Leaders and Advocates Support NYC's Bold New Anti-Obesity Initiative

By NYC.gov - MAY. 31, 2012

 

 
STATEMENT OF ROBERT PESTRONK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY & CITY HEALTH OFFICIALS

 

“I want to commend your recent initiative to amend the New York City Health Code to establish a maximum size for sugary drinks offered or sold in Food Service Establishments in order to address the obesity epidemic and decrease the consumption of sugary drinks by New Yorkers. As you know, sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugars in the diet of U.S. youth, increasing their intake of calories—a factor potentially contributing to obesity among youth nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults and close to one-fifth of children and adolescents in the United States are obese. From 1980 to 2010, obesity among adults increased from 15% to 36%. CDC predicts if current trends continue, obesity will reach 42% by 2030. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion.

“New York City is an innovator in chronic disease prevention and NACCHO applauds your national leadership in creating a policy environment that promotes healthy behaviors. This is particularly important in terms of achieving health equity for low-income populations that suffer disproportionately from illness, disability, and premature death due to diabetes and heart disease, for which obesity is a prime cause. NACCHO shares New York City’s view that a comprehensive approach to reducing the obesity epidemic is essential to the future well-being of the nation. It is also essential that states, cities and counties take initiative to discover public health solutions that can be replicated in other parts of the country and drive down the ever growing cost of addressing obesity related diseases.”

 

STATEMENT OF NANCY ROMER, GENERAL COORDINATOR, BROOKLYN FOOD COALITION

“I support Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on large sized sugary drinks. It is one way to help people realize how harmful sugar, fat and salt is in their diets and that people need to be more conscious about what they put in their mouths. Right now we are in the middle of an obesity epidemic such that over 40% of NYC children and 50% of NYC adults are overweight or obese. This makes them likely candidates for all sorts of diet-related diseases: type II diabetes, heart disease, hyper-tension and joint diseases. These diminish the quality of their lives and it expands the amount of resources the government is then required to spend in order to serve their needs. Some mechanisms, such as limiting the volume of these sugary drink servings, should be applied to slow down the rate of obesity in our people. I would like Mayor Bloomberg to go further. I would like to see a ban on all advertisements of sugary drinks, fast food, and other nutrient-poor foods, aimed at children during children’s viewing hours on TV. I feel very strongly about protecting our people, and especially our children, from the greed of unhealthy food and drink manufacturers. I support the ban on large size sugary drinks because I want to see our people lead healthy, effective and long lives. The ban on large size sugary drinks is one small building block in that direction.”

 

STATEMENT OF HEIDI SKOLNIK, MS, CDN, FACSM, SPORTS NUTRITIONIST, FORDHAM ATHLETICS, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY

“Helping to create a culture where adequate and appropriate portions, along with healthier and fresh foods, are available readily, (partnered with safe areas to participate in physical activity), are all constructive steps a community and government can take to make a positive difference. It’s essential to support individual efforts to maintain a healthier weight and reduce risk of chronic disease associated with poor metabolic fitness and obesity. No one needs 32 to 64 oz of soda at one time.”

 

STATEMENT OF DAVID KIRCHHOFF, CEO OF WEIGHT WATCHERS INTERNATIONAL

“Obesity is a health issue that affects tens of millions of Americans and all taxpayers through rising healthcare costs. We believe strongly that to address the obesity epidemic requires a comprehensive approach of both public health efforts and individual responsibility and action. To date, there has been a lot of hand wringing about obesity, but little action. The multi-faceted and complex causes of rising obesity rates include growing portion sizes and people consuming more food. Mayor Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Farley deserve credit for having the courage to step forward and take action when very few others are.”

 

STATEMENT OF ALICE AMMERMAN, DRPH, RD, PROFESSOR OF NUTRITION AND DIRECTOR OF THE PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, CHAPEL HILL

“Many consumers appreciate the fact that some food companies are starting to package snacks in portion controlled 100 calorie servings. Currently, however, the norm for sugar sweetened beverages is to push larger sizes. With 62% of Americans reporting that they wish they weighed less and nearly a third of us seriously trying to lose weight, limiting the ‘default’ size of sodas served at restaurants, movie theatres, and mobile carts could be appreciated by many. Those who want to buy a second serving have that option.”

