Is Bloomberg being Honest About Obesity?

In a recent article on the NYC Soda Ban, Mayor Bloomberg stated:

“If we are serious about fighting obesity, we have to be honest about what causes it.” - NYC Mayor Bloomberg

I could not agree more. However, the question is: Is he being honest about it? He is using this assertion that sodas cause us to be obese to justify banning sodas over a certain size. But is that the truth? In a word, no.

Consider the government’s guidelines on what to eat. According to the U.S.D.A.‘s *Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, *we should be eating 45-65% of our daily intake as carbohydrates, or about 225-325 grams per day of sugars.

You see, all carbohydrates are sugar. Yes, that whole wheat bread right there is sugar. Two slices of it contain about as much sugar as a can of regular soda - and sometimes more. That whole wheat bread they tell you is good for you has the same effect on your body as the can of soda. But let us get back to the soda specifically.

A 12 ounce can is about 150 calories of carbs, and at roughly 4 calories per gram that means about 35 grams of sugar for your 12 ounces of soda. This is deemed ‘OK’ by Bloomberg.  In fact the law essentially says 16 ounces is fine as it is the limit. So, with basic math and some rounding let us say they seem to think 52 grams of sugar in the form of soda is just fine. But is that really what is going on?

If I tell you 16 ounces of soda has around 210 calories, or about 53 grams of sugar, how many are in a 32 ounce “Big Gulp”? If you said 510106, you are incorrect.

Here is where the lie is exposed. A 16 ounce soda cup has about 12 ounces of actual soda, and a 32 ounce cup about 22. Yes, the rest is filled by ice. So in essence the ban says that a 16 ounce soda cup from a fast food place (140 calories), is fine, but a 32 ounce (roughly 256 calories) is bad. Thus the asserted intention is to remove about 116 calories.

Yes, a mere 10 ounces of soda. In other words, the ban wants to force you to go from a “32 ounce drink” to a “16 ounce” drink for a net actual difference  of around 116 calories and that is going to stop NYC’s “Obesity problem”.

To make it worse, their own statements show the supporters who should know better either don’t understand the basics or are intentionally misleading the public:

Kids are gaining more weight from sugary beverages than food - Dr. Holly Lofton

So the 325 grams of sugars they tell you to eat every day has no effect but a 25 gram forced reduction in one “sugary drink” causes us to turn into blimps? No, it doesn’t add up. It doesn’t add up because it isn’t true.

The biological fact is we have no need for carbohydrates at all. So whether you give it 325 grams of something it doesn’t need, or 300 grams, you are still giving it a large amount of something it doesn’t need.

And last but not least, if you have the authority to ban a substance in a given amount, you thusly have the authority to ban any amount of it - which means banning it entirely. If a mandatory reduction of 7.6%  is good, why not 100%?

To be honest about “the cause of obesity” (as if there is only one)  means you need to know the truth behind the matter. If you don’t, you can’t be honest. Thus the question is, are Bloomberg and his supporters being intentionally dishonest, or honestly dishonest?

Bill Anderson avatar
About Bill Anderson
Just your frendly neighborhood curmudgeon!