The Discussion

I love this for public health reasons, public information reasons and well, it’s just ballsy. The big news in the public health world last week made the front page thanks to New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Banning extra large sodas.

I’m a public health guy, but I agree with all of the folks who say that it’ll never happen (that’s just the soda industry story, the talking heads are almost completely opposed). It’ll never happen. As much as I think it’d be a good idea.

But. (There’s always a but.)

Tell me you EVER thought we’d be having a discussion about banning soda. Ever. But we are now.

And that’s our lesson today. Sometimes you will fail. You will take a chance on a story, an angle, and it’ll fail. (And maybe you know that it will fail.) So long as you’ve been proactive and, well, ballsy, in your messaging, you’ve got a chance to set the discussion, to set the parameters for the media interest.

Maybe you can have that discussion your agency has always wanted to have…

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2 thoughts on “The Discussion

  1. Jim, rarely do I find myself disagreeing with you. But when you said you think banning large sodas is a good idea I have to raise a red flag. I rarely drink sodas and think those big gulps are about the stupidest thing in the world. The amount of sugar in even an 8 or 12 oz drink is astounding, and the obesity epidemic is deeply troublesome. But to get to the point that we control people’s health through government laws and regulations scares the dickens out of me. I don’t like the nanny state idea at all. Food, as I’ve said on my blog, is the coming big battlefield. I’m all for full disclosure, transparency, improved health education and even some forms of taxation related to unhealthy products–but to make laws that determine what people eat takes us down a path that I don’t think anyone wants. One person I know deeply believes that most people are too dumb to make their own decisions (and food choices give plenty of evidence) that the government has to tell them what to eat, how much and when. I find that deeply frightening.

    1. I appreciate your point of view, Gerald, and don’t completely disagree. I know that my views aren’t completely formed, and know that I completely echo your stance on some of the popular conservative incursions onto people’s freedoms.

      I made sure to qualify my post with my complete confidence that this will NEVER happen, and if it did, I imagine I’d react as violently as you. (Like I said, not fully formed.)

      I truly do think that this is an effort to move the discussion far to the left which, as you know, is a classic Frank Luntz/Rush Limbaugh tactic. Outrageous points shift the frame of the general discussion, and have been used successfully in political circles. To see them used not only from the liberal side of things, but public health specifically, is a huge change.

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