Staff Editorial 3/21: Don’t tread on our sugary sodas

Obesity in America is rising at a higher rate than in any other country in the world. Some adults, and children alike, don’t take care of their physical health as they should.

Not exercising regularly and eating poorly are the two main reasons for being overweight, or obese. 

It doesn’t help that fast food restaurants are conveniently located in every one of the 50 states. In South Florida, these fast food chains are found on every major avenue. Occasionally there is a McDonald’s, Burger King, Checkers and Taco Bell in the same shopping center. If not, they are within a one-mile radius.

Recently, Michael Bloomberg, governor of New York, mandated a soda ban. Although his ban was overturned earlier last week by a New York state judge, it aimed to restrict the sale of large sugary drinks at local movie theaters, restaurants and street stands.

As a society, being obese is not something we should work to become. However, no level of government should have the authority to dictate what we can and cannot consume.

Being obese is a health issue that needs to be addressed by the individual suffering from the condition, not by governmental authorities.

It is our right as citizens to be able to choose what to eat freely, without limitations. At the end of the day, a regulation will not stop people from finding a way to consume soda or any other unhealthy food. As long as fast food is around, soda will be, too.

Although the government cannot limit our right to choose what to eat or drink, there are other ways they can help. For example, some cities require calorie counts to be included in menus at restaurants. In Miami, food chains such as Subway, McDonald’s and Panera Bread already have this measure in place.

Adding calorie counts to menus educates people who are choosing what they want to eat. Although it doesn’t limit their options, it allows them to make educated decisions. In many cases, people may still choose to eat the meal with more calories, but at least they will know what they’re putting into their bodies.

Knowing exactly what you are eating or drinking is a benefit, even if it is overlooked. But don’t take away our freedom to choose. Some people want to go for the big gulp.


Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.