 

STATEMENT OF PHILADELPHIA MAYOR MICHAEL A. NUTTER

“Just last week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 oz. His ban would limit large sugary drinks being sold at food service establishments, like fast food restaurants, sports arenas or deli’s. The ban wouldn’t apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based products or beverages with no more than 25 calories per 8 oz. serving. It’s a bold strategy and is worth evaluating and considering. Studies have shown that people eat what is served to them. Perhaps, if offered smaller portions people would consume less. The problem, which Mayor Bloomberg has clearly noted, is that ridiculously large portions have become the norm – 20 or 24 oz. sugary drinks are common. Mayor Bloomberg’s idea of a serving-size ban could help reduce consumption.”

 

STATEMENT OF DAVID R. JONES, ESQ., PRESIDENT AND CEO, COMMUNITY SERVICE SOCIETY OF NEW YORK

“Obesity is a major problem in New York’s communities of color, especially among young people. A recent report by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that: ‘Childhood obesity continues to be a leading public health concern that disproportionately affects low-income and minority children. Children who are obese in their preschool years are more likely to be obese in adolescence and adulthood and to develop diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, asthma and sleep apnea.’ Large sugar-sweetened beverages are a significant contributor to obesity as well as to its associated damage. And obesity not only damages the lives of individuals; it costs us billions in higher health costs and lost productivity each year. We support Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on these large drinks. This alone will not solve the problem of obesity, but it is a step in the right direction.”

 

STATEMENT OF DANIEL SISTO, PRESIDENT, HEALTHCARE ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE

“On behalf of the Health Care Association of New York State (HANYS), I am pleased to express my support for your initiative to combat obesity by limiting the size of sugary beverages sold in New York City food establishments to 16 ounces or less. HANYS represents 200 hospitals across New York State, and many of our members are involved in helping to keep their communities healthy and safe places to live, work and thrive. In fact, several of HANYS members have highlighted obesity as a significant challenge facing their communities. Many hospitals are not only working within their organizations, but also have begun to collaborate with community organizations to develop programs that can lead to reducing the disparities and chronic diseases that are associated with obesity.

Obesity is an increasingly serious problem that many communities face around the state and country. Unfortunately, many serious health problems accompany obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Initiatives such as yours are welcomed to make a difference in helping our communities make healthier choices. I commend you on your efforts and am pleased that the proactive community health initiatives that HANYS members are working and can complement your initiative to tackle obesity.”

 

STATEMENT OF LANCE A. PARTON, M.D., F.A.A., PRESIDENT, NY3 OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS

“On behalf of the Pediatricians represented by New York Chapter 3 of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I would like to congratulate you on taking a courageous stand on sugar-sweetened beverages. The Academy of Pediatrics has been lobbying for changes involving these beverages so that parents can seek healthier alternatives for their children, as we Pediatricians strongly believe that obesity starts even before birth, and may accelerate during childhood.”

 

STATEMENT OF BRUCE SIEGEL, MD, MPH, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HOSPITALS AND HEALTH SYSTEMS

“As former head of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and New Jersey Commissioner of Health, I know well the toll obesity takes on individuals and populations. I commend Mayor Bloomberg for taking decisive action in the fight against obesity and overweight. More than a third of U.S. adults are obese, a number that has risen steadily for more than two decades. Obesity leads to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers – leading causes of death among Americans – and drives significant health care spending. The nation’s safety net health systems are on the front lines of this battle as a primary source of health care for vulnerable populations hit particularly hard by obesity. We can no longer afford to ignore this threat.”

 

STATEMENT OF BURTON L. EDELSTEIN, DDS, MPH, PROFESSOR OF CLINICAL DENTISTRY AND CLINICAL HEALTH POLICY/MANAGEMENT CHAIR, SECTION OF SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

“As a pediatric dentist, child advocate, and professor of dentistry and health policy, I strongly commend your effective activism to improve the health and welfare of all who reside in and visit the City of New York. You clearly recognize the need to go beyond simply informing the public about healthy behaviors. Through policies established under your leadership, the City actively encourages us all to act in ways that secure the personal, communal, and economic benefits of health. Banning smoking in public places, restaurants, and bars; guiding the public to sanitary food establishments; encouraging bicycling and walking; and discouraging excessive sugar consumption in soft drinks are prime examples of a community taking responsibility for its own wellbeing. While the beverage consumption effort is aimed primarily at obesity and diabetes, it has strong potential to also promote oral health by reducing the dietary risks for tooth decay. Clearly, the benefits of the beverage policy are many and the inconveniences few. I join those who thank you for your activism and recognize that sometimes each of us needs a little help to do what we know is in our own best interest.”

