New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose soda ban was overturned a day before it was slated to take effect, went on “The Late Night Show with David Letterman” on Monday night to talk about his campaign against sugary soda and his addiction to Cheez-Its.
Bloomberg said he sees the role of mayor as as adviser, educating New Yorkers about healthy choices so fewer people die of obesity.
Host David Letterman interjected. “I believe that it’s the corporate food industry, not the individual that is at fault here,” he said to applause.
For once, Bloomberg erred on the side of personal responsibility.
“I think that it is incumbent upon government to tell people what they’re doing to themselves, and let people make their own decisions,” Bloomberg said. “So our job is to educate people, and the ban on bigger cup sizes was a way to remind you if you wanted 32 ounces, you’d have to take two cups, so maybe you’d only take one. But people have a right to make products, and people have a right to buy them, and I don’t know which comes first.”
Letterman explained that because food manufacturers engineer their food to be addicting, it’s their fault consumers eat too much of it.
“But it is so engineered — the taste, the sweetness, the saltiness, the amount of pressure one needs to crack a potato chip with their teeth, has all been engineered so people continue to eat that kind of food,” he said.
“As long as you don’t ban Cheez-Its. Cheez-Its are OK,” said Bloomberg. “That’s my addiction.”