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Ethical issue in the news

Choice of the scale of ethics is an individual’s decision, and there are always people who can criticize the individual’s approach one way or the other. At the end, we have to take a solid step since it is ethically justified at least from our own perspective. The reality stays as such that ethics has a complex nature, and we as humans have limited tendency to balance all aspects with respect to the issue at hand. In this essay, the issue of ban imposed on the sale of soda larger than 16 ounces imposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been assessed. I think that Bloomberg’s decision of imposing this ban is ethically justified. Competing Views on the Controversial Issue Growing rate of obesity is one of the major threats to the health and safety of our society in the contemporary age. Obesity is both a public health problem and an individual health problem. On one hand, businesses have a right to sell whatever they want to the customers because they are in business fundamentally because customers have faith in their products and choose to buy them. Likewise, the customers have the right to make their own purchasing choices as they want, rather than having them controlled by the government. In a democratic country, where freedom of speech and expression is encouraged on every level, placing a ban on food items is similar to underestimating the customers’ tendency to make informed decisions themselves. However, on the other hand, if no such bans are imposed on the eatables and drinks known to cause obesity among individuals in the society, the obesity rate keeps growing in the society so as to make the obesity a potential health risk. In addition to that, the healthcare costs associated with obesity maximize with the spread of obesity, and most of the money consumed in taking care of the obese patients is people’s money. It is a fundamental right of every citizen not to pay the cost of obesity in terms of healthcare and disease. As choosing either of the two options i.e. imposing or not imposing the ban on obesity-causing eatables and drinks has certain benefits for the society along with certain consequences, the matter is essentially an ethical dilemma, and poses many challenges for the government. A very important cause of the growth of obesity rate is the consumption of junk food. Fast food restaurants have been upsizing their meals to satiate the food cravings of their customers. Likewise, many fast food restaurants sell soda larger than 16 ounces which is a huge source of calories. Considering this fact, Mayor Michael Bloomberg banned the sale of soda larger than 16 ounces. This step of Bloomberg has attracted a lot of controversy and critics have raised numerous concerns against it. The issue has been hot topic in the social media lately. For example, The New York Times published an article on 31 May 2012 in which Bloomberg’s decision was criticized. The author of the article considers the ban an unnecessary action and a subjugation of the customers’ rights (A Ban Too Far). Another author Daniel E. Lieberman has raised his voice in support of Bloomberg’s decision in his article published in The New York Times on 5 June 2012. In view of Lieberman, obesity is a health issue that requires such coercive actions from the concerned authorities as the one taken by Bloomberg. The competing views that have surfaced in response to the controversial move of Bloomberg emphasize on different ethical implications of