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Posted at 02:49 PM ET, 05/31/2012

Mayor Bloomberg, giant soda and the food wars


This soda is cartoonishly large, just the way I like it. (Matt Rourke - AP)
The unthinkable is about to happen. In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg is proposing a ban on giant, sugary drinks. More than 16 ounces? With sugar? Fuhgeddaboutit!

In supporting the ban, City Hall officials cited a study from 2006 that said sugary drinks led to all kinds of horrible effects — obesity and diabetes and heart disease. But who trusts these studies? I have never seen any studies pointing out the 100 percent correlation rate between breathing and dying. It’s remarkable. Breathe even once, and you are bound to die. It’s a filthy habit but hard to break.

My point is, most studies are a lie.

The Post’s Sarah Kliff points out that smaller portion size is one of the few things actually proven to reduce how much we eat.

I’m sorry, but this is America. Things are bigger here. Debt. Plates. People.

Kliff notes a study which found that “the average fast-food soda is now six seven times as large as it was in the 1950s. Bagels are about twice as large as they were in the 1970s; muffins, meanwhile, have grown threefold.”

Some people see this as a portion size problem. I disagree. Clearly, we have a race of mutant superfoods, and we need to eat them as quickly as possible to stop them from spawning. The muffins are ballooning. The bagels are mushrooming. I don’t even want to know what the mushrooms are doing.

These are dangerous times.

If you have never awakened to find a muffin the size of your house creeping up on you from behind with a sinister rumble, that is only because of the tireless efforts of people like me who eat muffins double the size of our faces all day long. If we left those in the glass case overnight, we all know what would happen.

And Mayor Bloomberg wants us to get out of practice. When all America is conquered by a blancmange the size of the Midwest, I hope he feels due guilt.

“In the 1950s, everything came in tiny portions, and no one had any complaints,” everyone says. What a sad state of affairs that was. Look at a plate from that era: You can barely load it with three peas and a woman’s salary.

Besides, as the child of boomers, I say something that I think most children of boomers will agree with: I am sick of hearing about how great the 1950s were. It is enough that we have to listen to the doleful yelps of Bing Crosby every time Christmas rolls around. I understand that everyone trusted everyone else, the fences were white and picket and everyone bicycled and did calisthenics and visited the soda fountain for a good time. But I like our era where everyone sits on overstuffed sofas staring at oversized screens overstuffing ourselves with chips. We’re larger. So? In the average course of life, we so seldom get to see Jupiter transiting. But now all you have to do is find a place where a great number of tourists are crossing the street and it approximates the experience.

In America, food has divided the nation into two camps of people unhealthily obsessed. Bigger! say some. They frequent the Heart Attack Grill, even though people keep being wheeled away from it on gurneys. Perhaps because people keep being wheeled away on gurneys. Heap high the potatoes! Give me enough ham to choke a yak! It’s my right as an American.

On the other side are the people who go around demanding to know where the chicken come from, and whether it were contented and if the kale is really as organic as you say. They spend hundreds of dollars on enough food to make a gnat a light between-meals snack. But they make up in the number of instagram photos of dinner what they lack in bulk. “Here are 360 views of the lettuce I served,” they post on Facebook. They have a lean and hungry look about them. They are lining up right now for copies of Michelle Obama’s book “American Grown.” They express food patriotism by refusing to eat anything grown more than eight miles away.

But most of us are somewhere in the middle. And the soda ban hits us where we hurt.

Does Mayor Bloomberg really want to deny millions of Americans the opportunity to go up to a movie counter and request a small drink, only to be told, “Well, for an additional nickel, I can give you one eight times the size of your apartment!” Then again this is not saying much. One of my friends in New York City for some time lived in an actual teaspoon.

Bigger is better! Buy it in bulk and you’ll save! It’s in the bill of rights somewhere!

Give me a ten-gallon hat and a ten-gallon soda to match. Onward! Outward! Bigger and bigger!

Everything but the life expectancy.

By  |  02:49 PM ET, 05/31/2012

Tags:  soda

 
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