Readers respond to sugary drink ban

Readers respond to sugary drink ban

When Howard County announced last week that it would ban all "sugary" drinks on county property in an effort to fight childhood obesity, residents offered their opinions to the county's move. Below are several Letters to the Editor we received on the topic as well as stories and opinions about the ban.

10:29 AM EST, December 21, 2012

Letter: Ulman's sugary drinks campaign could cut health care costs of Howard County

I disagree with your editorial, "County campaign against sugary drinks goes too far," and I think that elected officials need to look at my classmate Thomas R. Frieden's, MD MPH (director, Centers for Disease Control), phenomenal public health work in New York City and how that led this nation to the right path to cut health care costs in the United States. Elected officials, especially, should be well aware of the hidden but substantial burden posed by chronic illness to the government, health insurers and employers.

12:37 PM EST, December 19, 2012

Letter: Government should not dictate what you can and cannot drink

I agree with your editorial, "County campaign against sugary drinks goes too far." County Executive Ulman's executive order banning sugary drinks from being sold on county property may be well intentioned, but it is not a function of government to determine what you should and should not drink. What is the next step? Banning ice cream and cookies from county parks?

1:55 PM EST, December 19, 2012

Letter: Maryland pediatricians support setting nutritional standards for beverages

Your recent editorial, "County campaign against sugary drinks goes too far," is way off the mark.

12:38 PM EST, December 19, 2012

Letter: By what right can Ken Ulman tell people what to drink?

Ken Ulman is not a dictator and doesn't own Howard County's properties. The citizens of Howard County own the county's properties.

12:37 PM EST, December 19, 2012

Letter: Curbing sugar could increase life expectancy of children

Did you know that experts predict our children will be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents? You ask, why? Today, children drink more sugar-sweetened beverages than their parents, as children. Too much sugar in the diet, especially in liquid form, has been linked to development of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many more diseases. Sugar-sweetened beverages supply half of the added sugar in the diets of 12-17-year-olds and one-third of the added sugar in diets of 2-5-year-olds. In fact, sugar-sweetened beverages contribute more to the projected shortened life expectancy of our children relative to their parents than unhealthy food intake or lack of exercise.

12:37 PM EST, December 19, 2012

Letter: What will Ken Ulman target next; Easter Peeps?

 Ken Ulman confirms what many have suspected all along — parents of fat kids are too stupid to decide what their kids should drink. Finally an adult takes charge. This is why I voted for him — his vision sees priorities and he acts — by Executive Order, no less! How impressive.  I wonder what Constitutional authority he cites to do this? Never mind. At least his wisdom allows the parents to slowly poison their kids with aspartame. Next on his list? I hope it's those Easter Peeps!

12:36 PM EST, December 19, 2012

Letter: Get consumers to change bad eating habits by hitting their wallets

Perhaps government banning of sugary drinks oversteps. It is a meaningful effort to reduce the burden of obesity on everyone. One thing that has stood out in the debate over health care reform is repeated statements from health care consumers that they do not want to pay for the other guy's health problems. There is one sure way to get consumers on board with changes in habits and consumption and to take more responsibility in their lifestyle choices. Through the wallet. How about higher co-payments for folks whose BMI, which does not lie, is over the recommended goal? It is entirely reasonable for them to pay more out their own pockets for their back and knee surgeries. Smokers? Same thing: Significant co-pays for lung surgeries.  We know for a fact that these two habits harm a person's health in many ways.  Leave the drinks. Offer, however, a better choice in the same vending machine or in the school cafeteria. Let the people make their choices. Let them pay accordingly.

Howard bans distribution of sugary drinks on county property

10:53 PM EST, December 11, 2012

Howard bans distribution of sugary drinks on county property

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman moved Tuesday to ban the sale of high-sugar drinks such as soda in parks, libraries and other county properties and at county-sponsored events — hoping yet again to make the county a progressive model.

Editorial: Limits on sweet drinks a step too far

10:58 AM EST, December 12, 2012

Editorial: Limits on sweet drinks a step too far

You needn't be addicted to sugar-laden soft drinks to wonder if the county's new campaign against sugary drinks is a bit too much.

Columbia's Horizon Foundation awards grants to fight childhood obesity

5:25 PM EDT, September 12, 2012

Columbia's Horizon Foundation awards grants to fight childhood obesity

The Horizon Foundation in Columbia is awarding $300,000 in grants to three Howard County organizations to help fight childhood obesity.

A small step against obesity in Howard Co.

11:54 AM EST, December 12, 2012

A small step against obesity in Howard Co.

Howard County's new ban on the sale of sugary drinks on government property won't solve the obesity epidemic. It won't prevent Howard Countians from slurping down empty calories by the Big Gulpful. It won't stop them from eating things that are even more unhealthy, and it won't get them to exercise.

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