Why I Don't Support the Soda Ban

Photo: Nomadic Lass .

I wasn’t allowed to drink a lot of soda when a child (though I do remember gleefully enjoying it at Taco Bell, our favorite fast-food restaurant back in the day). When I was in high school, I became more aware that food affected how I felt, and soda was one of the things that made me feel “off.” I never developed much of a taste for soda, and didn’t really like it all that much, so dropping it completely wasn’t a big deal.

Fast forward to my own motherhood journey, and we haven’t seen much of a need to introduce it to our little family. Because what every child and adult needs is a highly sweetened beverage, right? I don’t think so. A high school friend lost a significant amount of weight once he dropped the huge cup(s) of soda he consumed on a regular basis.

So you can understand why I am not a huge fan of soda.

But I don’t agree with the ban on single servings of soda over 16 ounces that was supposed to take place recently, but then was ruled “illegal.” The battle over soda continues, and it will be interesting to see what happens in New York.

Here is where I am. I don’t support the soda ban despite my personal decision to avoid all soda. Why would someone who would encourage any friend to drop the soda habit completely (let alone drink the mega cups of soda), not support such a “health promoting” law?

I just don’t think the government’s job is to step in and decide how much sugar we should consume. It’s that simple for me.

Now, I know this is a complex issue. Most Americans don’t have a problem with safety measures being put in place to ensure that bad bacteria isn’t running rampant in restaurants or slaughterhouses. Most Americans don’t have a problem with health and safety measures being put in place at food factories and grocery stores. This is the government stepping into our food market and putting regulations in place.

And, I can almost feel like a hypocrite for feeling this way about the soda ban since I would support genetically modified foods being banned from growing in America in most, if not all cases. The difference for me is its ability to crossbreed and infect nearby crops (including organic ones) putting the integrity of all food grown here in question.

So, I know that this is a complex issue, and that it’s not as simple as “the government shouldn’t tell us what to sell or eat in America” since we all allow and support regulation to a certain degree.

But I have to wonder, if we give the government too much power in our food market, what decisions would they make in the future? Would they tax our butter and meat (as a traditional foodie, I believe that grass-fed, better-than-organic beef and butter can be part of a healthy diet)? What other decisions would they make in the future that were based on politics rather than the best interest of the people of America? These are the questions that loom large for me.

In the end, I’d rather have the right to buy a large cup of soda than lose other important rights in the food market.