New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Pushes Forward on Soda Ban – WSJ

Mayor Bill de Blasio ’s administration is exploring new ways to regulate the size of large sugary drinks in New York City, holding high-level meetings behind closed doors with health advocates and beverage industry executives.

“Mayor de Blasio has made clear he supports a ban on large sugary drinks,” his spokesman, Phil Walzak, said on Thursday. “The administration is currently considering plans on the best way to reach that goal.”

The administration’s talks with lobbyists could revive an issue championed by Mr. de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael Bloomberg , who oversaw a sugary drink ban in 2012 that was eventually overturned by the courts.

Mr. de Blasio, in a relatively rare display of agreement with Mr. Bloomberg, has vowed to find a way to limit the size of drinks, a move public-health advocates say would help fight obesity.

via New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Pushes Forward on Soda Ban – WSJ.

NYC refreshes anti-sugary drink campaign with new ads – CBS News

NYC refreshes anti-sugary drink campaign with new ads

New York City is trying a new approach to get people to lay off sugary drinks where soda is not the main target.

The city’s health department has produced ads warning people that drinking too much sweet teas, sports and energy drinks and fruit-flavored beverages can lead to obesity and other health problems. The $1.4 million campaign began appearing on TV and buses around the city on Monday, according to CBS New York.

While fruity drinks may sound healthy, they are often loaded with sugars that can be bad, the ads point out. Instead, consumers should try to drink fat-free milk, seltzer and water, and eat fresh fruit instead of drinking juice. People should downsize their drinks, and be wary of pre-sweetened beverages.

“Non-soda sugary drinks have been marketed as being healthier, with references to fruit and antioxidants, vitamins and energy,” New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, a medical doctor, said to Bloomberg Businessweek. “We’re trying to warn them that these drinks can have as much or more sugar and calories as soda because we still have a major epidemic of obesity.” The ads are a continuation of a “Pouring on the Pounds” campaign that was started in 2009.

Farley pointed out that drinks can often be misleading. A 20-ounce Coke has 240 calories, while the same size Minute Maid lemonade with 3 percent juice has 260 calories. In addition, a 16-ounce orange-mango drink with 30 percent juice may have more than enough of the daily requirements for vitamin A and D, but it also contains high-fructose corn syrup and 230 calories.

More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity has been linked to other conditions including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and some of the leading causes of preventable death.

More than half of New Yorkers are overweight or obese, according to city statistics, and one in four children are obese.

Research presented during March 2013 at the American Heart Association’s meeting in New Orleans revealed that an estimated 180,000 people die each year from consuming sugary beverages.

The American Beverage Association (ABA) told CBS News.com in a statement that it was disappointed in the city’s new campaign.

“Once again, the New York City Health Department is oversimplifying the complex set of factors behind obesity,” Chris Gindlesperger, senior director of public affairs for the ABA, said. “Selectively picking out common grocery items like sugar-sweetened beverages as a cause of obesity is misleading. The public does not believe that solutions to obesity are as simplistic as a ban on the size of just one item that people consume, nor should they.”

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New York City’s ban on big sodas

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had attempted to enact a city-wide ban on sugary drinks larger than 16-ounces at food establishments monitored by the city’s health department earlier this year. While milk-based and alcoholic beverages would be exempt, juices with low fruit content, sodas and other sugary drinks would have to adhere to the smaller size.

However, because refills and additional 16-ounce drinks would be sold, one study in April 2013 in PLoS One hypothesized that people might actually buy more sugary drinks.

Bloomberg’s proposal was put on hold when New York Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling in Manhattan declared it arbitrary in nature.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

via NYC refreshes anti-sugary drink campaign with new ads – CBS News.

Diabetes-related deaths hit all-time high in New York: Study

Diabetes-related deaths hit all-time high in New York: Study

Photo credit: A couple drink soda beverages. (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/GettyImages)

With a judge set to hear the city’s appeal on the soda ban ruling, officials Monday released new figures showing an alarming increase in diabetes-related deaths.

