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Nanny-State Authoritarianism of the Day

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Yes, Mayor Rich’s big soda ban is really dumb. Informing consumers about the content of products is a good thing, and I was willing to make an exception for the trans-fat ban because the health benefits were clear while the effect on consumer choice is negligible. But this kind of thing can bring out my inner libertarian. There’s also a clear class element here too; two glasses of red wine have more calories than a 24 oz. Coke, but I don’t think we’re going to see a “one and done” ban on wine service in Manhattan. (Although I probably shouldn’t be giving him any ideas…)

Update: [PC] “Per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks has declined for 11 straight years, according to data from Beverage Marketing Corporation. Per capita consumption of sugary soft drinks is 22 percent below its peak in 1998, according to the trade publication Beverage Digest and calculations by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.” April 2010

March 20 (Reuters) – U.S. carbonated soft drink consumption fell faster last year as strength in energy drinks failed to offset weakness in traditional sodas from Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc, according to a leading beverage industry newsletter.

Total sales volume of soda fell about 1 percent in 2011 to 9.27 billion cases, according to Beverage Digest, about the same level it was in 1996. Sales volume fell 0.5 percent in 2010. Excluding energy drinks such as Red Bull and Rockstar, soda volume was down 1.5 percent last year, Beverage Digest said.

“Carbonated soft drinks, while still the biggest category, are playing a declining role in Americans’ beverage consumption,” the newsletter said on Tuesday. [Per capita soda consumption in America is now at the lowest level it’s been in 25 years]

Here’s the most comprehensive meta-analysis yet of the relationship between sugary drink consumption and BMI in children and adolescents.
“Conclusion: The quantitative meta-analysis and qualitative review found that the association between [sugared beverage] consumption and BMI was near zero, based on the current body of scientific evidence.”

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