Tag Archives: Michael Bloomberg

Bye Bye Bloomberg! What NYC Gained Before it Lost its Biggest Health Advocate

With the new year, New York City bid farewell to Mayor Mike Bloomberg after a twelve-year term. Love him or hate him, his achievements in public health were stunning. While others only talked, he managed to act on smoking, obesity, and hypertension—and he placed the burden of fixing them on the industries that profited at the cost of the public’s health.

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The Mayor showed that public health is a priority for local government, not just for the federal government to create health policies from on high. Bloomberg used New York City as a laboratory for public health innovation, spotlighting issues and testing solutions on a relatively small scale.

Here’s a reminder of Mayor Bloomberg’s most significant public health campaigns:

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“I’m Beautiful The Way I Am” – New NYC Campaign Targets Girls and Body Image

Mayor and proud papa of New York, Micheal Bloomberg, is on another mission to make his beloved city a better place. This time, he’s tackling the tough subject of self-esteem and body image issues, particularly with young girls ages 7-12. NYC may be one of the fashion capitals of the world, but Bloomberg, along with other members of the New York City Girl’s Project, want to spread the message, “I’m Beautiful The Way I Am.”

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The campaign, conceived in the mayor’s office by deputy press secretary, Samantha Levine, chose to target the 7-12 age bracket citing statistics from several studies on eating disorders. They concluded negative body image was a concern for girls at a very young age. The NYC Girls’ Project website reports “Over 80 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat,” and ” by middle school, 40-70 percent of girls are dissatisfied with two or more parts of their body.”

Campaign directors are creating buzz for the movement by using bus and subway ads. Thankfully, the strategy is much different than the hard-edged, in-your-face posters  used to push the oversized soda ban a few years ago. Instead of placards declaring,  Are You Pouring On The Pounds – Don’t Drink Yourself Fat, ads for the NYC Girls’ Project show pictures of smiling happy girls of all races and sizes declaring, ” I’m a girl. I’m funny, playful, daring, strong, curious, smart, brave, healthy, friendly and caring.”

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NYC Soda Ban Deemed Illegal by State Judge

  • A state judge deemed the New York City Soda Ban proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg illegal on Monday, meaning the ban will not take effect as planned on Tuesday, March 12.
  • New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling made his decision after finding the regulations “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences.” He went on to say, “The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less as a whole…the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the purpose of the rule.”
  • The regulation would’ve banned the sale of sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces, with the exception of fruit juices, milkshakes, alcoholic beverages, and coffee. This would have affected restaurants, food carts and vendors, delis and concession stands at movie theaters and the like.
  • Mayor Bloomberg reportedly did not anticipate the ban being blocked, and even recently stated “I think you’re not going to see a lot of push back here.” (more…)

HealthBuzz September 14: NYC Bans Soda, McDonald’s Shares Calories, and Healthy Comfort Food Recipes

Ah, the weekend is upon us and it is time for a dose of healthy news. This week’s HealthBuzz is filled with buzzworthy headlines from DIR and our friends, like Shape, iVillage, Fitday. Plus, we offer some guilt-free comfort foods like 12 healthy pop-tart recipes from Undressed Skeleton.

You don’t have to wait until the last day of the week to hear from us! Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, or ‘Like Us’ on Facebook

New York City Soda Ban Passes; Soda Industry Plans to Fight

Since Mayor Bloomberg proposed NYC’s soda ban a couple of months ago, citizens have been vocal about their support or opposition. As of Thursday morning, NYC approved the ban of sugared beverages over 16 ounces. But, Major Bloomberg and public health officials in NYC shouldn’t celebrate their victory just yet. There is a possibility that the soda industry plans to fight back. New Yorkers for Beverage Choices has already started campaigning in opposition of the ban.

McDonald’s Posting Nutrition Information on Menus Nationwide, but Will it Do Any Good?

