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Big Mother: Hitting the bottle (of soda) can kill you

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POSTED May 30, 2014 12:57 a.m.

Drinking water can kill you.

An estimated 15 people a year die in this country from water intoxication.

Typically, they are folks either in water drinking contests or who have undertaken strenuous exercise such as marathoners and take on too much water before their electrolytes are replenished.

There has been only one known recent case of death by soda tied conclusively to excessive consumption.

A 5-year-old Tennessee girl died earlier this year when her parents forced her to drink two liters of fluids consisting mostly of soda within two hours as punishment.

The California State Senate on Thursday approved a proposal to require sugary drinks to carry the following label: STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”

Backers of the first-in-the-nation legislation are hanging it on Harvard University research that estimates 20,000 American deaths in 2010 were linked to sugary drink consumption.

Sounds bad? Then chew on this: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 60,000 Americans die annually from antibiotic resistant disease. Many believe — note the word “believe” — this is a direct result of the inappropriate use and overuse of antibiotics in human medicine. But 80 percent of antibiotics are used in livestock production. Wouldn’t that alone justify placing mandatory warning labels on every Big Mac sold in California not to mention filet mignon served at Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses?

The CDC says 37,000 people a year die from alcohol-related diseases. That doesn’t even begin to touch on accidental deaths — including those of innocent people — from the effects of alcohol on impaired drivers.

Consume excessive amounts of anything or use it carelessly — either food, drink or some type of device — and it will kill you.

And now for a shocking observation: We are all going to die. Something is going to kill us.

As unacceptable as that may sound to you it’s the way of the world.

The soda as the 21-century- equivalent-of-cigarettes movement believes sugary drinks are much worse as young kids can get hooked. They concede the labels will have little, if any, impact on kids, young teens, or most of the rest of us. They believe the labels will encourage young moms concerned about doing the right thing to think twice. It is how the anti-cigarette movement picked up traction by first pushing the dangers to pregnant women and their fetuses and small children.

But is the real answer systematically going through everything that we consume and treating anything that has the potential when used in excess to kill as the moral and legal equivalent of a carcinogen?

Deny it all that they may, ultimately such labeling opens sugary drink manufacturers to lawsuits in wrongful death suits

The real bottom line is the “M” word as in money and moderation.

Money as many Americans have developed a nasty tendency to want to blame someone else for their ills and short fallings. More often than not lawyers are more than happy to oblige to assist those essentially wronged by their own behavior to find a scapegoat with deep pockets.

Moderation as the best way to safeguard yourself in almost anything you do.

Why not cut to the chase and place on all food and beverages a label reading: “Non-moderate consumption of this food item/beverage can lead to various diseases and even death.” Put such a warning on everything including organic products.

We are told by the backers of the warning label legislation authored by State Senator Bill Monning for Carmel where a 7-Eleven serving Big Gulps is about as a foreign of a concept as being poor that most people don’t know “the profoundly harmful effects of consuming liquid sugar.” Nor do they know it can make you fat, give you diabetes, and rot your teeth. Kind of sounds like liquid meth except instead of making you rail thin skinny in extreme cases sugary drinks can make Eddie Murphy’s interpretation of the Nutty professor look like Twiggy.

Such a rationale clearly exposes the true thinking of food police and their co-conspirators in government. People— meaning the unwashed masses — are sheep. Therefore it is justifiable for benevolent folks to lead them around by the nose.

The patron saint of Big Mother government himself —  former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg — is infamous for telling us how stupid we are and that we need to be protected from ourselves at all times. After all, if we were all cultured, wise and rich we could be healthy like him and his brethren. Forget their excesses, they can afford it. And certainly don’t lecture them on chocolate mousse and other decadent desserts and liqueur or even the occasional puff on real Cuban cigars. They can handle their indulgences without being subjected to passive lectures on containers.

As for the rest of us we are all vulgar simpletons who government must save from ourselves.

This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at or 209.249.3519.

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