If you like Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to limit drink sizes in New York City, know that the rule has a lot of loopholes (Big Gulps, orange juice has no limit).
If you don't like Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to limit drink sizes in New York City, learn to love those exceptions.
"It's about doing something. I think that's what the public wants the mayor to do."
Something. This is something.
Let's not pass good laws or just laws. Let's pass laws.
The temptation is to address the excess calories and sweetness consumed through liquids. "Empty calories." But this proposed legislation addresses the issue in a half-assed way.
16 ounces is the limit at restaurants, movie theaters, street carts, and bodegas but not grocery stores or convenience stores. So if you can smuggle your Big Gulp into the movie theater, same as it ever was.
The legislation does separate out "sugary drinks" such as pre-sweetened ice teas, sports drinks, energy drinks and soda away from diet/near-diet soda, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, and dairy-based drinks.
If you order a large enough diet drink at a fast food restaurant (McDonald's, Burger King), would what prevent you from putting the cup underneath a full-sweetened soft drink? Maybe you know your server at a restaurant, and the server brings you a large "diet coke" when in reality you have a regular Coke. Same goes for a movie theater employee.
Will we have drink inspectors who will check to see if your large drink has artificial sweeteners?
Starbucks can serve you a [whatever they call large these days] drink if there is enough dairy in it. You can order a 24 oz. milkshake but not a 20 oz. soft drink.
Mayors do have a rough time. They can't exert much control, given federal and state standards. Until the handgun bans were overturned by the right-dominant Supreme Court, they were useful up to a point, since anyone with access to the suburbs could get around the law.
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley decided to ban foie gras (an even sillier idea) in Chicago a few years back. In the fine print, we found out you couldn't sell foie gras, but you could give it away. Hot Doug's did sell foie gras (bless their hearts) and got fined. Soon after, the ban was lifted.
You get the negativity of the Nanny State without the effectiveness of a good law. And that message is delivered only to those people who would follow the law only because they are not likely to be drinking 24 oz. of Mountain Dew from one cup.
Noble ideas can make for crappy laws unless you construct something that people can respect, even if they don't agree with it. The proposed NYC law has so many holes you could fit a Super Big Gulp through them.