The following are statements in support of New York City's limit on size of sugary beverages put in place to combat the obesity epidemic.
STATEMENT BY DR. ALWYN COHALL, DIRECTOR, HARLEM HEALTH PROMOTION CENTER, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
“Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on the sale of large sugary drinks is a significant move in addressing the health problems that are devastating the lives of thousands of New Yorkers who suffer from chronic diseases related to obesity and overweight. The city’s decision to improve public health is in keeping with the mission of the Harlem Health Promotion Center (HHPC) which is affiliated with the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – we are part of its 37-member Prevention Research Center (PRC) network. HHPC’s GetHealthyHarlem.org consumer website is focused on supporting community members in learning about the chronic diseases associated with obesity and providing plain-language, educational information along with a platform for users to post their own health-related content.
“HHPC is also overseeing a research study, Project SHARE (Support for Hypertension Awareness, Reduction and Education), that is helping members of the Northern Manhattan community reduce their risk factors for hypertension through educational assistance that promotes behavior change around diet, physical activity, stress, tobacco use and many other key issues. Focused attention on life-style changes, including limiting intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), is a critical component of hypertension control. On behalf of the Harlem Health Promotion Center, I support the mayor’s efforts to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages as an important step that many New Yorkers can take to reduce obesity and to promote their general health and wellness.”
STATEMENT OF LISA M. POWELL, PHD, SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH RESEARCH AND POLICY
“Sugary drinks add empty calories to the American diet. Mayor Bloomberg’s policy initiative to limit serving sizes of sugary drinks takes an important step forward toward the public health aim of reducing sugar intake and related obesity prevalence. Larger serving sizes are often offered with quantity discounts. This measure will help to eliminate these types of options which have previously incentivized people to consume excess quantities of sugar-sweetened beverages. This effort also will help society reclaim from industry healthier norms with respect to portion sizes.”
STATEMENT OF ROBERT KENNER, DIRECTOR, FOOD INC.
“Thank you, Mayor Bloomberg, for taking a stand on this issue. We’re consuming 278 more calories every day than we did 30 years ago, and almost half of those calories come from sugary beverages. This has led to an unparalleled health crisis in this country – 34 percent of Americans are obese and the epidemic amounts to $165 billion in health care costs every year. Soda companies will fight tooth and nail to say this issue is about choice, but it’s really about profit. Profit with a total disregard for their customers’ health and the price we all have to pay as a result.”
STATEMENT OF FRANCES MOORE LAPPÉ AND ANNA LAPPÉ, CO-AUTHORS OF HOPE’S EDGE AND CO-FOUNDERS OF THE SMALL PLANET INSTITUTE
“We are writing in support of New York City’s new public health proposal to limit the size of sugary drinks sold at city restaurants and other food establishments. Critics charge that this proposed policy is just another example of the ‘food nannies’ working overtime, but sugary drink companies are one of the real food nannies spending billions in advertising every year to tell us, and our kids, what to drink.”
STATEMENT OF DR. JOSEPH VASSALOTTI, MD, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, NATIONAL KIDNEY FOUNDATION
“We at the National Kidney Foundation applaud your efforts to combat obesity in New York City. As obesity reaches epidemic proportions in this country, many other deadly diseases are rising as well and kidney disease is chief among them. Currently, there are 1.3 million New Yorkers suffering from chronic kidney disease and that number is rising. Recent research shows that consumption of sugary sodas results in obesity. Obesity can cause the development of kidney disease directly or indirectly through type 2 diabetes. One in three adults in the U.S. is at risk for kidney disease, yet the awareness level is low. Raising awareness is essential to really helping address the epidemic of chronic kidney disease that is tied with the obesity scourge.”
STATEMENT OF FRANK B. HU, MD, PHD, PROFESSOR OF NUTRITION AND EPIDEMIOLOGY, HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH & PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL
“I believe that Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to ban the sale of large sodas is highly creative and visionary and will be effective in reducing obesity. It is entirely justifiable to single out sugary beverages as a target for policy interventions. First, obesity has become the most important public health problem of our time, and sugary beverages are the major source of excess calories and sugar in our diet. Second, there is solid scientific evidence supporting that regular consumption of these beverages contributes to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and a larger portion size has been linked to an inc rease in calorie consumption. Third, studies have shown that changing the food environment by limiting access to large portion sizes of soda is effective in reducing consumption, while education alone is not sufficient to change people’s behaviors.
