I’m on the fatter side of society with my under-active metabolism and infrequent exercising and such. However, like anyone–anyone who isn’t lying, at least — I enjoy the occasional soda. Scratch that, I’m addicted. Give me a Cherry Coke or Dr. Pepper and life gets a bit brighter for the next couple of hours. That being said, I balance out my addiction — as I have since my teenage years — by striving to eat healthy, brushing my teeth frequently and ensuring that I do exercise at least some times. Those are choices I’ve made, and if I wanted to completely ignore health precautions, that would also be a choice I’d have a right to make.
Which leads to my source of outrage for today (thank God I have a Dr. Pepper within reach to calm me down.) A new report from the Nature scientific journal is suggesting legal bans on the purchase of soda by those under 17 years of age. The reason? They say sugar “kills,” because it “can trigger processes that lead to liver toxicity and a host of other chronic diseases.”
I don’t think anyone has ever argued that sugar is healthy, but like anything, moderation if key. I’m in no place to dispute the science, but I do recognize that there are more unhealthy substances in the world than most people would care to realize, and placing unnecessary legal restrictions on any one of them opens the door for all of the others.
Today the government forbids 16-year olds from purchasing a case of Pepsi. Tomorrow, McDonald’s shoppers will need bring a parental consent form and submit to an echocardiogram before getting the clean bill of health from Ronald McDoctor that a cheeseburger is acceptable (no word yet as to whether or not Nature’s proposed ban would apply to fast food chains as well.)
The healthiness of one’s beverages is not the place of the government, nor of a group of scientists. It’s up to the individual who has $2 to spend and wants a few minutes of sugary sweet bliss.