Jacob Sullum spells out the absurdity of Bloomberg's latest paternalism:
Defending his proposal to fight obesity by restricting soft drink sizes [to 16 ounces and below], New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says, "I think that's what the public wants the mayor to do." If the public wanted it, of course, there would be no need for the government to require it. … Bloomberg also plans to exempt fruit juices, which typically have more calories per ounce than sugar-sweetened soda, and milk-based drinks. So while New Yorkers won't be allowed to order 20 ounces of Coke (240 calories), they will still be able to get a 20-ounce Starbucks whole-milk latte (290 calories) or even a 24-ounce Double Chocolaty Frappuccino (520 calories), not to mention a 20-ounce milkshake (about 800 calories).
Fred Schwarz furrows his brow as well:
After spending 30-odd summers in New York City, I can confidently assert that it won’t work. Most food carts stock sodas in 12-ounce cans and 20-ounce bottles, and on any reasonably warm and sticky day, a can won’t make a dent in your thirst, while a bottle is barely adequate. So if you can’t buy a 20-ounce container from the vendor, and there’s no bodega handy, you’ll buy two cans and end up drinking 24 ounces of death-dealing Dr Pepper instead of 20. Take that, health police!
Sarah Kliff, on the other hand, presents evidence that supports the left-liberal line on portion control.