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.
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:
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.”
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.”
There’s a new cola war going on, but it’s a little more serious than the old Pepsi vs. Coke feud of decades past. Obesity is out of control, stretching our already stretched-thin health care system, and sugar consumption is center stage.
So, what do you do when you are the purveyor of some of the biggest selling, empty-calorie, sugar-laden drinks in our country’s history? Well, you play damage control, of course.
Right, the problem is that people don’t know what Coca-Cola is really all about. In reality, we’re talking about a propaganda war. Try to soften the blow of bad publicity, then draw more attention to your diet soda by signing a major celebrity spokeswoman — Taylor Swift announced her partnership pitching Diet Coke last Sunday:
But back to damage control. Coke decided to take on obesity directly, with their “Coming Together” campaign, pointing out that of their 650 beverages, they offer 180 low- or no-calorie drinks. (more…)