King Features Column
(Here's the disclaimer: The deal with the syndicator delays the appearance of this column here until a week after its newspaper release)
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FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012
BY BOB FRANKEN
All hell is breaking loose, particularly on the right, about New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s order to impose a ban on the sale of large sizes of sugary soft drinks. But count me among the many who wonder why the very same people who want the authorities deeply involved in prohibiting gay marriage or abortion also condemn any government efforts to combat obesity.
Never mind the overwhelming evidence of the threats to public health from what The Center for Science in the Public Interest calls “liquid candy,” Hizzoner is constantly vilified for his aggressive efforts to regulate the egregiously dangerous products we eat and drink. He’s condemned for infringing on our “personal choice.”
Actually, one could argue that his beverage limits are kinda namby-pamby. First of all, by aiming at soda pop, he’s overlooking the massive number of other products that contain the same toxin: sugar.
And yes, it is a toxin. Whether corn or cane or beet, refined sugar kills and maims as it bloats the guts of fat Americans everywhere. In Bloomberg’s New York, for instance, an estimated 50 percent of the population is overweight or outright obese. Half. No wonder the city can be so harsh.
Portion control is really a wimpy way to deal with such a dangerous poison, particularly one that is so shamelessly marketed to a flabby nation hobbled by this substance abuse. The “personal choice” protestations against any public-health programs sound eerily like the ones we used to hear about cigarettes.
That helps explain the full-page ad showing a huge picture of Mayor Bloomberg headlined in large bold type: “The Nanny.” Who paid for it? The group calls itself The Center for Consumer Freedom; it’s a nice-sounding name until we find out it was originally set up with money from a tobacco company, and that one of its funders these days is Coca-Cola. It’s comparable to one of those shell entities that are fronts to launder the money of bad guys.