I’m in New York City on business for a few days this week. Somehow all of my meetings worked out to be staggered perfectly around each meal time on a single day. It was positively gorgeous outside, so I walked about 60 blocks throughout lower Manhattan to get to each meeting. My second-to-last meeting was with the nice folks from Chobani and it timed out perfectly for a post-lunch dessert / mid-day snack.
“A first-of-its-kind Mediterranean yogurt bar in NYC’s SoHo neighborhood- this is @chobani like you’ve never had it before,” is how the @ChobaniSoHo Twitter page describes itself. It’s dead on. I was invited to meet the Chobani team at their six-week-old yogurt bar. I’m a total Chobani fanboy; a significant part of my grocery budget goes to their Greek yogurt. So of course I’ll meet you there!
The shop is nestled on the corner of a likable street in SoHo, just a few blocks from the brand’s NYC office. It’s got all the allure of most fro-yo shops, except this isn’t frozen. Barely. They say they keep the yogurt chilled to about 34 degrees, where grocery stores only manage about 41 degrees.
Since we eat with our eyes, the bright LED board displaying their ten menu options pulled me and my appetite in. Even with a simple menu, it was not simple to make a choice. Finally, I committed to the Pistachio + Chocolate. The brand’s tagline is not a lie… this was nothing but good. Frankly, nothing but amazing and truly indulgent. (more…)
Earlier today New York City’s Board of Health ruled to pass Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on over-sized sugary drinks, otherwise known as the Soda Ban. It’s a landmark ruling that is the first of its kind anywhere in the nation. At the most basic, the ruling puts in to effect a law six months from now that will ban the sale of sweetened beverages, like soda, sweetened iced tea, and energy drinks, larger than 16 ounces.
This means you can no longer order a large sweet tea at McDonald’s or a large soda at Subway. In fact, you can’t order anything above a small at any restaurant, street cart, sports stadium, or movie theater in New York City if it’s filled with sugary beverages. The ruling applies to any business that receives inspections from NYC’s health department. At some restaurants, their smallest cup sizes starts well past 16 ounces.
There are always loop holes though, and that is where places like 7-Eleven, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts might be able to help Americans keep getting fatter with every sip they take.
“The restrictions would not affect fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; no-calorie diet sodas would not be affected,” reported the NYTimes.com following the ruling. Large Frostys at Wendy’s are safe; Cokes in that same establishment are not. (more…)
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.
NYC soda ban approved. Everyone go get a cheeseburger.
— Duke (@DukeStJournal) September 13, 2012
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) September 13, 2012
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…)
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…)
Last 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.”