 

STATEMENT OF STEVEN L. GORTMAKER, PH.D., PROFESSOR OF THE PRACTICE OF HEALTH SOCIOLOGY, DEPARTMENT OF SOCIETY, HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND HEALTH, HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

“Research indicates that sugar sweetened beverage intake is a major cause of both childhood and adult excess weight and obesity, and that increases in portion sizes have contributed to these problems. Research also shows clearly that as portion sizes increase, people consume more. The proposed limits will simply make it easier for both children and adults to make a healthier choice.”

 

STATEMENT OF RAJ PATEL, JOURNALIST & WRITER, FELLOW AT INSTITUTE FOR FOOD & DEVELOPMENT POLICY

“Readers outside the United States may not have heard of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s limit on soda size. He wants there to be a maximum portion size for the consumption of soft drinks. The limit? A very generous 16 oz (or 473 ml, if you prefer). Soft drink portion sizes have grown considerably: in 1955, McDonald’s offered a 7oz cup – now it’s 32oz. Capping the size of drinks sold at restaurants goes a small way to reversing that trend. Of course, if you’d like to consume more, you’re still free to. The only impediment is the indignity of ordering twice. Predictably, the soda and restaurant industries have howled at the prospect of New Yorkers spending less on lucrative and unhealthy portion sizes. The businesses that profit from poor public health argue that Mayor Bloomberg’s limits on portion size are an infringement on liberty.

“The beverage industry gets it backwards. Those who choose to drink more than 16 oz of soda are just as free to do it as before. But limiting the extent to which the industry can pump their products makes ever New Yorker a little freer. By limiting the industry’s freedom, this initiative expands the freedom of citizens. As part of a comprehensive strategy for public health, it is a vital step forward.”

 

STATEMENT OF MICHELE SIMON, AUTHOR OF APPETITE FOR PROFIT, ON THE HUFFINGTON POST

“New York City showed the nation once again what it means to be on the cutting edge of public health policy. The city announced a bold plan to limit the size of sugary beverages sold at restaurants and other food establishments. Predictably, much of the media went crazy, and numerous outlets have already proclaimed that this time, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just gone too far. Banning trans fats was fine, but don't take away my right to guzzle a gallon of Coke, is the lazy reaction of some pundits. But let's take a more rational look at what New York is proposing. From both a policy-making and political strategy standpoint, it makes perfect sense.”

 

STATEMENT OF BARBARA FERRER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BOSTON PUBLIC HEALTH COMMISSION

“I am impressed with New York City’s comprehensive approach to reducing consumption of sugary beverages and share their concerns with the easy access to super-sized beverages that contain unhealthy quantities of sugar and exorbitant empty calories. We would like to be kept informed of the successes and challenges with the implementation of their regulation as we look at what strategies to pursue in Boston.”

 

STATEMENT OF RICHARD R. BUERY, JR., PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY

“Obesity and diabetes are among the most serious health crises facing our children today. We applaud Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs, Commissioner Thomas Farley, the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, and the Task Force on Obesity for putting forth a progressive agenda to address this endemic problem—from building urban farms on New York City Housing Authority land to expanding school wellness programs to creating safe spaces for play. We especially support the Mayor’s proposal to eliminate oversized sugary drinks. It is innovative and bold – exactly what we need in the face of a crisis that threatens the very foundation of health and quality of life for children across the country.

“At Children’s Aid, we take obesity prevention seriously and work hard to make healthy choices easy for children within our sites. In our early childhood and after-school programs, we educate children and families about healthy eating through cooking, nutrition and gardening programs. We serve healthy meals full of fruits and vegetables and make sure children have plenty of opportunity for play and exercise. Yet, when children step outside of our centers and schools, they are often surrounded by unhealthy foods and drinks and exposed to an onslaught of advertisements that encourage ever greater consumption of junk. Without taking aggressive measures against this obesogenic environment, we will never curb the obesity crisis. We’re grateful to be working in partnership with a Mayor and City that are paving the way for national solutions.”

