Olivia Bernstein: Disagrees with CDH vending machine change
To the editor:
In this day in age, the American public is constantly inundated with choices when it comes to food selection. Healthy versus unhealthy, store bought versus homemade, and in reference to soda, diet versus regular. Although remarkably higher in calorie and sugar content, regular soda lacks artificial sweeteners that are prevalent in diet soda. It is suspected, but not proven, that the ingredients in diet soda may have long-term negative consequences; however, many people choose to avoid the possible risk altogether.
As an avid supporter of one of my mom’s favorite phrases, “I’d rather eat my calories than drink them,” I personally am willing to take the risk that comes from drinking diet soda. However, I strongly believe that it is up to each individual to make this decision.
Recently, Cooley Dickinson Hospital of Northampton made an effort to improve the selection of healthy food options by installing new vending machines, along with halting the sale of any carbonated drinks with full sugar content, replacing them with diet soda. These efforts are undeniably well intentioned, but take away the ability of the hospital’s patrons to weigh the varying pros and cons of different beverage consumption. Although this is in part a health issue, it is more prominently a violation of the individual’s freedom of choice. I believe each consumer is responsible for the hundreds of food choices they make each day; Cooley Dickinson Hospital does not have the authority to decide this for others.