An editorial from the Philadelphia Daily News published on June 7 suggested that soda taxes and limits on serving sizes were justified because people don’t know any better.

At least they were honest. The big-city folks actually claimed that “you may need a nanny” to make those decisions for you.

Four years ago, Maine people rejected soda taxes 65 percent to 35 percent. Similar taxes have been soundly rejected in other states since.

Public opinion on this subject is clear. People don’t need a nanny. They don’t want government in their kitchen telling them which foods and beverages to eat, or how much they can and can’t eat. Sugar sweetened beverages account for only 7 percent of the total calories in the typical American diet. For 10 years, consumption of those beverages, in Maine and nationally, has gone down. Yet, obesity rates continue to rise.

Even so, our industry wants to be part of the solution. We’re helping people find the beverage and portion size that’s right for them with our Clear on Calories initiative.  By placing new calorie labels on the front of every container we produce, we’re helping consumers choose the beverage that is best for them and their families.

Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about the Philadelphia Daily News. Do you think for a moment it would ever support legislation limiting the size of the 1,000 plus calorie Philly cheese steak?

This type of “obesity hypocrisy” is almost as endemic as the obesity problem itself. Last week, New York Mayor Bloomberg announced plans to prohibit the sale of soft drinks larger than 16 ounces. Two days later, he issued a proclamation celebrating “NYC Donut Day.”

Next month, he will preside, again, over a hot dog eating contest – a “grand international event,” he calls it, where last year’s winner – a “dedicated athlete” he says – consumed 62 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

Really, Mr. Mayor? Is this how you suggest we get healthy?

Obesity is serious problem that demands thoughtful solutions, not talking – or eating – out of both sides of your mouth. For 10 years, consumption of those beverages, in Maine and nationally, has gone down. Yet, obesity rates continue to rise.

Dave Dumont of Biddeford is president of the Maine Beverage Association.