Get ready to see calorie counts on McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru menus. Wednesday morning the company announced that they will be posting their meals’ nutrition information on their menus. Do you think the nutrition information will change the eating habits of fast food customers? Our resident dietitian, Mary Hartley, comments.

Regular Yoga Practice May Increase Productivity at Work

Yoga offers a great deal of health benefits, like less stress, toned body, and improved digestion. September is National Yoga Month, and our yoga expert Jill mentioned that those who practice yoga regularly may even see an increase in productivity at work. See what other benefits practicing yoga brings. (more…)

New York City Soda Ban Passes; Soda Industry Plans to Fight [UPDATED]

UPDATE: On Friday, October 12, the beverage industry and 11 other organizations filed a lawsuit against New York City challenging the recent soda ban, according to an article in The Washington Post. The lawsuit deals less with the ban itself and more with whether or not the New York City Board of Health had the right to pass the regulation in the first place.

A portion of the lawsuit reads: “The Board of Health’s decision nonetheless to ban certain sizes of sweetened beverages in certain outlets, imposed by executive fiat, usurps the role of the City Council, violating core principles of democratic government, and ignoring the rights of the people of New York City to make their own choices.”

The NYC Board of Health reportedly contends that it does, in fact, have the authority to create such a regulation that ‘promotes healthier living,’ and is poised to fight the lawsuit much like it battled chain restaurants in court over the issue of calorie labeling on menus. (10/15/12)

It seems the nation has been on high alert as the New York City soda ban vote inched nearer. As of Thursday morning, New Yorkers and their mayor Michael Bloomberg can take a deep sigh of relief as the wait is now over. The proposed amendment to ban the sale of sugary beverages exceeding 16 ounces has been approved by the city’s Board of Health.

The measure will take effect in six months unless overturned by a judge, which the soda industry has vowed to pursue. Those living in New York can expect to see their favorite sugary beverages available only in a 16 ounce size or smaller at businesses regulated by the city.

Bloomberg takes the health of his citizens seriously and has passed similar measures before, one being the initiative to place calorie counts on restaurant menus and another that limited the amount of trans fats food sold in the city could contain. Despite any resistance to Bloomberg’s past or current legislation positive changes have been made, so it’s no surprise that his most recent initiative was approved.

People are already turning to Twitter in response to the news.

 

 

The trans fats ban of 2006 limited the amount per serving to less than 0.5 grams. Studies have since shown that the trans fat content of meals was reduced from 2.91 grams in 2007 to 0.51 grams in 2009. While a 2.4 gram reduction doesn’t sound like much of difference, even small progress is progress in the eyes of Bloomberg and his team.

Though the initiative to place calorie counts on menus wasn’t as successful- a reported 15 percent of diners now choose healthier options and consume 100 fewer calories on average per meal – the mayor’s commitment to building a healthier city seems to be unwavering. (more…)

Bloomberg’s Proposed Soda Nanny State Won’t Magically Switch on Motivation in Citizens

By Jeff Hyman, Founder and CEO, RETROFIT

As the Founder of Chicago-based online weight-loss company Retrofitme.com, I have been asked many times recently for my perspective on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s master plan to ban large sodas and sugary drinks. I wish ending the U.S. obesity epidemic was that easy.

Retrofit was founded on the premise that people need support and guidance on their journey to health. We take a holistic approach to weight loss. It’s not an overnight fix. It’s going to be slow and steady, but at the end of the road, it will work because we believe that teaching people how to change their behavior and make smarter choices is the first breakthrough step.

While there is no doubt we live in an obesigenic society, we cannot blame statistics or food trends. Each of us must accept individual responsibility for our behavior – and seek help when we can’t do it alone. In the face of countless messages from savvy food marketers, fast food restaurants, soda companies, super-sized portion sizes, and other temptations, it isn’t easy.

