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Bloomberg Vs. Halloran: Who's Right?

The soda ban has become a contentious issue in New York City. Whose side are you on?

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.

Lola July 12, 2012 at 06:02 PM
With smoking it can legitimately harm another person, obesity obviously does not cause second hand harm....until you look at annual health care costs to the American public as a result. There are many unintended consequences of our personal choices. I'm ok with Bloomberg's battle.
Grace July 12, 2012 at 06:57 PM
It's NOT just about soda. The Constitution does not state that "we the people" are to be subjugated by blomberg or any other government official's directive concerning what we consume. And too, at what point, does bloomberg or governmental power stop? Well, they can now force us to pay for health care that they will also decide if we even get...and they can force us to buy certain kinds of light bulbs...and they can come into our homes without a warrant and detain us indefinitely without due process, a trial or conviction. They can assault us with no provocation at airports and on trains via TSA agents. They can elect not to protect our borders and allow illegals to enjoy the goods, services, jobs, health care and education provided to them via the taxes of hard-working legal citizens of America. They can use our tax dollars without our consent to support terrorist groups around the world. All freedom is important! Enough is enough, a society that allows their freedoms to be dismantled one by one will wake up one day and find they are no longer free. Back off, bloomberg.
Diann Negri July 13, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I drink Diet soda, so personally, if you want the sugar its up to you! I have been drinking Diet soda since it was in a glass bottle called "No Cal" it was horrible tasing stuff, if any one remembers it? My kids grew up on Diet soda, they have all their teeth and not Obese! So it does help by keeping the sugar away, but then again its up to each one who wants sugar and who dosent! But its not up to the Mayor to tell us what we can and can not Drink!
Marie LaCoste July 15, 2012 at 04:34 AM
I just don't think that banning 16 oz cans of soda will reduce the obesity epidemic. if we have to purchase two sodas, we will still consume as much as we want to drink. The real issue is that citizens are being forced to pay more to drink two sodas instead of one. That's not fair.
Robin Amy B July 15, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Over 18? Drink what you want. Eat what you want, Marry who you want!
Rhea Gray July 16, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Although Bloomberg's wrong, I just paid $5 for a kid to have a "small" soda at the Regal Cinemas at Atlas Park. Sign my petition at Change.org for theaters to stop selling ridiculously huge portion sizes for candy and soda -- nobody wants to drink 32 ounces and nobody wants to pay for it. http://www.change.org/petitions/movie-theatre-owners-and-the-national-association-of-theatre-owners-nato-stop-limiting-drink-sizes-to-laughable-and-even-more-laughable#
Michelle July 27, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Lets take a different look at it. I walk into a store to buy a soda and drink that 16oz bottle with dinner. Never looking at the label that says that is 2 - 2 1/2 servings, doubling the calories listed. Lets have that information larger on the front of the bottle so you see it when you go to buy. Education is more powerful than bans.
Michelle July 27, 2012 at 03:31 PM
and, the cups of soda you get at the movies or 7-11 don't even say how many servings are in them. That is the first thing that needs to be changed.

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