Boston Mayor Thomas Menino KOs Soda, OKs Alcohol
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (Dem) has banned soda, sports drinks and sweetened ice teas from city property, according to a recent government press release.
“Citing a link between the consumption of sugary beverages and rising obesity rates and healthcare costs (no link provided to that study), Mayor Thomas M. Menino today issued an executive order requiring City departments to take steps in the next six months to phase out the sale, advertising, and promotion of sugary beverages on City-owned property.”
Course the mayor did reach an agreement with the Boston Red Sox that allows the team to sell mixed drinks at its ballpark.
“I want to create a civic environment that makes the healthier choice the easier choice in people’s lives, whether it’s schools, work sites, or other places in the community,” said Menino in the press release issued last week about the soda ban.
According to the release, city buildings and departments have a six-month grace period before they’ll be required to phase out the sale of beverages loaded with sugar, such as non-diet sodas, pre-sweetened ice teas, refrigerated coffee drinks, energy drinks, juice drinks with added sugar and sports drinks. The order allows for the sale of beverages such as diet sodas, diet iced teas, 100 percent juices, low-calorie sports drinks, low-sugar sweetened beverages, sweetened soy milk and flavored, sweetened milk. Beverages such as bottled water, flavored and unflavored seltzer water, low-fat milk, and unsweetened soy milk can continue to be sold.
Mayor Menino’s executive order sets science-based standards for what’s considered a healthy beverage (no link provided to these standards) and what can be sold or served on City property. The policy applies to cafeterias, vending machines, concession stands, and beverages served at meetings, City-run programs, and events where food is purchased with City dollars.
Let’s see, no french fries or cookies for New Yorkers and now no Coke for Boston workers. Since when did it become the government’s job to “make my choices easier”? I thought the most important single function of government was to secure the rights and freedoms of individual citizens? Apparently not when it comes to your personal choice to select your beverage.