Fat Drunk and Stupid

As someone who grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s I have guzzled more than my fair share of soda. When I reached my 20’s, however, something strange happened. My body very clearly told me to stop drinking so much of the shit. And I listened. A few decades and about 60 lbs later I’m glad I paid attention. Unlike some of my friends and family members I still have a functioning pancreas, I can sit on a chair without breaking it and I can maintain an erection for more than 15 seconds.

Also, as someone whose politics fall left of center, I freely admit to being quick on the legislative trigger. You know, just pass a fucking law and fix the problem. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn’t. And the reason is simple: Laws don’t make you smart. My hat is off to New York mayor Michael Bloomberg who attempted to deal with his city’s obesity problem (as well as the related healthcare cost problem) by banning large, sugary drinks. But, you know, judges just can’t stand it when someone else goes around making decisions.

“A judge struck down New York’s limits on large sugary drinks on Monday, one day before they were to take effect, in a significant blow to one of the most ambitious and divisive initiatives of MayorMichael R. Bloomberg’s tenure.

In an unusually critical opinion, Justice Milton A. Tingling of State Supreme Court in Manhattan called the limits “arbitrary and capricious,” echoing the complaints of city business owners and consumers who had deemed the rules unworkable and unenforceable, with confusing loopholes and voluminous exemptions.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES

Normally, I find the complaints of business owners and consumers to be “arbitrary and capricious”. Seriously, talk about two groups of people who are never happy. Or fat enough. And Vladimir Putin will sing THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER naked at a NASCAR race before I ever find myself siding with a large corporation over anything. But, the truth is that I believe it’s a mistake to try and use executive power to force people to make better decisions. Sometimes, just sometimes, they do it all on their own.

“For more than two decades, soda was the No. 1 drink in the U.S. with per capita consumption peaking in 1998 at 54 gallons a year, according industry tracker Beverage Digest. Americans drank just 42 gallons a year of water at the time.

But over the years, as soda increasingly came under fire for fueling the nation’s rising obesity rates, water quietly rose to knock it off the top spot.

Americans now drink an average of 44 gallons of soda a year, a 17 percent drop from the peak in 1998. Over the same time, the average amount of water people drink has increased 38 percent to about 58 gallons a year. Bottled water has led that growth, with consumption nearly doubling to 21 gallons a year.” – ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pretty impressive, isn’t it? And all without a law being passed. Further, it’s impressive that this still happened despite the fast food and soft drink industries pouring millions into PR to try and counter the notion that their products are bad for you. I guess the joke is ultimately on them because thanks to their products and non-stop advertising most people have such short attention spans that corporate propaganda is useless on them. So, in a way, mental deficiencies are actually making people healthier. That’s probably why I’m in such good shape.



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