The proportion of diabetes-related deaths out of the total number of deaths citywide increased nearly 5% between 1990 and 2011, according to data released by the city’s health department.

Health officials and experts say the increase, which is greater in some higher poverty neighborhoods, could be turned around.

“It is linked to our epidemic of obesity, and like obesity, it can be prevented,” Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said in a statement.

In 2011, there were 5,695 deaths related to diabetes, an all-time high, compared to 4,436 in 1990, according to the data. Overall, the disease leads to one death every 90 minutes in the city, the Health Department said.

By comparison, overall deaths in the city dropped 28.5% during the same period from 73,855 to 52,789.

The city released the numbers one day before it was set to appeal the lawsuit that blocked its controversial ban on large sugary sodas.

Maria Moriarty, a Queens nutritionist and dietitian, said she wasn’t surprised by the report because many New Yorkers are simply not educated when it comes to a healthy diet.

She added that economics plays a huge factor when it comes to battling diabetes saying many sufferers “don’t have access to doctors or facilities that can cut down on the factors for a healthy lifestyle.”

The Health Department’s study showed a major discrepancy among New York neighborhoods. The majority of the top 10 neighborhoods with the highest rates of diabetes-related deaths in 2011 were in Brooklyn and the Bronx, with the highest being in Brownsville where 177 per 100,000 people perished from the disease.

Viola Greene-Walker, the district manager Community Board 16 in Brownsville, said the numbers troubled her but said the city has been working to find ways to get her residents healthier.

Aside from new health department advertisements and programs that promoted staying away from fatty foods, Greene-Walker said her community has needs to band to together to come up with solutions.

“We encourage folks to growing their own vegetables in the local gardens, it’s become more popular,” she said.

City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin — one of the elected officials for Murray Hill, the neighborhood with the lowest diabetes death rate with 19 deaths per 100,000 people — added that the city should continue to push for similar programs especially among the youth.

Lappin noted a pilot program at a Manhattan middle school called “Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools” that teaches kids the benefits of growing and eating fruits and vegetables is doing well and could easily be instituted in classrooms across the city.

“The goal is to teach these kids how to live healthier and that idea grows as they become adults,” the councilwoman said.

via Diabetes-related deaths hit all-time high in New York: Study.

Soda Industry Sues NYC

Soda Industry Sues NYC

OCTOBER 13, 2012 BY HEALTHHABITS LEAVE A COMMENT

On Friday, the American Beverage Association et al filed a lawsuit that aims to overturn New York City’s restrictions on the sale of large-sized soft drinks.

The lawsuit contends that NYC’s Board of Health doesn’t have the authority to create and enforce these new bylaws – which restrict the size of sugary drinks to 16 ounces or less at restaurants, street carts, and entertainment and sports venues.

The plaintiffs say the rules represent “a dramatic departure” from the traditional role of the health department, and they are asking a judge to reject the size limits before they are put into effect. They go on to say that “this case is not about obesity in New York City, this case is about the Board of Health, appointed by the mayor, bypassing the proper legislative process for governing the city.”

Because as we know…America’s soft drink producers have always been very concerned about the sanctity of the American political system.

via Soda Industry Sues NYC.

The Soda Ban Debate: What Does It Mean for Your Health? – Diet and Nutrition – Everyday Health

The Soda Ban Debate: What Does It Mean for Your Health?

The New York City Board of Health will decide this week whether to implement Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial proposal to limit the sale of super-sized sodas.

By Brett Spiegel, Production Editor

via The Soda Ban Debate: What Does It Mean for Your Health? – Diet and Nutrition – Everyday Health.

NYC passes ban on supersized sugary drinks: NBC

By NBC News and wire reports

The New York City Board of Health voted Thursday in support of the ban on large, sugary drinks on Thursday, in a controversial move to reduce obesity.

The ban is an unprecedented 16-ounce limit on sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, delis and movie theaters.

By a vote of eight members in favor, with one abstaining, the mayoral-appointed city health board outlawed sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces nearly everywhere they are sold, except groceries and convenience stores. Violators of the ban, which does not include diet sodas, face a $200 fine. Continue reading