Are Large Sugary Drinks Food?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 8 2012 @ 10:53am

Mark Bittman issues a ringing endorsement of the soda ban: 

They are not food. Added sugar, as will be obvious when we look back in 20 or 50 years, is the tobacco of the 21st century. (The time frame will depend on how many decent public health officials we manage to put in office, and how hard we’re willing to fight Big Food.) And if you believe that limiting our "right" to purchase soda is a slippery slope, one that will lead to defining which foods are nutritious and which aren’t — and which ones government funds should be used to subsidize and which they shouldn’t — you’re right. It’s the beginning of better public health policy, policy that is good for the health of our citizenry.

Shani Hilton doubts the ban will change much:

Obviously what should be happening here is a federal move to end sugar subsidies. If Bittman wants to argue against added sugar in food—which he does effectively—then it's silly to neglect the point that sugar is cheap because the government makes it cheap. Make it expensive and people will consume less.

Earlier Dish on Bloomberg's misguided paternalism here, here, here, and here