Just watched a segment on “The Source” discussing the brilliance of the Bloomberg Big Gulp ban idea.
Learned a few interesting facts:
- Sugary drinks represent only 2.5% of our caloric intake
- Soft drink consumption is down 30% from its high
- The ban is selective, it won’t apply to every seller.
It will obviously not apply to retailers selling bottled drinks. It will not apply to portions smaller than 16 oz. Nobody will be prevented from buying soft drinks, nobody will be prevented from buying several. We will be able to buy 2x 16 oz. drinks, just not one 17 oz. So how much decrease in consumption can we realistically project and how much of a beneficial effect will that produce? 2.5% x 10% that is sold over the counter x 10% of the volume that is over-sized suggesting that the volume consumed will go down maybe a percent or two – let’s be generous saying 10% meaning that the overall calorie intake of New Yorkers will go down 0.025% That is an effect that is immeasurable.
Let me go over the idiocy again before I ask the questions
- Attack an imaginary problem that is already on an improving trend
- Something that contributes to only 2.5% of the overall problem with an attack surface that is at least two order of magnitude smaller.
- Make the rules selective to make them meaningless
- Make it practically unenforceable
- Grab lots of political power and possibly money in the process (through taxes and fines plus through selective dispensation of exemptions)
Now what does this remind me of…………
Plastic bag bans? Also ridiculously stupid, symbolic and ineffectual, representing a small fraction of the non-existent problem…..
Naaah…. There are similarities, the ineffectuality is very close, but there is something else that this reminds me of….
What is that substance …….. 0.038% of the overall volume of which maybe 5% is what we can theoretically and maybe 5% of that 5% that we can practically control………. What the hell is it??
I GOT IT! CO2!
The very thing that is in the soft drinks as well!!
Maybe Bloomberg should have approached this from the Global Warming angle. Not only shall we tackle obesity, but also save the planet by allowing that much less CO2 to escape to the atmosphere from the oversized soft drinks!
But seriously. What makes this idea so pathetically stupid is its chance of making any difference whatsoever. A probability that is comparable to the proportion of the practically controllable part of human C02 emissions in the planet’s atmosphere! That would be 0.00032%.
Calculations based on numbers found here.
The idea that this ban will make any difference to obesity is so colossally stupid that I refuse to believe that even New Yorkers can be that stupid. I believe that contrary to all evidence suggesting otherwise. They elected Bloomberg and they are reading the New York Times.
I believe this is a test. Testing our intelligence, patience and tolerance. Bloomberg wants to find out how far he can push New Yorkers. I have three theories:
- This is just an intelligence test. If he can get away with it, he’ll try something more sinister.
- This is a cash-grab of some sort – fees, fines, donations from those exempted and from the industry which makes more profit on the smaller size drinks.
- It is a power-grab. A bold step toward ever more government control.
You tell me what the answer is:
(and do not forget to share the question)
Also, do not take the numbers too seriously. They are not scientific, but I would stand by the overall magnitude.