It wasn't at all shocking to hear yesterday morning that New York Mayor Bloomberg's campaign to ban giant-sized (32-ounce) servings of soft drinks was halted in court.
Well, maybe a little bit surprising -- the judge ruled the new law didn't treat all parties equally, so the shock was to learn that the city had not sought to ban the oversized portions in all types of stores, or to ban large sizes of all caloric drinks.
The question of whether it's legal to try to regulate the size of portions at all has been left unanswered. Personally, I think Bloomberg's effort can't stand up to a challenge on that issue. It may be a health concern, as the Mayor claims, but to what lengths can we go to try to save people from their own bad judgment? And can't they just buy a larger number of smaller drinks and get around the law that way?
I'm not much of a soft-drink consumer. Maybe one or two a year. But I have noticed, when I go to a fast-food place, or a movie, that there typically is no drink small enough for me. In many such places, 16 ounces is "small." I might suggest to the Mayor that both health and freedom of choice would be better served if he proposed to require all places serving cold drinks in cups to offer an 8-ounce size so that those who want less, for health or other reasons, have a choice. Let the people decide if they want to be chubby or not.