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Why NY City Mayor Bloomberg Got It Right with the Ban on Supersized Sodas

Today I’m expressing my continued support of NY City’s ban on large sugary drinks, and disappointment with the recent decision made by the State Supreme Court in Manhattan to block the city from putting the rules into effect. As I stated to the NY City Board of Health back in September of 2012, (covered by the NY TIMES in this article written by Vivian Yee, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/05/nyregion/mayors-soda-plan-backed-by-weight-loss-industry.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion), the restriction on selling supersized sodas that Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to implement in New York city on restaurants, theatres, stadiums and street vendors, is an important step toward raising awareness of one of the issues responsible for causing increased obesity and diabetes in this country (especially among our children).

This is not to say that obesity is only caused by drinking too much soda, but there is certainly a correlation between the amount of sugar we consume and our overweight status. For example, a 64-ounce supersized soda has approximately 54 teaspoons of sugar and bought at a venue will likely be consumed at one sitting.

What the Mayor is doing is helping to educate people about the sugar content of sodas and the risks they impose on our health. Mayor Bloomberg is right on point.

Our portion sizes are becoming ridiculous, bordering on vulgar, and the Mayor is stepping up and telling it like it is. As he did when he further exposed the dangers of smoking by instituting bans in restaurants and limiting the use of trans-fats. These changes were not popular in the beginning but are applauded by most now.

We have also learned that obesity affects nearly a third of children in New York, and that New York is set to spend about $12 billion a year dealing with the adverse effects of obesity. Ands as people age, the issue becomes more difficult because of the additional health problems it creates including diabetes, heart disease, strokes and cancer, as well as debilitating back pain, joint pain, kidney disease, increased respiratory distress and many other conditions.

Adult diabetes in a person by the age of 40 will cause them to lose 11-14 years of their lives. Children at the ages of 11-12 are being diagnosed with Adult Onset Diabetes, which will shorten their life span by several more years. In fact, this is the first generation of Americans predicted to have a shorter lifespan than the previous generation.

It is my sincere hope that through the work of Mayor Bloomberg and other weight loss leaders including myself, people will become educated about obesity and the serious health risk factors involved.

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