Ban on supersize soda: are we putting too much emphasis on soda, not portion size in general?
This is an interesting situation for me. It is clear that there are many reasons why the US has porked up over the last few decades and given the long-term (and high!) cost to society for being such blubber butts, I feel that there is a real place for government intervention. I am not sure, though, that politicians proposing random bans on things (remember the earlier ban on certain types of fats?) will have any benefit. It sends naive messages that small changes in isolation can have dramatic impacts and totally fails to address the system nature that has arisen over the years that has got us wedged into this situation today.
I support the idea that external-to-the-market forces (meaning government regulation) need to be brought to bear (the next post discusses this in greater detail) for the greatest good of society, but I think that the random and clearly politically motivated legislation is counter productive. There should be some sort of tax that makes it more expensive to engage in sub-optimal behavior (taxes on tobacco and alcohol are perfect examples), but also (as detailed in the next post) a restriction on advertising the products involved in the sub-optimal behavior. A delicate line to walk, for sure, and one impossible for politicians. We need an a-political public health board that can be kept immune from industry influence (hah! what a dreamer I am!) that can make binding decisions that are automatically implemented.
While I am fantasizing, I also want to win the lotto…