Mayor Bloomberg is right: impose a limit on sugary drinks

cheftimothy@cheftimothymoore.com | 6/7/2012, 1:05 p.m.

Sometimes drastic measures have to be imposed to make people see the errors of their ways. Soon, they'll be able to see the change if they take seriously the mayor's advice to cut down their sugar intake. As with anything, there is always opposition, even if change is going to benefit someone's health.

Change sometimes comes with a price. Those individuals who voice anger because Bloomberg wants to impose a 16-ounce limit on sugar drinks aren't seeing the big picture. I get the picture, and I get the point that the mayor is trying to reduce dramatically the rapid rise in obesity rates and subsequently save lives.

The issue to some people is that Bloomberg is sticking his nose into something that does not involve him. I beg to differ. Some people just don't like to be told what to do – even if it saves their lives. The mayor, in my opinion, understands the gravity of the obesity problem and is trying to make a difference before the problem spirals out of control.

In past columns, I've talked about the dangers of over-indulging in sweet treats, which include bottled drinks and fountain sodas. The 16-ounce limit the mayor has imposed is a start to losing the weight, considering that most beverages are loaded with sugar.

Just imagine for a moment what would happen if there were no concerned activists, government monitors or watchdogs such as Bloomberg standing in the gap for us. I'm sorely afraid that if the food supply isn't monitored or regulated, we would be shocked if we discover that inferior foods – or the ones deemed unhealthy – are being packaged for human consumption.

I find it surprising even today how foods are labeled. If you read the ingredients and decide to Google those "big" words, you'd be surprised to learn that you're eating something totally different that did not give you a clear understanding on the label. In March, for example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that "pink slime," a beef-based food additive or inexpensive filler, is being added to ground beef and other beef-based processed meats.

There are so many food items that are labeled safe for human consumption – even those with an over abundance of sugar in them. When I look at the world's obesity problem, I wonder why are people so determined to eat their way to the grave. Mayor Bloomberg's ban on sugary drinks is a health-conscious move on his part to help save their lives.

When a smoking ban was put into place to prohibit smoking in public places, there was uproar, and the opposition was indignant. Countless people, for the most part, have been better off for it because they don't have to breath dangerous second-hand smoke.

In a recent study, Robert Lustig, MD, a UCSF pediatric neuroendocrinologist, calls sugar a deadly toxic poison and notes that that sugar is no better than fat. Sugar, in essence, is a new kind of legal drug. It can cause severe health issues and it's very addictive.