Again: Is there a problem or not?
As an editor of 30 years and a paid wordsmith for even longer, I am sensitized to the use of language, and I continue to be tickled by the way Big Food twists the words of others to make their arguments seem absurd.
A case in point is how the soda industry is reacting to New York City's ban on super-large sodas. They proclaim the unfairness of putting all of obesity's blame on soda alone, for example, when no is doing that.
Yes, sugary sodas are particularly indefensible because they have so little redeeming value, but if you eliminated soda from existence tomorrow, we would still have an obesity problem, and many other habits and actions would have to change before it would go away.
That doesn't mean that sugary soda isn't a part of the problem.
I also enjoy the rejoinder that a ban of sodas over 16 ounces won't do anything because people can just buy two. That's true, of course, and perhaps, at first, some people will. But just as larger portions have become normalized in bigger-is-better America, so will smaller ones become the norm if curbs such as this.
To me, the fact that I can get around the ban legally and fairly easily shows why this isn't prohibition, even though the soda jerks are calling it that.
Finally, I'm also amused by the claim that we can't be trusted to be adults. That's an effective charge — I hate it when my mother doesn't treat me like an adult, too — but it is just inescapable fact that collectively, we have not been acting responsibly, for matters ranging from public health to national security.
The adult thing would be to face that, to accept that what we have done so far is not working, and to continue seeking the least intrusive way to address the problem.