WTF! That’s the only reaction I can have when I read about people complaining or even questioning, New York Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on the sale of large sugary sodas (see article in WSJ).
Bloomberg ROCKS for tackling the obesity problem. As we all know, obesity doesn’t just affect those who experience it first hand (and there are many) but impacts EVERYONE in our country.
So why do people have to give Bloomberg a hard time? Those against his proposal believe it won’t change anything — it won’t get at the “root of the problem.” Fair enough. Obesity isn’t caused by sugary sodas, or even the access to all fatty foods, alone. There’s genetics, lifestyle and emotional health at play too.
BUT, limiting our access still helps a lot!
First, it works! Look what happened with the cigarette ban a few years ago. New Yorkers were up in arms about it. Years later we’re all happier, healthier and cleaner for it.
Second, it opens our eyes brighter. Sure we know eating too much crap isn’t good for us. But we all do it. But when a strong message is communicated about junk food, it reminds us not to buy this, and maybe other related shit. And the less we see of this stuff on the shelves, the less we want it Ever heard of out of sight out of mind?
Third, to make huge systemic changes, we, human beings, need to go step by step. The Heath brothers’ book, Switch, delves into this notion. If you want people to switch behavior, you have set a vision for the final outcome of course, but then you must give them tangible steps to take. And you must find ways to make every step EASY to follow through, e.g. taking sugary soda off the shelves!
Finally, Bloomberg is sending a signal to the community of New Yorkers. He’s saying I care about your health and so should you.
Being beautiful is about being healthy. Let’s stop giving folks like Bloomberg a hard time for helping us all be happier, healthier and more beautiful. Go for it Bloomberg!