In an op-ed in the New York Daily News on Friday, Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at NYU, has attempted to turn the debate about Bloomberg’s sugary-drink ban on its head. The supporters of the ban, she claims, are the true champions of liberty. Her piece is entitled “Liberty from big soda.”
She writes, “So-called ‘nanny-state’ measures — like bans on driving while drunk, smoking in public places and, now, selling absurdly large sugary drinks — help to level the playing field. Such measures are about giving everyone an equal opportunity to live a safer and healthier life.”
In other words, humans — or at least Americans — are incapable of living healthy lives without the Leviathan there to hold our hands; we are, after all, victims of soda companies’ manipulative marketing strategies, devoid of free will. The comparison with public smoking or drunk driving is self-evidently ridiculous, as soda drinking doesn’t endanger others’ health.
I, for one, almost never drink soda, despite having seen my fair share of Sprite commercials. I did have a ginger ale on Thanksgiving. Surprisingly, I didn’t end up hurting anyone. Imagine that.