sodas. Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP at WomenToWomen writes:
Companies have spent billions of dollars convincing all of us that diet soda is the healthier, lighter choice — that all we have to lose is the calories, ergo the weight. And since so many of us are struggling with weight gain, who can blame us if diet soda seems like a dream come true?

But in my experience, it’s actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing, fooling women into thinking they are doing something good for their bodies when they are actually sabotaging their own best efforts.

Diet soda may not have the sugar or calories of regular soda, but it’s chock-full of other health-draining chemicals, like caffeine, artificial sweeteners, sodium and phosphoric acid. This is even more concerning when parents give their growing — and chemically vulnerable — children diet soda in a noble effort to avoid sugar...

Some experts are now exploring the possibility that artificial sweeteners confuse our taste buds and all those brain measures of satiety upon which we base what we eat. Specifically, Sharon P. Fowler, MPH, and colleagues at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio have recently completed compilations of data that provided surprising results.

Fowler and her team studied more than 1500 people between the ages of 25 and 64, looking at whether each consumed regular or diet soft drinks. It was no surprise to find a correlation between the daily consumption of multiple cans of all soft drinks and obesity — which they did. But, as Fowler noted, “What was surprising was when we looked at people only drinking diet soft drinks; their risk of obesity was even higher” [than that of those drinking regular soft drinks]. In fact, Fowler found that for each can of diet soft drink consumed per day, the risk of obesity went up by 41%.
Did I mention that the Mayor's proposal was, at best, amateur night? The Mayor may actually be driving people to less healthy beverage choices.

But, further, and here is where I have a problem  with all health regulations that supposedly are put in place for our "benefit". Scientific views and understanding are always evolving, what's viewed as unhealthy today, may well prove to be viewed differently down the road. For the non-god, scientifically clueless Mayor Bloomberg to step in and call for regulations in the middle of all this scientific evolution is absurd. David Friedman writes about past views of science on salts and fats that are now viewed differently.
The New York Times recently published an interesting op-ed on the subject of salt. Its thesis is, first, that we have been and are being told by a variety of authoritative sources that we ought to consume less salt, second, that there is not and never has been adequate scientific support for that claim, and third that there is now evidence suggesting that the official advice is not merely mistaken but dangerous, that reducing salt consumption to the recommended level might well be bad for one's health...A close parallel to the case of salt is the case of saturated fat. A few decades back, the official wisdom, promoted by more or less the same sorts of authorities that now tell us to eat less salt, was that saturated fat was bad for the heart and one should therefor switch from butter to margarine. Further research eventually led to the conclusion that, while saturated fat was somewhat bad for the heart, trans-fats were much worse—and the margarine we were being told to switch to was made from hydrogenated vegetable oil, hence replaced saturated fats with trans-fats. In that case, as best I can tell, the official advice was not merely wrong but lethally wrong, a fact which led to less skepticism about official truth than it should have...
In other words, the semi-scientific views of Bloomberg and his penchant for making his semi-scientific views on health into regulation would have been killing us off early, in droves, if he were Mayor just a few decades back and if he acted then on health regulations the way he is now (Indeed, Bloomberg was waging a war on salt as recently as just two years ago) .

I am no health scientist and therefore hold no strong opinion on 32 ounce sugary drinks, nor have I views on how scientists may change their views on such drinks in the future. But Mayor Bloomberg is not a health scientist either. His attempt at stifling such drinks is a mad ego trip, and a nutty one at that. Given that he is not banning diet sodas, he is likely driving some people to earlier deaths, by nudging them away from large sugary drinks to the possibly more dangerous diet drinks. The man is a killer.

Health choices should be left up to individuals, that Bloomberg has any special insight into health foods is simply not true based on an examination of his proposed regulation and current scientific understanding. He is one confused meddler. What's more, the proposed regulation ignores individual choice and the fact that some may opt for drinking large amounts of sugary drink rather than live a longer life sans-large sugary drink under a totalitarian Bloomberg regime.

I'm all for healthy living, but judging from the number of obese people walking around, their value scales are different. On simple libertarian principle, we should just leave them the hell alone, even if we got the science correct. That Bloomberg doesn't even have the science correct is even more scary, given that he is also ignoring the basic libertarian view that we should all be able to ingest anything we want, as long as we are not harming others.

Bloomberg is leaving one hell of a legacy as mayor. This one proposed regulation proves he is a killer of freedom and people. The man should be locked up in a cage next to Son of Sam.


  1. What amazes me in this life is these idiotic and intrusive policy measures are even discussed at all. They are given credence by the mainstream media-- the cheerleader, and junior arm to federal government. Bloomberg could continue to help society prosper as a private businessman in his voluntary dealings, yet like so many men in that long gray line of American "manhood," he has chosen to enter politics to further loot and enslave. As Aaron Russo said, this is not all about money. This is about the elite's vision of how they want the world to be: one giant pyramid of poor, dumb, and defenseless people who obey, while their dynasties rule forever.

  2. Bloomberg must be God for he can land on a heliport on Saturday despite a court ban to do so.

    Land of the where laws apply to just the poor.

  3. This is not the most principled argument, but I just pointed out that these types of edicts have no real
    solvency to what they're trying to accomplish. Fine. You lower the drink size to certain oz max. A lot of people have already pointed out that you can just buy multiple drinks. But also, what's the impact of marginal soda intake? 4 oz? 8oz? That amounts to maybe 100 calories. Is that marginal 100 calories going to lower obesity in NY or over large segment of the population over time? The answer is probably not. It's de minimus. It's more cass sundestein thinking. It's the government making these small behavior changes that really amount to nothing.

    What they are is the gateway to real totalitarianism. You regulate soda sizes by just a little bit, then you ban mayo on sandwiches. Then the number of ketchup packs handed out. Then ban cooking sprays. Then a whole group of jerks will say you need to exercise more so no more sitting at work for more than 5 hours a day. It really doesn't end. But it's a method of creating consent to totalitarianism by taking away small freedoms.

    The argument that really needs to get attacked is that you feel the need to regulate someone behavior because the "costs" are socialized on to everyone. This is the base justification for regulating other people's health decisions. The fact of the matter is: costs have nothing to do with prices. But since the government regulates the health care market, it does cost these programs more because you're subsidizing the unhealthy behaviors. Regulating peopke's behavior is an outgrowth of the government subsidizing their health care.

  4. You have to love this quote from the article:

    "Farley and Bloomberg say the government isn’t limiting choices, merely attempting to influence them in the name of public health".

    It must take years of practice to say something like that with a straight face when you're obviously limiting choices for consumers who want drinks in containers over 16 oz.

  5. "So I can carry up to 25 grams of marijuana but I can't have a large drink to wash it down?"

    "I can go over eat anywhere I would like, but I can't wash it down?"

    "No more big drink? I guess I'll have to switch to 40oz malt liquor... and cigarettes..."

    "I guess we'll sell more 'sodas'..."

  6. LOL diet Pop will make your eyes buldge out, scatter your thoughts, ruin your memory, give you headaches, give you cronic illnesses, and eventually kill ya...if you drink it regularlly that is. When you drink or eat something (or chew as in gum) that is 'sugar free' yet made with the same ingredient as rat poisen...of course it is going to kill ya. Aspartame, it's what's for lunch and dinner, soon to be for breakfest. I am afraid they are trying to starve me to death. Fat free everything, sugar free everything, 0 carbs this, zero fat that, I HAVE A FAST MATABOLISM, I NEED TO EAT REAL HEARTY FOOD. I'm not your lab rat Dr Atkins!