“If all this sounds as if New York’s soda consumers were about to become the subjects of an elaborate social-science experiment designed to reshape their behavior and desires, well, that’s kind of true. But then we’ve been the subject of just such an experiment, run by beverage and fast-food companies, for the past forty years. If Bloomberg has his way, we may start feeling like we’re white rats in a maze, but at least there’s a good chance we’ll be thinner rats.”
The Economics of Michael Bloomberg’s Large-Soda Ban : The New Yorker
There has been a lot of talk about Bloomberg’s decision to limit beverage sizes in NYC. Cue cries of nanny state etc. James Surowiecki asks is this “experiment” any different than the ones that have been played on consumers by food and beverage manufacturers to increase volume over the last 100 years? He also raises the tricky and blurred idea of “choice”, how we are fooled into making them and what poor judges we are at determining if we are sated.
Good read that discusses various experiments on consumer decision making and how generally bad we are at it.
I’m still not sure what I feel about this sort of decision, but sometimes, people DO need protection from themselves.