Soda Ban Slammed: Won’t Help Obesity Problem, Restricts Freedom

“This Gives ‘Grasping at Straws’ a Whole New Meaning,” says National Center for Public Policy Research’s Jeff Stier

New York NY/Washington, DC – Mayor Bloomberg is at it again. Yesterday he announced he wants to ban sales of large servings of soda.

The National Center for Public Policy Research’s Jeff Stier, a New Yorker, says this is a really bad idea from a mayor who has lots of bad ideas about controlling how we live. “This gives ‘grasping at straws’ a whole new meaning,” says Stier, who runs the Risk Analysis Division at the National Center and lives in Manhattan.

Stier argues, “Banning large size sodas has no basis in science, limits freedom, and leads us away from facing the real problem of obesity in a serious, fact-based manner.”

Adds Stier, “Drinking too much soda is a bad idea. But the Mayor’s Nanny State approach will do little to curb the problem and will do plenty to alienate the very people we need to work with – not against- the people who consumer too many calories from a variety of sources.”

Cherylyn Harley LeBon, a spokesman for the National Center-sponsored black leadership group Project 21, adds: “Mayor Mike Bloomberg continues to lose his way down the ‘nanny state’ path. First, it was a ban on food containing too much salt, now he wants to ban ‘super sized sodas’ – all under the vein of fighting obesity. We all realize that we have a problem with obesity in this country, but imposing bans in an effort to control behavior – I would argue – is not the appropriate path to take.”

LeBon continues, “As a mom of two kids, I, too, am concerned with providing my kids with healthy, nutritious meals. But I also encourage more movement and physical activity and less time in front of the television and iPad. Why not encourage more physical education programs and after school enrichment activities in our schools and community-based organizations? Instead the plan has been to penalize the private sector and force change through punitive measures.”

Jeff Stier frequently writes on these issues (see here, here and here), is a regular guest on the nation’s top radio shows, and appears on leading cable news shows to discuss these topics, for example, recently on CNBC and CNN.

Cherylyn Harley LeBon is a former senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, a frequent guest on the FOX News Channel and national broadcast radio shows, and is a contributor to and Politicalistas.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters. In 2011 it received over 350,000 individual donations. Two percent of its revenue comes from corporate sources. Contributions to it are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.


The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.