While obesity is a complex problem with many causes, increasing consumption of sugar beverages is clearly an important factor in the obesity epidemic. This proposal, if implemented, can improve the food environment, increase awareness about large portion sizes and obesity, and reduce consumption in the population. Like anti-smoking movement, in the fight against obesity, while health education campaigns are needed to garner public support, public policy changes are critical in changing social norms and unhealthy behaviors.”
STATEMENT OF PASCAL JAMES IMPERATO, MD, M PH & TM, DEAN AND DISTINGUISHED SERVICE PROFESSOR, SUNY DOWNSTATE MEDICAL CENTER, SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
“The proposal of the New York City Board of Health to limit the serving size of sugared-sweetened beverages to 16 ounces is a creative initiative that will hopefully help to address the obesity epidemic in New York City and set an example for the remainder of the country. The obesity epidemic in the United States now afflicts both children and adults. It represents not only a major current public health problem, but also holds significant potential for burdening both individuals and society in the future with a variety of illness such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and joint disease. The role of large portion sizes of both food and sugared-sweetened beverages in causing obesity is directly related not only to their excessive caloric value, but also to the f act that Americans have come to accept that such excessive intake is perfectly normal. It is this popular normalization of both overweight and excessive caloric intake that needs to be addressed if we are to succeed in combating the obesity epidemic. This proposal, when enacted, will help set a new standard in the popular culture for what is a healthy and acceptable portion size. It may not dissuade people from ordering a second 16 ounce portion of a sugared-sweetened drink, but it may remind them that to do so does not represent a healthy choice.”
STATEMENT OF LAWRENCE S. WEISBERG, MD, FACP, FASN, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE AND ASSISTANT DEAN FOR CURRICULUM, COOPER MEDICAL SCHOOL OF ROWAN UNIVERSITY
“As a nephrologist practicing in Camden, NJ – an impoverished community – I see every day the ravages of obesity in the increasing incidence of hypertension and chronic kidney disease. I strongly support Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to combat this epidemic by discouraging the consumption of sugary drinks. The trivial issues of personal freedom in this case pale before the public health and welfare exigency."
STATEMENT OF SPIKE LEE, FILMMAKER, ON THE VULTURE.COM
“I’m in favor of [the soda ban]. Look, when I was growing up in Brooklyn, we had gym, and you had to run. You had some physical activity. Children today in public schools across the country are not being taught art, are not being taught music and they have no physical ed. Obesity is a major, major problem in this country. Americans—we’re just obese. It’s crazy. Ask -African-Americans. We are way over ¬index on obesity, which means we are over index on diabetes, heart disease, and it goes down the line.”
STATEMENT OF ERIC SCHLOSSER, AUTHOR, FAST FOOD NATION
"Once again, Mayor Bloomberg is leading the fight against private interests that make their money by endangering the public health. Soda isn't food. It has no nutritional value. And soda consumption has been strongly linked to obesity and diabetes. New York City has every right to reduce the harm and the health care costs being imposed by irresponsible corporate behavior. The mayor's proposal won't prevent anyone from buying sugary drinks. But it will encourage people to consume less of them---and fast food chains to earn their profits by selling something else."
STATEMENT OF JAMIE OLIVER, CHEF AND RESTAURATEUR
"I applaud Mayor Bloomberg's initiative as I believe he's one of the few people in power who is taking practical measures to fight obesity. We hear a lot about how we shouldn't be 'nannying' people with laws about how they live their lives, but with such a massive problem as the obesity epidemic to deal with, we are way past the point where can trust people to make better choices. We have to help them make better choices. Good for Mayor Mike for putting the health of his city's people first and holding firm against the expected pressure from the food and soda industries."
STATEMENT OF BETTY WOLDER LEVIN, PHD, PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND NUTRITION SCIENCES, BROOKLYN COLLEGE
"The health consequences of obesity and the contribution of sugar-sweetened beverages to the obesity epidemic have been well documented. There is also a substantial body of research indicating that the most effective ways to improve health is to target the upstream determinants of health rather than focus on individual behavior. The proposal to prevent the sale of large portions of sugar-sweetened beverages exemplifies an upstream approach. I have seen critiques of the proposal that assert that it will limit the ability of people to choose what they want to consume. However, this proposal does not target individual behavior - consumers would still be able to choose to drink as much sugar-sweetened beverages as they want. Rather, this proposal targets the way that sugar-sweetened beverages are packaged and sold. It is appropriate for the city to make policies to promote the health of the public."
