The latest attack on freedom that's getting virtually no publicity is a ban on free soda refills enacted in France.
Published in the government's Journal Officiel website on Thursday and in force since Friday, the ban applies to all soft drinks or soda "fountains" in areas open to the public, including restaurants, fast food-chains, schools and holiday camps.Despite the book promising, "French Women Don't Get Fat", France claims to be in the same obesity epidemic as the rest of the western world, and is responding by attacking sugar. The article in the Telegraph (UK) offers this cringe-inducing paragraph:
Out of bounds are unlimited "flavoured fizzy and non-fizzy drinks, concentrated drinks like fruit syrups, drinks based on water, milk, cereal, vegetables or fruit", but also "sports and energy drinks, fruit nectar, vegetable nectar and similar products".
A recent health study suggested that half of French adults are now overweight. However; only 15 are technically obese.(The cringe comes from the quote that only 15 French adults are technically obese; I'd be willing to bet that was supposed to read 15%. If there really are only 15 obese adults in France, the government should be flogged for enacting this rule; if it's really 15%, the author of the Telegraph article should be flogged.)
Let me be clear here: I think the French Health Minister is largely correct in assigning too much sugar as the likely root cause of "the spreading obesity problem". Not in the sense usually offered, that it provides "empty calories" that lead to weight gain, but that sugar messes with the body's hormonal systems, primarily insulin, and obesity is a metabolic disease caused by improper hormone responses. I notice that the ban includes fruit juices and other sources of "natural sugars" that are just as dangerous, as well as sports or energy drinks that are also high sugar, but the ban doesn't seem to specifically exclude artificially sweetened "diet soda". That makes much less sense to me.
Despite that, I completely disagree with the government's actions. I'm all about personal responsibility, and it should be peoples' choice to take advantage of more soda for free if it's offered. Like Bloomberg's New York City soda ban, the state never seems to think that people can simply buy another soda. The state never seems to think that people might drink less soda if they weren't forced to buy a certain size. The state never thinks that perhaps someone might feel like just a little more soda, perhaps they feel like they need another mouthful or two, but don't want and won't drink an entire next cup. The state never thinks.
This is the sort of thing that happens when a socialized health system is in place. People can't say, "but it's a bargain! I get more soda for the same price" because it suddenly becomes the state's business if the population gets fatter. Every Aspect of Everyone's Lives suddenly becomes state business. Line up in front of the monitors for your daily exercises. We're sorry to tell you, but you are not allowed to get your arthritic hip replaced because you're obese by our standards.
Glenn Beck's producer, Stu Burguiere, links the reduction of choice at the soda fountain to the FCC's "Net Neutrality" also denying benefits to consumers that businesses want to provide.
Net neutrality technically would ban what I think T-Mobile has done, which is give you free streaming of Hulu and Netflix and Amazon Video and all these things. A great benefit to the consumer.
However, net neutrality says, “Well, you’re not treating all companies equally when it comes to data, so you can’t do that.”
And the activists have fought to try to get that overturned, so far unsuccessfully.
But, I mean, these are benefits. These are making your life better. You’re getting more for your money, and yet government wants to come out and take these things away from you.
Final words to Stu Burguiere:
“They’ve taken something that a business has done to help their customer have a better experience, and because they think the customer is using it incorrectly . . . they're taking it away”Typical stupid, progressive, nanny-state government.