As the city heats up in July, you might think about grabbing some refreshment — just don't reach for a soda, because around here the stuff is starting to come to a boil.
Locally, City Councilman Dan Halloran and Mayor Michael Bloomberg find themselves on opposite sides of what has become the most contentious issue of the summer — . Bloomberg proposed a month ago to ban sugary drinks over 16 ounces in the city, and the firestorm of controversy that followed made the recent heat wave seem cool by comparison.
Halloran, a Republican, sees the issue as one of individual liberty over government intervention.
"Only you, not the government, should make decisions about you and your family's diets. And soda is not inherently bad for you," Halloran said . "Many responsible, healthy New Yorkers choose to consume soda in moderate amounts on certain occasions, such as at a movie or baseball game."
Bloomberg, an Independent who has identified as both a Democrat and a Republican in the past, has said repeatedly that his soda ban is a proactive response to the city's obesity epidemic.
"This is going to be worse than smoking ever was. Smoking deaths in NYC are now down to 7,000 a year, obesity related diseased are 6,000 and skyrocketing while the smoking ones are coming down," the mayor was quoted in a recent Gothamist article. "In NYC alone we're going to spend $4 billion dollars of your money to treat obesity related diseases."
So who's right? Is sacrificing large sodas in New York City worth it in the fight against obesity? Or does it encroach too much on an individual's right to choose for themselves?
Let us know what you think. Vote in our poll below and add your thoughts in the comments.