 

STATEMENT OF DAVID NOCENTI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNION SETTLEMENT ASSOCIATION

“Union Settlement Association applauds Mayor Bloomberg for this simple, common sense approach to improve the health of tens of thousands of New York City residents. The problems caused by the twin evils of obesity and diabetes are dramatic, and increasing – particularly among residents in underserved communities, like those we serve here in East Harlem. Reducing the size of sugary drinks unquestionably will reduce the amount of sugar and calories consumed, which is the first and most logical step in addressing these problems.”

 

STATEMENT OF MARCEL VAN OOYEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GROWNYC

“Seat belts. Life boats. Building codes. Consumers should have protection. GrowNYC supports all efforts that allow New Yorkers to lead healthy lifestyles. Allowing consumers to make right sized choices when it comes to beverages is a positive step in that direction. At GrowNYC, we are all about leveling the playing field when it comes to making communities healthier: whether by increasing access to wholesome affordable foods for neighborhoods that need it most or helping to teach young people nutrition label literacy or supporting the urban farm movement, we believe that empowering our citizens through education helps inoculate against a tidal wave of consumer messaging that makes real choice confusing. Choice comes in many forms – including the ability to say ‘No thanks’ - and we applaud the Obesity Task Force recommendation to allow for better options for consumers. Limiting sugar sweetened beverage portion size isn’t taking something away, it’s giving something back, namely health and the option to select beneficial alternatives that give consumers the product selection they deserve.

GrowNYC is pleased that so many of the Task Force recommendations dovetail with our own initiatives e.g. developing school and community gardens, encouraging healthy food choice offerings in school and other community settings. A public health crisis like the one that the US is facing i.e. high rates of obesity and diabetes requires a multifaceted approach that involves partnerships between public and private agencies to ensure cooperation, buy in and success. We very much look forward to continuing our work together to make New York City as fit and strong as possible as befitting one of the nation’s great cities.”

STATEMENT OF FORMER PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR EDWARD G. RENDELL

“As usual Mayor Bloomberg is taking strong, decisive action to meet one of our nation's most serious challenges – obesity and the damage it is doing to our children. He is breaking new ground in what will serve as a test case for cities throughout America.”

 

STATEMENT OF PUBLIC ADVOCATE BILL DE BLASIO

“As a parent, I know that every time my kids walk down the aisle at our neighborhood deli they are confronted with more bad choices than good ones. It’s an uphill battle that is taking a terrible toll on families across this City – and no one will pay a higher cost than our children if we fail to act. Mayor Bloomberg understands that we are losing the fight against obesity and it is time for a new approach. I commend the Mayor for recognizing this public health crisis and taking it head-on.”

 

STATEMENT OF MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT SCOTT STRINGER

“If public health is our goal and obesity our enemy, we must be creative and aggressive to fight and win this war. That’s why I commend Mayor Bloomberg for drawing a line in the sand and taking on the soda cartel which is driving the obesity epidemic in this country. The policy is a bold start, but much more needs to be done. We should give every New York City child the tools they need to make smart, healthy choices by focusing on nutrition in the schools, and we should give small business owners a boost by we should give small business owners a boost by increasing funding for retail access initiatives like Healthy Bodegas. Throughout my six years as Borough President, breaking the pattern of harmful environmental and health conditions in many of Manhattan’s neighborhoods has been a top priority. The Mayor’s action continues New York City’s record in leading the nation in innovative strategies to protect the health of its residents.

 

STATEMENT OF KENNETH DAVIS, MD, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE MOUNT SINAI MEDICAL CENTER

“New York City’s bold proposal to ban the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks is a major step in the right direction. As a nation, we need to recognize that obesity is a largely acquired condition – not unlike HIV and lung cancer – and one that underlies or exacerbates most chronic disease today, including diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. On an individual level, these conditions impair quality of life and shorten lifespan. On a population level, they result in many avoidable hospitalizations, re-admissions and, ultimately, trillions of dollars in health care spending. Mayor Bloomberg and the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, have my support in this and all measures aimed at primary prevention of obesity and chronic disease.”

