The Paw Print
Mayor Bloomberg's Soda BanThursday, July 26, 2012 By Ricardo Diaz
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has constantly been criticized by residents over the span of his political career, in part because of the numerous amounts of health initiatives that many view as ineffective, intrusive and excessive. His list of past health initiatives include, banning of trans-fats and smoking in public places, restaurants and bars. The mayor has also required city restaurants to make calorie counts available on restaurant menus. A recent article in the AM New York newspaper, revealed a recent study conducted by the Annals of Internal Medicine which showed that the mayor’s trans-fat ban has actually made New Yorker’s healthier. The study showed that New Yorkers consumed an average of 2.4 grams less of trans fats from 2007 to 2009. It was based on a five-year study into the city’s eating habits at more than 160 fast food restaurants. The article also says that the trans-fat ban has been effective in inspiring people to be more conscious of what they eat. They also suggested that the federal government should take notice and implement a similar health initiative throughout the nation. Bloomberg’s latest “soda ban” proposal has also flared a lot of controversy. Some feel that the government should not infringe on what they choose to eat, while others feel that the sole focus on sweetened beverages is not fair. Supporters like New York City Health Department Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley think that anything that improves the health of city residents is great. On a recent public hearing he said, “Obesity is a crisis this City cannot afford to ignore. If a virus were killing 5,800 New Yorkers in a single year, people would be clamoring for government action to stop it. The fact that obesity kills that many year after year only increase’s our duty to respond.” Although there are many people and organizations that say the government has no right to restrict what they eat, I supporter the mayor’s recent initiative. Obesity and diabetes are major problems that many New York City residents face and it doesn’t only affect their lives. People who suffer from obesity and diabetes because of poor diets affect all New York City residents by costing them to pay more taxes to fund health care. It also affects employers who have obese and diabetic employees because it may decrease productivity and often times force them to miss workdays because of frequent trips to the doctor, in turn making them a liability for the company. Childhood and teen obesity is also affecting America a great deal. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents are obese in America, costing a whopping $100 billion annually to society. I also agree with the recent AM New York and think that the federal government should also try to pass a similar initiative like the mayor’s proposed “soda ban” to combat obesity and diabetes throughout the nation.