The issue with banning drinks

Recently, New York City has announced that it may ban large, sugary drinks, specifically those over 16 ounces, from being sold, in an effort to try to keep its citizens healthy.

It's utterly disturbing. It's economically and morally wrong. It's plainly not right. America has always been the land of the free - where companies can flourish and citizens can make their own informed decisions. Implementing a ban on such products will ultimately restrict both of those freedoms.


Image Courtesy of McDonald's
http://www.mcarkansas.com/26966/20992/default-page/

The Economy
Operating a business is already hard enough, and it's getting harder and harder each day in America. Piling on more restrictions on what businesses can or cannot do restricts their mobility and, in turn, devastates the economy. When Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald's or other successful American businesses have to stop selling drinks larger than a certain size, that's cutting off profits that they otherwise would have had. And, if they want to try to balance out the losses, prices on other products may rise, hurting American consumers in the long-term.

Imposing new regulations on businesses drives up the cost of doing business, and that's not something we want, especially during a economic recession that's still taking place today. 

But, more importantly, a ban of this sort is immoral, and something that is in complete contradiction with the morals this great country of freedom was founded upon.

The Morality
America was founded as a country where its citizens could make individual choices based on their own judgements, knowledge and morals. What and how much a specific citizen chooses to drink, and what he or she wants to do to the body falls under the list of individual choices and decisions, and is one that the government has no right to decide.

Furthermore, unlike alcohol, drinking too much sugary drinks only hurts the individual in the long-run, and will not cause the individual to act with poor judgement. America has always stood for tolerating other people's actions and opinions, as long as it does not hurt surrounding citizens. This is the same thing.

The government (along with scientists and the  mainstream media) has continuously warned about the dangers and risks of drinking drinks with an excess of sugar. That's the farthest the government should go and that has always been their role regarding how they protect citizens. Is the government going to start banning syrup, bacon, coffee and other "unhealthy" foods as well? Who's to decide what is unhealthy or not? Let individuals decide this for themselves based on the known facts and studies.

Finally, banning large, sugary drinks is "censorship" on a physical level. The government cannot and should not assume what those drinks are used for after being purchased. In this case, they are assuming that it will be used for consumption, individually. Maybe it will be split up between a family. Maybe between a few friends. Whatever the case, the government cannot assume anything. Even if it is for the individual, there are too many motives to just have a general ban on these products.


Beverage companies and restaurants already have an obligation to clearly display nutritional information on each and every packaging label. Calorie counts, sugar amounts and more are already made readily available for each consumer. From that point out, it's up to the consumer to judge whether it is right or wrong, good or bad, for them to purchase and consume. Just like how prohibition did not work in the 1900s, banning large and sugary drinks will not work either. But this time, there's a lot more moral issues involved that would threaten the freedom Americans have come to enjoy daily.