MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: This is the law

Some odds and ends from the world around us, such as it is, which is apparently maybe more odd than we previously thought...

Some odds and ends from the world around us, such as it is, which is apparently maybe more odd than we previously thought, or maybe these are signs it’s actually nearing the end…..

….apparently the board of health in New York City is taking the war on obesity in America to the next level by banning sales of really big sodas and other sugary drinks. The new rule, proposed initially by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and approved by a board after months of study, will place a 475-millilitre limit (almost 17 ounces) on non-diet soda, sweetened teas and any other calorie-loaded drinks at eateries. It doesn’t apply, apparently, to supermarkets or the  majority of convenience stores.

Yikes.

Although I understand the reasons and appreciate the severity of the problem in America, and here for that matter although to a lesser degree I believe, it’s an odd approach from the land of the free.

Whenever government wants to impose its will on the marketplace and kids and parents, for their own good, it raises a few questions.

Like why?

Where are the parents?

How much is this do-good ‘experiment’ costing taxpayers and how will you ever measure results?

Wouldn’t going after excessive gaming and a sedentary lifestyle combined with lack of physical fitness be a better approach?

Can they have larger fries with a smaller pop instead or would that be worse?

Although I’m not necessarily a supporter of bigger drinks – because I’m cheap and  my kids never finished them and I know I could never finish one and my kids could never either so what’s the point – and even wondered at times why they had them, it never crossed my mind to make their availability against the law.

Now I know we can also go a long way in lowering our salt intake, I’m not so sure about energy drinks either, and my diet could use a makeover, not to mention my physical regimen.

But most of that, if not all,  should be on me. Certainly the taxpayers are potentially on the hook for everyone’s poor health choices but I think education and positive reinforcement is a better way to go than legislation.

Sometimes I do think these days of getting in an uproar about virtually everything, and demanding the government do something about it, lacks what we need most, common sense.

Moderation is the way to go. I think the money spent on this experimental program would have been better spent on a mentorship program or educational initiative, but, hey, we’ll see what happens.

I just hope there isn’t a rebel run on biggie drinks just because they’re now contraband. Now wouldn’t that be ironic…..

…..speaking of laws for our own good, is it just me or are there fewer and fewer cyclists wearing helmet these days?

And I’m not just talking about our kids here. Grown-ups and youngsters alike seem to have abandoned their lids for, I guess, the thrill of having the wind blowing through their hair.

Now I would say the serious cyclists mostly don helmets and that’s good because speed is a factor.

And, again, it is against the law to ride a bike without one, but that doesn’t seem to be helping and I can’t blame the authorities for trying to enforce it when it’s so rampant and, really, there are more serious things to address out there.

But it kind of helps make my point of making laws to protect people from themselves, it’s expensive and the results are often less than desirable.

So common sense, again, should rule the day. Sure they’re rarely fashionable and can give you helmet head all day but you really should wear one for safety sake, if not for the law. And even on short trips too, you know like riding to the store to get a medium-sized drink.

—Glenn Mitchell is the managing editor for The Morning Star