Everyone knows that Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to cap soda servings at restaurants at 16 ounces was halted by the New York Supreme Court last week.
I have written numerous posts on the evils of soft drinks, both sugary and diet (chemical-laden). But, I think that people have to right to make up their own minds and if they want to drink these concoctions they should be able to despite the fact that the drinks are a major cause of the obesity problem plaguing this country.
So, clearly I have mixed feelings about it, I oppose the drinks but support the rights of individuals to drink them.
I was very disappointed to learn that other opposition to the ban resulted not from concern about individual rights, but from generous gifts by the soft drink industry, Coca-Cola.
The NAACP joined the opposition to the ban, despite the fact the the obesity rate for African-Americans in New York City is higher than the city average. The New York Times said that “minority neighborhoods would be among the key beneficiaries of a rule that would limit the sale of super-size, calorie-laden beverages.”
Coca-Cola donated $100,000 to the NAACP as recently as December. Ironically, it was for Project H.E.L.P., (Healthy Eating, Lifestyle Change and Physical Activity), a program dedicated to promoting active and healthy living.
The Hispanic Federation also lists Coke as a donor. In February 2012, its president, Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, left the nonprofit group to become director of Latin Affairs at Coke.
It seems really disappointing to see these minority groups taking gifts from the soft drink industry and then supporting the industry in a situation that is clearly harmful to their members.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest CSPI, the soda industry’s generosity includes groups representing doctors, dentists, dieticians, anti-hunger advocates and others.
Sad to see this money possibly standing in the way of the war on obesity.