Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to regulate the portion size of sugar-sweetened drinks in New York is silly, unenforceable and possibly unconstitutional, but a new study further supports the reasoning behind his anti-soda campaign.
Researchers from the Word Health Organization say sugary beverages killed 184,000 people in 2010, including 25,000 in the U.S., because overconsumption of those drinks led to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Vulnerable and price-sensitive groups such as youth and low-income people might respond to a higher per-drink tax and the educational programs it could fund. A similar approach has worked with tobacco products. A more popular solution might be to eliminate sugary drinks from food-stamp eligibility. If governments, i.e., taxpayers, are ultimately responsible for the health care needs of the populace, they should be permitted to regulate risk factors.