MS Free Images

The proposed ban on large sodas in New York City inspired in me a wry smile. Certainly soda drinkers have already figured out they can simply purchase several small sodas, if they want. It will create more trash, though. And perhaps the retailers will profit because certainly it will cost more to purchase two small sodas than a single large one. One also has to wonder who will enforce this ban. Will officers neglect violent crimes in order to police drink sizes? Or will additional officers need to be hired, thereby costing the taxpayers more?

This reminds me of the proposed bans on bake sales. Remember those? Strangely, I know a few people who struggle with weight issues, and not a single one of them can trace their problem back to school bake sales.

Perhaps it's my independent spirit, but I like to be the one who determines my behavior, not a politician. Even if it's supposedly for my own good, I bristle at the idea of someone else (especially a politician) deciding my fate. Strictly for fun, I decided to have a go at this topic.


·       The obvious first answer is chairs. Sitting too much certainly contributes to obesity. Will we soon see a chair-burning event in the Big Apple? Restaurants, theatres, boardrooms, offices, homes, schools, coffee shops, and cafes forced to get rid of booths, stools, and chairs? Diners required to eat in a standing position? Waiting rooms with rows of comfortable ...standing slots? This ban might need to be expanded to include automobile seats. Vehicles will need to be designed to accommodate standing drivers. Even toilets would need to be reconfigured.

·       Plus sized clothing. This is obvious also. If there are no clothes made in larger sizes, people will have no choice but to slim down, or go around naked. Which is also banned. Already plus-sized persons have to pay more to get dressed. Even second-hand stores and thrift shops are now charging more for larger sizes, even though donated and used garments do not cost the retailer any more than their regular-sized counterparts. Fat people are being punished.

·       Movies and television must be banned, unless people can find a way to view them without being stationary. Unfortunately, the same is true of books. Except audio books. Those will be acceptable because they can be listened to while walking or exercising.

·       All foods with the exception of certain vegetables. Breadless celery and lettuce sandwiches, anyone? Yum.

·       Pregnancy. Yes, it causes weight gain. Sometimes the weight sticks around after the baby is born. Unfortunately, contraceptives have also been associated with weight gain. Catch 22 on this one. It's a dilemma: ban pregnancy or birth control? Hmmm. Tough one. Better ban both.

·       Marijuana. Indirectly, of course, via the famous side effect known as "munchies". Oops, my mistake; pot is already illegal. Well, good. That takes care of that.

·       Heredity. Researchers agree there may be a genetic factor involved in obesity. So therefore, a ban on heredity is called for.

·       Injuries. Long-term convalescence can contribute to weight gain due to lack of mobility. So injuries must be prohibited.

·       Medications. Certain medications can cause weight gain. To be on the safe side, perhaps all medicines should be banned. Just in case.

·       Cats and other inactive pets such as hamsters, iguanas, aquarium fish, caged birds, and any lazy animal. This would naturally extend to creatures that carry humans (for instance: horses, donkeys, etc.) since they deprive their riders of a chance to walk. Only active pets should be allowed (such as dogs) that require a daily walk or ones that will give their owners a lively chase (chickens on the loose, for instance).

·       Sleep regulations. Studies show that there is a possible link between amount of sleep and obesity. Guidelines will need to be established with regard to sleep. The government will decide how much sleep each person is allowed. This will surely be no more difficult to enforce than the soda ban.

·       Doughnuts. Oops again, my mistake. Guess doughnuts are okay.

Okay, I could go on, but I won't. While the negative spotlight is focused on bake sales, fatty foods, salt, and sugary drinks, it's amazing that factors like food additives (MSG in particular), genetically modified produce, and hormone-enhanced livestock get little attention.

My grandfather ate mouthwatering, delicious meals. My grandma was a good cook. They had loads of mashed potatoes, fried meats, homemade cakes and pies, biscuits and rolls slathered in butter, gallons of Royal Crown soda, ice cream, etc. And, while he grew stout in his old age, he was never fat. Of course, our food today is not our grandparents' food.

The point is: why pick on soda drinks? It's enough to make one suspect the motives behind bans and taxes that are instituted to control the behavior of a populace. It could be merely knee-jerk reactionary overkill. Or it could be something more sinister. It could be an excuse to grab a little more power. Or perhaps a politician somewhere will benefit financially.

As for me, it's time to joyfully consume a salty snack, chase it with a large glass of soda containing more than 16 ounces, followed by a scrumptious doughnut purchased at a bake sale. After that, I will savor a cigarette (on which I have paid ridiculously high taxes) while sitting comfortably in a lawn chair in my back yard. The point is: it's MY choice.