 

STATEMENT OF CONNECTICUT CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE ROSA DELAURO

“I applaud Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to combat the ever-increasing obesity epidemic, levels of which have nearly tripled since 1980. Today's youth may be the first generation to have a shorter life than their parents and studies indicate more than a quarter of young adults are too overweight to serve in the military. It is imperative that we address this critical health issue and Mayor Bloomberg's efforts are a critical step forward in dealing with this problem that has caused our health care costs to increase and our quality of life to decrease.

 

STATEMENT OF NEW YORK STATE SENATOR GUSTAVO RIVERA

“I applaud Mayor Bloomberg for taking steps toward making New York City and the Bronx healthier communities. Much of what determines one's health is one’s habits. I believe in the long-run, making sure that our youth are not developing unhealthy habits like drinking large amounts of soda instead of water or healthier beverages is an important cause. It may seem like a small change, but making our community healthier is like making an individual healthier – it is going to take a lot of little things.”

 

STATEMENT OF JONATHAN SHENKIN, DDS, MPH, CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HEALTH POLICY, HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH AND PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY, BOSTON UNIVERSITY

“We've learned from our experience with tobacco that education alone does not impact the most vulnerable populations. Helping citizens understand more healthful serving sizes by limiting how much sugared beverages can be sold to children and families is one step in the right direction to mitigating obesity and tooth decay.”

 

STATEMENT OF JACK LUND, PRESIDENT AND CEO, YMCA OF GREATER NEW YORK

“At the Y, we know that there is no magic bullet in the fight against obesity. The Y applauds the Mayor’s effort to take aim at the obesity epidemic including the proposed containment of plus-sized sugary drinks. It’s important for New Yorkers and for all Americans to understand the grave consequences to our society – physical, mental and financial – if our everyday behaviors don’t change, and the implications for our children are even more severe. The Mayor continues to move the City’s looming health crisis to the forefront in the consciousness of New Yorkers. This is being accomplished through a combination of public information campaigns and bold legislation. Whatever one’s position on the plus-sized soda ban, it has already achieved an important, early objective: it has reached a national audience. Let’s hope New Yorkers and Americans are able to look beyond the superficial arguments associated with this legislation to its real motivation.”

 

STATEMENT OF DR. LISA YOUNG, NUTRITIONIST AND PROFESSOR AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY’S DEPARTMENT OF NUTRITION, FOOD STUDIES, AND PUBLIC HEALTH, ON THE HUFFINGTON POST

“Given the health consequences and enormous cost of our country's obesity epidemic, it is time to return eating less. And banning the large sizes of unhealthy sugar-sweetened beverages is a good place to begin. The city has unveiled other such public health campaigns, and it appears that they may actually be working. Smoking has declined and so have rates of childhood obesity in New York City. I applaud the health department for its efforts in fighting to improve the public health of New Yorkers and hope other health departments around the country follow New York's lead.”

 

STATEMENT OF LARRY COHEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PREVENTION INSTITUTE, ON THE HUFFINGTON POST

“‘New York City is not about wringing your hands; it's about doing something.’ That's what Mayor Michael Bloomberg said last Wednesday while introducing the city's plan to cap serving sizes of sugary drinks at 16 ounces. My first thought was, that's true, and I am so proud to have grown up as a New Yorker. This regulation is a vital step in improving health for our families and communities. This is a battle over who gets to shape our food environment and the health of our children. New York City's leadership will inspire hope -- and future action -- in places where the political will to make these sorts of common sense changes does not yet exist. It protects the health of New Yorkers and builds momentum for the rest of us.”

 

STATEMENT OF PAT WANG, PRESIDENT AND CEO, HEALTHFIRST

“Healthfirst applauds Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to limit the portion size of sugary soft drinks at public eating establishments. As a not-for-profit health plan coordinating the health care of close to 600,000 people in New York City, we see both the human and financial costs of obesity on a daily basis – the suffering of individuals with obesity-related disease, the impact on their families and the growing financial costs of treating these conditions once they have set in. The Mayor’s initiative is important because it aims to lower the incidence of obesity-related illness by lowering the rate of obesity itself.”