STATEMENT OF SAMUEL KLEIN, MD, WILLIAM H. DANFORTH PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE AND NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE & DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR HUMAN NUTRITION, WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
"The most important health concern about sugar intake is that it adds calories to the diet, which can be a ticket to weight gain and obesity. The calories we consume in beverages that contain sugar do not make us feel as full as when we eat the same amount of calories in solid food, so consuming large amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages or fruit juices can pack on the pounds. As you gain weight, fat can accumulate in your liver and reduce the effectiveness of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. Extra body fat affects the liver, and your pancreas works harder to try to keep blood sugar normal. Furthermore, whether or not you're overweight, consuming high amounts of sugar can increase triglycerides (blood fats) and increase fat production in your liver. Therefore, reducing consumption of high-sugar beverages is a good first step for maintaining a proper body weight and improving your health."
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM A. GILLESPIE, MD, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, EMBLEMHEALTH
"EmblemHealth supports the Mayor's portion cap proposal and is committed to partnering with the City of New York in its efforts to promote healthy eating, good nutrition, and fitness in the fight against childhood obesity that threatens the present and future health of our community."
STATEMENT OF RONDA KOTELCHUCK, CEO, PRIMARY CARE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
"I applaud Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to ban large-size sugary drinks. Government has the responsibility not only to offer choices that improve health, such as primary and preventive care, housing and healthy food, but to limit access to choices that cause harm. And increasingly, it has the responsibility to address the soaring and unsustainable cost of health care. The Mayor addresses all three responsibilities simultaneously in a single initiative. Growth in obesity, especially among our children is alarming, as will be their future facing the consequences of diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney disease, amputations and blindness, to name a few. The contribution of sugary drinks to this problem becomes clearer every day. The Mayor has charted a smart and courageous strategy for which he is to be commended."
STATEMENT OF RICHARD ANCONA, MD, F.A.A.P., PRESIDENT, NY CHAPTER 2, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS
"On behalf of the Pediatricians represented by New York Chapter 2 of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I would like to congratulate you on taking a courageous stand on sugar-sweetened beverages. Our members, which include pediatricians practicing in Brooklyn and Queens, support your efforts. The Academy of Pediatrics has been lobbying for changes involving sugar sweetened beverages so that parents can seek healthier alternatives for their children. We have also been involved in providing public education regarding portion size. We Pediatricians strongly believe that obesity starts even before birth, and may accelerate during childhood. Therefore we are strongly supportive of public health initiatives which can help reduce the intake of empty calories."
STATEMENT OF COALITION OF NEW YORK STATE HEALTH PLANS
"We salute Mayor Bloomberg on this initiative. In our work managing the care of 2.8 million children and adults enrolled in New York's public health insurance programs, we are very concerned with increasing obesity rates and the related health fall-out for our members and their families. Efforts like the Mayor's sugary beverage initiative align with public health plans' efforts to improve the health of the New Yorkers we serve, who face disproportionately high risk of obesity-related illness. This innovative policy is an important first step not only in its contribution to fighting obesity, but in the awareness it will raise and the other creative health promotion efforts it will inspire."
STATEMENT FROM SEATTLE MAYOR MIKE MCGINN
"With his proposal to downsize huge supersize sugary drink portion sizes and his other anti-obesity measures, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made kids' health a priority. For that, he is to be commended. We have an obesity epidemic in this country and need bold and innovative actions to address this crisis."
STATEMENT OF CHANCELLOR MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN, THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
"Mayor Bloomberg's proposed ban on the sale of large sugary drinks is an important step in addressing the health problems increasingly affecting New Yorkers. The city's clear commitment to improving public health is consistent with the mission of the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, which is working to develop new approaches to alleviating asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other problems, particularly in disadvantaged neighborhoods that are disproportionately affected by these issues. All of us share a goal of encouraging disease prevention, advancing public health education, and reducing health disparities. On behalf of The City University of New York, I applaud the mayor's efforts to make New York City the leader in a much-needed national initiative to improve our public health."