The mayor’s heart is in the right place. But unfortunately, his pure intentions won’t help. Lasting health change can’t be imposed from the outside. Even the best weight loss program is useless if the individual is not ready to make a lasting change. The “nanny state” might make a single drink choice a little more inconvenient, but unless the government can magically switch on the motivation in each citizen, it is destined to have little impact. It sounds basic, but the hard reality is that to turn the tide on the obesity epidemic, we need people who are willing to commit to living differentially. Each day, each meal, each food decision. (more…)

Coca-Cola CEO Reacts to Mayor Bloomberg’s Soda Ban

Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola, recently spoke out on allegations of his company being responsible for the obesity epidemic in the U.S. Kent’s responses come weeks after New York City Mayor Bloomberg proposed to limit the consumption of sugary drinks over 16 ounces. Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to help lower obesity rates is making headlines across the country. Bloomberg’s proposal will change the sugary drink game for any restaurant, fast-food chain, and any place of business that offers beverages.

Kent says Coca-Cola is not responsible in any way for the rising obesity rates and that obesity is a societal issue. “It is, I believe, incorrect and unjust to put the blame on any single ingredient, any single product, any single category of food,” was Kent’s response to Bloomberg’s proposal. (more…)

Mayor Bloomberg Goes After Soda in the Obesity Battle: Is He Fighting the Right Fight?

The city that never sleeps might finally get some rest because of the reduction in caffeine from their soda and coffee. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is superman in disguise trying to save the city’s population from obesity. On May 30, 2012, Bloomberg proposed the banning of beverages more than 16 ounces in size at eating establishments. Not only would restaurants in New York be affected, but movie theaters, street food carts, and sports arenas, too. Sugary sodas greater than 16 ounces would be gone and so would sweetened tea, coffees, fruit juices, milk shakes, and alcoholic beverages. The public outcry will be the toughest hurdle for the mayor to jump. If the proposal is approved by the Board of Health then all sugary beverages with more than 16 ounces will be banned from New York City.

Mayor Bloomberg has a history of obesity-fighting proposals. His efforts to make the city healthier have always been met with debate and controversy, and often succeed. Mary Hartley, RD, a NYC resident and our dietitian, noted the ban on artificial trans fats in the city. She also praised the Mayor’s actions to ban smoking, calling it “most remarkable.” (more…)

USDA Rejects Bloomberg’s Food Stamp Soda Ban

pile of tabs from soda or beer cansLast October, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture prevent New York residents from using food stamps to purchase soda and other sugary drinks. On Friday, the USDA rejected the proposal, partly citing the difficulty of sorting out which beverages would and wouldn’t be allowed under the policy.

Dr. Thomas A. Farley, New York City’s health commissioner, said he was “very upset” by the proposal’s rejection, adding that it “really calls into question how serious the USDA is about addressing the nation’s most serious nutritional problem,” reports the New York Times.

The choice was obviously a victory for the soda industry, which lobbied against the proposal. Some advocates for the poor were also against the bill, arguing that forcing food-stamp users to shop differently is a stigmatizing experience. “The whole attempt was misguided and unworkable,” Mr. Berg said. “This proposal was based on the false assumption that poor people were somehow ignorant or culturally deficient.”

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NYC Mayor Signs Local Produce Bill

Michael Bloomberg at Annoucement of Local Food BillYesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a bill that will encourage city agencies to purchase more locally grown food, and another to reduce wasteful packaging. According to WNYC, the bill will includes foods that are grown, produced and processed in New York.

“These provisions will help the city and the public better track where agencies’ food comes from and where tax dollars are spent,” Bloomberg said. “It will also result in agencies buying much more food from farms and processing facilities in the Empire State.”

The law further requires that an annual report to be published on the food the city buys. Earlier this summer, City Council became the first city government to participate in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. “It may cost a tiny bit more, but it saves money in the end because it can stay longer in the schools. It can stay longer in the person’s home, and it’s fresher,” Manhattan City Councilwoman Gale Brewer told NY1.

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