 

STATEMENT OF PRESIDENT WILLIAM J. CLINTON, ON CNN PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

“I think he's doing the right thing. For the first time, Type II Diabetes is showing up in nine-year-olds, and among the baby boomers, who are retiring. I know a lot of people think ‘this is a nanny state’ but there are very serious problems. [Diabetes] is basically too much sugar going into the body, we can't process it all. So, if you get rid of these giant, full of sugar drinks, and make people have smaller portions, it will help."

 

STATEMENT OF DR. STEVEN SAFYER, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF MONTEFIORE MEDICAL CENTER

“Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on the sale of large surgery drinks is an important step in the fight against obesity. I’ve watched for years as the obesity epidemic exploded, impairing the lives of children and adults and putting them at early risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Far-reaching measures like this one are needed if we are going to turn this health crisis around.”

 

STATEMENT OF PASTOR BRIAN CARTER, PRESIDENT, BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN ECUMENICAL ADVISORY GROUP

“New York City’s low-income residents expect their elected officials to protect them from unscrupulous industry practices that put profits above the health and well-being of our communities. The City’s proposal to limit the size of sugary drinks satisfies this principle.

“Adults in the city’s poorest neighborhoods suffer from obesity and diabetes at twice the rate of the wealthiest New Yorkers, and bear the disproportionate burden of diabetes-related hospitalizations and deaths. Moreover, there is evidence that this trend begins in the earlier years of childhood. We know that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is fueling these epidemics. Frankly, the best argument for limiting the consumption of sugary drinks is that it’s good public health.

“The ecumenical community will continue to work with government and public health agencies to reduce rates of obesity and diabetes in our most disadvantaged neighborhoods. City officials will be doing what you elected them to do: fighting for your right to a longer and healthier life.”

 

STATEMENT OF BARRY POPKIN, PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF NUTRITION, SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, CHAPEL HILL, ON NPR

"Controlling sugary beverage portions sizes is critical for reducing weight gain and [the] risks of diabetes in the U.S."

 

STATEMENT OF NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMBER FELIX W. ORTIZ

“If we wait to deal with these problems, we are allowing a huge portion of our population to live a less healthy and greatly shortened life. The obesity epidemic is clearly a problem that we have not been able to solve at an individual level. We need to work together to combat this crisis and to put in place barriers to unhealthy and dangerous products.”

 

STATEMENT OF BRIAN ELBEL, HEALTH POLICY EXPERT, NYU LANGONE MEDICAL CENTER, IN NEW YORK POST

“Sugar-sweetened beverages contribute to obesity potentially more than other foods or beverages. There is scientific validity to targeting them.”

 

STATEMENT OF HIGH VOLTAGE, ENERGY UP!

“The proposal to ban over-sized sugary drinks by Bloomberg and the NYC Department of Health is a HUGE step in the right direction. We need more mainstream awareness like this to educate our society of the REAL DEAL effects of sugar on their weight and overall health. Sugar is the tobacco of this decade! Energy Up! and our ‘Choose To Be Sugar-Free’ school initiative support this proposal and hope everyone takes the time to educate themselves on proper moderation and healthy lifestyles prior to taking sides in this debate. Energy Up! Wooooo!”

 

STATEMENT OF ELLEN RAUTENBERG, PRESIDENT AND CEO, PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTIONS

“Addressing the obesity epidemic is a public health necessity but extremely complex. A variety of mutually reinforcing interventions, starting in early childhood, are needed to prevent obesity from occurring. Even more difficult is intervening once excessive weight gain has begun. Limiting portion size is one important approach to this multifaceted problem and applying this to sugary drinks, particularly those with no nutritional value, is an excellent place to begin. We went from happily accepting bottles of soda that were 6.5 fluid ounces and have now come to expect that a “regular” drink is 32 ounces. It is logical that if we still want those sodas we could again be very satisfied with one of 16 ounces or less.”

 

STATEMENT OF MAYOR EDWARD I. KOCH

“Obesity is increasing every year. It is obvious that simply pointing that out, as we do, has not been enough to halt the increase in the number of people added to the obese list each year. The Mayor's action in restricting some of the sales of the unbelievably sugar-laden drinks is a positive measure. I pray it works.”

 

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