STATEMENT OF MARICE ASHE, JD, MPH, FOUNDER AND CEO, CHANGELAB SOLUTIONS (FORMERLY PUBLIC HEALTH LAW & POLICY)
"We need to use all the tools at our disposal to counter the obesity epidemic, and local government has a major role to play. New York City's proposed ban on supersized sugary drinks is one way to give people the chance to decide how much they really want to consume, instead of letting industry make the call. It brings us closer to the norms of earlier decades, before obesity and diabetes rates began to skyrocket, when the average soda portion size was actually smaller than New York City's proposed limit. Public officials are charged with protecting our health and welfare, and New York City is taking a perfectly appropriate step to meet that obligation."
STATEMENT OF DODI MEYER, MD, ASSOCIATE CLINICAL PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS AND DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY PEDIATRICS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER/NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN HOSPITAL
"As a pediatrician working in clinical and public health settings, I have seen firsthand the effects that obesity has had on NYC's children. They are not only more prone to problems later in life, but are already suffering health consequences that are affecting their daily lives. My patients are suffering now from breathing problems during sleep time, some have joint diseases and other are suffering from severe psychiatric issues due to the stigmatization that goes on in school settings. We as a society are responsible to offer children the best future that they can possibly have. It is the first time in history that the next generation is in danger of having a lower life expectancy that the previous one because of the health effects of the current obesity epidemic. Curtailing the sale of supersize sugary drinks can have a huge impact on the health of our children and therefore allow them to live to their maximum potential."
STATEMENT OF ALAN SCHWARTZ, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, GUGGENHEIM PARTNERS
"Childhood obesity is a crisis and the Mayor's proposal is designed to call attention and encourage action to deal with it."
STATEMENT OF JOANNE M. OPLUSTIL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CAMBA/CAMBA HOUSING VENTURES
"CAMBA applauds Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for taking a practical, no-cost attack on the obesity epidemic that is plaguing our city and our country. Every day CAMBA works to improve the quality of life for 45,000 New Yorkers, and it's clear that the communities we serve will benefit from common-sense regulations to help return normalcy to beverage sizes. Our Brooklyn Partnership to Drive Down Diabetes (BP3D) helps connect the nearly 10% of Brooklyn residents living with diabetes to nutrition and fitness options - and we're relieved that smaller-sized sugary drinks can help them make easier choices and live longer, healthier lives."
STATEMENT OF ANN M. VENEMAN, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
"I applaud Mayor Bloomberg's leadership in working to combat obesity. The city is proactively educating the public with messages on sugar and portion sizes in the media and on the subway trains."
STATEMENT OF KENNETH J. PODZIBA, PRESIDENT/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, BIKE NEW YORK
"As Mayor Bloomberg said, 'We should give every New York City child the tools they need to make smart, healthy choices.' Bike New York applauds and supports the Mayor's efforts to encourage healthier and more active lifestyles. Healthy dietary habits will be immediately integrated into our bike safety curriculum used in our school programs and nine summer camps."
STATEMENT OF JUDY COLLINS, FOLK SINGER
"Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to limit the size of bottles of sweet drinks is a positive step in solving the overwhelming problem that is facing our country. It is a small step, but it is one for the better; one that can give us pause; to think. And rethink our nutritional goals and realities."
STATEMENT BY RICH BERLIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF HARLEM RBI AND CHAIRMAN OF DREAM CHARTER SCHOOL
"Harlem RBI/ DREAM Charter School's mission is to provide inner city youth with opportunities to Play, Learn and Grow. We use the power of teams to coach, teach and inspire youth to recognize their potential and realize their dreams. When Harlem RBI youth graduate from the program, they are expected to embody several valuable attributes, one of which is to be physically healthy. Given the particular health challenges present in East Harlem-which includes epidemic levels of childhood obesity, asthma and diabetes-Harlem RBI views physical activities, nutrition and health as a vital and unique aspect of its program. For that reason, we vigorously support New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to ban the sale of extra-large sugary drinks from public venues."
STATEMENT OF DONNA E. SHALALA, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI, FORMER UNITED STATES HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY:
"I think it's very important to give Mayor Bloomberg credit as a leader in this area. Mayor Bloomberg in particular has looked for creative solutions that will improve the health outcomes of the people of his city and for that we applaud him."
