Mayor Bloomberg recently prohibited the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at movie theaters, food carts, and restaurants. Bloomberg has done this due to the rise in obesity. He believes that obesity has been a looming challenge for the nation as a whole, not just because of their health, but economically in paying for the treatments of diseases caused by obesity. Although these statements are true, I think the mayor is going a little too far.
Imagine a new movie just released in the theaters. Moe and his friends are going to the theater as we speak. They enter the concession stand, about to buy some popcorn to share. Moe is ready to choose his favorite soda, extra large. He orders it, and is all done by the time the movie over. Moe goes home, has a dinner of fried chicken, french fries, and another couple of Cokes. And some cake. And a cookie or two. And a bag of chips. Bloomberg is curious and interviews Jeff. Jeff is some guy that works at the movie theater. He recalls 15 large drinks have been bought in only the past hour. He distresses for humanity. So does Bloomberg.
The mayor then comes up with a plan. It’s simple, but he’s sure it will be the most effective. Ban large drinks all together! Forbid Moe to ever lay his eyes on a 16-ounce Coke again. He imagines Moe with his salad and glass of milk at home. Ordering the healthy options in restaurants!
Then imagine a new movie is just released. Moe and his friends are going to the theater as we speak. They enter the concession stand, about to buy some popcorn to share. Moe is ready to choose his favorite soda, extra large. Just as he asks, Jeff tells him Mayor Bloomberg banned all large sodas. Moe is really depressed, so he orders a medium Coke and five bags of Cheetos. He is all done by the time the movie is over. Moe goes home, has a dinner of a jumbo cheeseburger, french fries, and another couple of Cokes. And some cake. And a cookie or two. And a bag of chips. Angry Moe emails Jeff.
Bloomberg is left with a sudden outburst from the community. Americans around the world are outraged. The mayor wants to see if the ban helped in the movie theaters. He interviews Jeff. Jeff tells him that there were no sodas sold (obviously). The mayor is overjoyed! But then Jeff informs him that 25 medium cokes were sold. And there was a 20% increase of popcorn purchases. Bloomberg becomes extremely at loss.
Jeff then forwards the email from Moe to Bloomberg. It reads: “This is a ridiculous argument. Americans have the right to drink what they want. You should invest in bigger problems! Education and the homeless. If people want to be obese, that’s their problem and their choice. It’s not hurting anyone but us. This ban isn’t going to change anything at all.” Bloomberg opens the email and takes it into consideration. What if Bloomberg remembered how Americans’ diets were still unhealthy? That people were still making bad food choices? What if Bloomberg then realized one size of one category of drinks in one place isn’t going to save the diet of humanity? He needed a plan.
Imagine a new movie is released in theaters (again). Moe and his friends are going to the theater as we speak (again). They enter the concession stand, about to buy some popcorn to share. Moe is about to order a medium soda, and nachos, and his own personal bag of popcorn because he’s feeling antisocial due to the shock of the large soda being banned. Then, he saw a poster. It explained how much little choices can mean. It informed about health and the rising obesity of Americans. As Moe read, he decided to try to make a healthier choice. He looked up at the food options: Nachos, corn dogs, chips, large sodas, salad, veggie burger. Wait. Salad?! Veggie burgers?! Large sodas?! Moe ordered a large soda and a salad, saving himself tons of calories. He is finished when the movie is over. Moe goes home and has meatloaf and green beans. And one slice of cake.
Bloomberg is overjoyed, humanity has been changed, and… nothing has changed with Jeff.