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Soda sorrows

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The Big Gulp. Arguably one of man’s greatest feats. I’d rank it right up there with curing polio.

The state of New York recently passed a ban on soda drinks larger than 16 ounces from restaurants, concession stands, and other food outlets. The idea behind the law is to help combat obesity and diabetes, two diseases considered growing epidemics within American society. Politically, New York parallels California, so if the law is upheld there, it’s safe to suggest that the Golden State would soon be reviewing similar legislature.

Perhaps I should be using this column to condemn “the Man” for infringing upon civilians’ rights to drink. Prohibition didn’t really pan out as planned, so why now carbonated syrup-water? But, dear reader, I say that I do not wish to bag on this act of legislature. A law as—let’s be honest here—stupid as banning any soda larger than 16 ounces just goes to show that we’re a lot dumber than we think we are. Everybody knows soda has zero nutritional value. Ever seen a tooth that’s been left to soak in cola for a few days? “No,” you say? Is that because you weren’t paying attention or because there wasn’t anything left to see since the ingredients in the drink literally disintegrated the tooth?

Yet America’s love affair with pop remains strong. We’re addicted. We order a salad for lunch and pair it with a diet soda. Discrepancy? Nope. Diet has zero carbs.

You’re right, reader: It’s not “fair” for Uncle Sam to say that you can only have 16 ounces or less of your favorite radioactive-orange-flavored beverage, but you don’t need it, and you know you don’t need it, so stop complaining. We’re so bad at taking care of ourselves that the government finally decided to do it for us.

The whole ordeal really brings to light just how unhealthy many people are, and how much they love to exercise ignorance over the matter. It’s not like there’s any lack of information on healthy eating. And this isn’t a communist country, people; Google is pretty non-restricted here. If you’re incapable of putting the appropriate foods into your body, then I think the powers that be should be able to tell you what to do. Your health—meaning your physiological state, your mental capacity, and your emotional well-being—is directly linked to your diet. And for the record, the word “diet” refers to the foods that you eat. You have a particular diet, whether it consists of Hot Pockets and Slim Jims or quinoa and spinach. That said, you can’t “go on a diet;” such a statement is illogical.

Here is the point: Your body is the greatest gift you will ever receive, and the most miraculous machine you will ever operate. If you don’t want to be told what to do, stop acting like you don’t know what you’re doing. Be responsible and eat right. For everybody’s sake.

Intern Ana Korgan compiled this week’s Bites. We want a bite! Send food news to bites@newtimesslo.com.

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