Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Freedom is Not About the Size of a Sugar Sweetened Drink

Today, the Alliance was the lead signatory on an amicus (friend of the court) brief filed in the NY Appellate Division of the Supreme Court supporting the NYC Board of Health’s (BOH) public health rationale and authority to limit serving sizes of sugar sweetened beverages to 16 ounces in New York City food service establishments. The brief filing comes two weeks after a lower court ruled that the NYC BOH policy could not be implemented following a court challenge organized in part by the beverage industry.

While we were able to have many signatories to our Amicus Brief what was most interesting and challenging were all of those organizations that should have immediately signed on and who were silent.  If you are concerned about wellness and health promotion then you should be focused on those actions that support people be healthy.  

Instead what we found was that trigger words were thrown around to invoke a knee-jerk response but were often devoid of content.  The refrain that people's "freedoms" were being attacked seem not only misguided but made light of the very concept of freedom.  More than anything it is very sad to see the effect of financial pressure placed on organizations to make decisions that are contrary to their espoused mission.

It is a reminder that decisions based on integrity are priceless.