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Soft drink restriction idea flattens in Atlanta

5:45 PM, Jun 1, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA, GA-- The evidence is parked in paper cups in front the hungry patrons of Atlanta's Varsity restaurant.  Atlanta is a soft drink town, notwithstanding the sentiment of the "BOYCOTT COCA-COLA" banner flying past the North Avenue world headquarters of the world's largest soft drink company. The banner was an apparent reference to a strike by a Teamsters Union local in the northeast.

Despite the sweetness delivered by all that refreshing beverage product, the politics of soda-pop have taken a tart turn.


"The government has no business deciding what's a good food and what's a bad food," said Kevin Perry, executive director of the Georgia Beverage Association.

"I think food choice and all that is up to the individual and not up to the government," concurred Holly Driskell, a mother of four from McDonough, seated at a table at the Varsity.

Patrons of the product took umbrage at the hint of a sixteen ounce size limitation, as proposed by New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to help curb obesity.

"We're not banning you from getting the stuff. It's just, if you want 32 ounces, the restaurant has to serve it to you in two glasses. That's not exactly taking away your freedoms," Bloomberg said on NBC's Today Friday morning.

Bloomberg's pitch quickly slaked late night's thirst for laughs.

"I love this idea you have of banning sodas larger than sixteen ounces," said Jon Stewart sarcastically on Thursday's The Daily Show on Comedy Central.  "It combines the draconian government overreach people love, with the probable lack of results they expect."

And that sentiment seemed to reach from New York to Atlanta --  a town that develops and markets soft drinks, where there seems to be little taste for change. 

"I think it's up to the person to choose how much they choose to drink," said Driskell.  "If they want a big drink, that's their choice. It's not the best choice to have a huge drink, but it's their choice."

 I think it's up to the person to choose how much they choose to drink.  if they want a big dribnk, that's their choice. It's not the best choice to have a huge drink but it's their choice.

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