During a dynamic and lively speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, Sarah Palin poked fun at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign to reduce obesity by limiting the availability of large sugary drinks.
Halfway through her speech, while describing exchanging guns with her husband Todd for Christmas, the former Alaska governor pulled out a Big Gulp from behind the podium, smirked, took several sips, and remarked, “Oh Bloomberg is not around, our Big Gulp is safe! We’re cool. Shoot, it’s just pop!” The crowd erupted in applause. Watch it:
The gag was funny, but the Big Gulp is more than just pop — increasing serving sizes are one of the causes of the nation’s obesity epidemic.
As portion sizes have spiraled out of control, soft drinks sizes have seen one of the largest increases, ballooning by over 50 percent since the mid-1970s, just as rates of obesity nearly tripled. The average American child now consumes approximately 270 calories from soft drinks each day and nationally U.S. children drink about 7 trillion calories from soda each year.
The obesity epidemic now accounts for 21 percent of national health care spending — costing the nation more than $160 billion every year — a figure that will continue to rise since 42 percent of Americans are projected to be obese by 2030.
And while Bloomberg’s ban won’t single-handedly slim down the nation, public health advocates believe that it will discourage people from consuming “excess quantities of sugar-sweetened beverages” and change “social norms and unhealthy behaviors.” Palin may not need that kind of persuasion — after finishing her speech, she left her Big Gulp behind.