New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems to mean well. But his latest proposal to fight obesity - a ban on the sale of large servings of sugary drinks in the city's restaurants, delis and movie theaters - simply won't work.
Bloomberg suggests a 16-ounce limit on sugary drinks such as sodas sold by restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street vendors. It would apply to bottled drinks and fountain sodas.
Whether this would force New Yorkers to consume fewer ounces of sugar-laden beverages is doubtful. Most likely, the ban would result in more trash, as people buy multiple soft drinks.
Some people will continue to consume more calories than needed, despite the best intentions of public officials.
"The percentage of the population that is obese is skyrocketing," the mayor said Thursday. "We've got to do something."
The first part of that statement bears some truth, despite the hyperbole. It's the last part that is vexing.
Bloomberg may truly want to do something about rising rates of obesity. But, ultimately, individuals will have to do something to avoid or eliminate the issue.
A Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index showed 36.6 percent of Americans were overweight and 26.5 percent were obese in 2009.
That leaves 36.9 percent who aren't overweight - not a dominant voting block when seeking public solutions to health problems.