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Should big sodas be banned?

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
May 31, 2012 1:35:36 PM PDT
So is Mayor Bloomberg going too far? There are many people who say he is, with his proposal to ban sugared drinks larger than 16 ounces.

Even some of his supporters - who back the Mayor's campaign to limit smoking in public, and post calorie totals, and grade restaurants for health standards - are feeling a few cringes about this proposed ban on super-sized sugared drinks.

Of course they're problematic, these drinks. There's simply too much sugar in these sodas. And, yes, obesity is a huge problem.

But drinks aren't the biggest contributors to obesity - they're just one factor. And the bigger question is the haunting one: Is government overreaching its responsibilities, telling people how much soda they can't drink? And isn't a bit ludicrous when someone could just buy 2 16-ounce drinks, instead of a 24-ounce soda?

I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, it's a talker - both the substance of the ban and the question of the Mayor acting as a kind of health nanny.

We'll have the latest - and reaction - tonight at 11.

And we'd like to know what you think, by CLICKING HERE.

Also at 11, we're following the big developments, and chaos, at the high-profile and high-stakes federal corruption trial of John Edwards, the former U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate. A mistrial has been declared on five of the counts against Edwards, and the jury found him not guilty on one count.

A huge defeat for the government, which charged Edwards with using campaign funds as hush money to keep his mistress quiet during his Presidential campaign. He had claimed it was not campaign money - and it was to keep the news of his affair, and subsequent child, away from his wife.

The chaos earlier today involved the jury walking into the courtroom in North Carolina, and the judge said she understood they had a verdict on all counts. The jury foreman looked at her and said, "no."

They did say they reached a verdict on one count - but they didn't say whether it was guilty or not.

Now we know. Will the government seek a retrial on the 5 deadlocked counts? We're following the latest developments, at 11.

And finally, a personal note. We said goodbye this afternoon in the newsroom to an Eyewitness News veteran, and a fixture for 30 years here. Our medical producer Graciela Rogerio, who has been joined at the hip, editorially speaking, to our Dr. Jay Adlersberg for all those years. In fact, at her goodbye fete today, Dr. Grase, as we call her, said that Jay googled himself yesterday, "and my picture came up."

She knows as much about medicine as most doctors, and more about medical issues. And, most importantly, she knows about people. One of the kindest and valuable people we have. Make that had.

I'm sure her Act Three will be just as splendid as her tenure here. All those medical stories you've come to rely on for important health information - Graciela made them happen.

So let the wind be at your back, dear friend. We will miss you, Graciela Rogerio.

BILL RITTER

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