Americans value their freedoms perhaps more so than any other people on the planet, so it’s a very tough pill to swallow when someone like Mayor Bloomberg comes along and places a ban on large-sized sugar-filled drinks. Americans want their booze, their guns, their pot, and all the food and drink they can cram into their pie holes. But as science more accurately illustrates the dangers of high-sugar diets, more and more people are realizing that measures like those taken by Bloomberg are actually a necessity. Sugar can not only be bad for an individual; it can be deadly. This is why I think large sugary sodas should be banned and that Mayor Bloomberg was on to something.
Bloomberg’s goal wasn’t to place an outright ban on sodas in the stores, despite the hyperbolic straw-men of his opponents. He simply placed a ban on large-sized drinks, those sodas that were over 16 ounces. And despite the number of people who want to stomp their feet and complain, the mayor was on the right track.
Mayor Bloomberg Was On the Right Track
If America were the most alcoholic people in the nation, with even children succumbing to alcoholism and dying earlier, picking up a slew of health complications, etc, any politician worth his or her salt would seek to try Prohibition again in an instant. The fact that many Americans gloss over is that America is the fattest nation on earth. We have more instances of heart disease and diabetes. Our children are exceedingly fatter than any other nation’s children. In essence, it’s like our children are alcoholics, and it’s their parents filling them up with these sugary drinks.
Sugar in moderation is something that most can agree is okay. A little bit of soda isn’t going to hurt you. However, Americans have trouble with moderation. They need the McMansion; they need to super-size their fast-food value meal. Americans, particularly children, weren’t just drinking the 12-ounce can of soda; they were drinking the mega-cup 72-ounce from 7-11 and the liter bottle Big Slams from the store. This amount of sugar is not moderation. This amount of sugar can be incredibly dangerous, especially to children.
Sodas Should Be Banned
Mayor Bloomberg’s measure was first and foremost an attempt to curb childhood obesity. And how do you do that in a nation where despite the dangers, parents continue to shove this sugary junk down their children’s throats? Other than a ban on large-sized sodas, the only other option possible would have been a tax. And with a tax, poor people are hit the hardest. It wasn’t Bloomberg’s wish to smack poor people around; he just wanted large sodas to be banned. It was his wish for people to stop harming themselves by ingesting these obscenely large sodas.
We’re not talking about one man’s opinion here. That sugar is dangerous in large quantities, especially for children, is part of a very extensive body of scientific evidence. Just as vaccinations are mandatory for children, so too should it be mandatory that children not be able to ingest 40 ounces of concentrated sugar.
The Real Dangers of Sugar
If ever you doubt that sugar is extremely dangerous in large quantities, here are just a few of many different negative side effects of this substance. You have to understand that sugar is basically a new addition to our diets. Our bodies did not evolve with refined, processed sugars. The only sugar we received while evolving as a species was from fruit; and the only carbohydrates we received were from whole grains. Today’s influx of processed, refined sugars and other simple carbs wreak havoc on our bodies – bodies that cannot process these substances correctly. Sugar has inherent dangers, including but not limited to:
- The body has trouble breaking down sugar, and thus a person’s insulin levels—and the ability to create insulin—are thrown off kilter
- Simple sugars burn up very quickly, which causes excess calories to be stored instantly as fat; e.g. weight gain in consumers of sugar
- Sugar greatly increases one’s risk of diabetes
- High-sugar diets have been linked directly to heart disease and other heart-related issues
- A high-glycemic diet is one of the leading causes of acne
- Sugar actually increases one’s odds of developing depression
- In women, high blood sugar increases the chances of yeast infections
- Sugar can even increase your risks of getting certain types of cancer
As can plainly be seen, sugar is very dangerous. Now, if you’re an adult, you may be shouting, “But it’s my body and my right, and if I want sugar, I can have it!” And we really can’t argue with that. You’re a grown individual, an adult of sound mind. So, if you want sugar, go eat sugar! It’s stupid, and it will cause problems, but knock yourself out! But this isn’t about you; it’s about your children. It’s about childhood obesity. And for some mind boggling reason, parents continue to fill their children up on these sugary drinks. Even the worst diet ever, the Paleo Diet, bans sodas from it feast.
Until which point parents prove to be responsible in the raising of healthy children, there should be more Mayor Bloombergs out there willing to ban harmful substances like large sugar-filled drinks. Somebody has to protect the kids, and we make sure that large sugary sodas are banned from our eating establishments.