STATEMENT OF MARY WITTENBERG, PRESIDENT AND C.E.O., NEW YORK ROAD RUNNERS
"The plague of obesity is not political, it's personal. Obesity is drastically reducing the longevity and quality of millions of lives at a monumental cost to their families, our city, and our country. The work of New York Road Runners is helping people find and embrace the joy of running and movement and to develop the overall well-being -- both physical and mental -- physical activity provides. We salute the Mayor and the Department of Health for their tremendous record advancing health, and for this important initiative to reduce the number of calories New Yorkers get through super size, sugary drinks that undermine good fitness."
STATEMENT OF RISA LAVIZZO-MOUREY, MD, MBA, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION
"Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to limit serving sizes for sugar-sweetened beverages takes place within an important context. We know that sugary drinks are one of the top sources of calories in the American diet and, therefore, a big contributor to the obesity epidemic among both children and adults. The Institute of Medicine recommended that business and government leaders adopt policies and implement practices to reduce overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. RWJF agrees with that recommendation. The proposal to limit serving sizes of sugar-sweetened beverages is a creative attempt to achieve this goal. Scientific research shows that portion size influences how much people consume. The bigger the bottle, cup, bowl or plate that's in front of you, the more likely you are to drink or eat more. So this proposal is a reasonable approach that ought to be tested. The mayor isn't saying people can't drink 32 ounces of soda. But if they have to order a second 16-ounce drink to do so, it will be a more conscious choice. And it's going to take the combined effect of lots of small, healthy choices to get our country on the path to better health. New York City is one of the first places to show signs of success in lowering obesity rates among children, but the mayor and other leaders in New York and elsewhere know that there isn't a single, silver-bullet approach to reducing consumption of excess calories. The only way the nation will know if this new proposal will help to accelerate progress in preventing obesity is to try it and then evaluate the health and economic impacts."
STATEMENT OF ELLEN GUSTAFSON, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE 30 PROJECT
"Mayor Bloomberg is making a courageous and crucial move to counter huge distortions in our food system that allow for ever-cheaper and ever-larger sweetened beverages. The Mayor is clearly seeing the data on obesity/overweight, obesity-related healthcare costs and our intake of sweetened drinks and he is choosing to act on behalf of the citizen's public health. Rather than reign in freedom, this initiative might help right the distortions in our markets that allow for the cheap, out-of-control portions that push consumers toward larger sizes. Thank you on behalf of our children- hopefully they will come to view sugary drinks as the treat they once were."
STATEMENT OF DENNIS RIVERA, CHAIR, THE PARTNERSHIP FOR QUALITY CARE
"We have seen a rise in efforts to combat sugar-sweetened beverage intake in states across the country. With this proposal, Mayor Bloomberg is raising the bar and taking a big step toward making New Yorkers healthier. Chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes threaten the lives of millions of people all across our country - many of them children - contributing more to health costs than ever before. Bold solutions are what we need right now, and PQC is proud to actively support this effort. Sugar-sweetened beverage reduction is a central component of PQC's workplace wellness campaign, known as "HOW-TO" (Healthier Options for the Workplace Today). One of its main pillars is bringing attention to what people are drinking and promoting healthier, less sugary options. It's important that both patients and health care workers understand how significantly their well-being can improve by making simple changes in their everyday lives."
The Partnership for Quality Care (PQC) includes public, private, religious, teaching and nonprofit hospitals and integrated health systems as well as more than a million health care workers across the country. Members of the Partnership care for more than 45 million patients each year.
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.”
STATEMENT OF MARION NESTLE, PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF NUTRITION, FOOD STUDIES, AND PUBLIC HEALTH AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, ON CBS NEWS
“Something needs to be done, and you can't just tell people to eat better and move more. If I'm given huge amounts of food, I'm going to eat it. Cheers for the Bloomberg administration, they're really trying to make environmental changes.”
STATEMENT OF WALTER WILLETT, MD, DRPH, CHAIR, DEPARTMENT OF NUTRITION, HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
“New York City's plan to limit the serving size of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages sold in restaurants is well-justified by solid evidence. High intakes of these beverages increase the risks of obesity and diabetes and are clearly unsafe for anyone. Of course, this alone won't halt the epidemics of these diseases sweeping our country, but it is valuable and creative step in the right direction that deserves the support of everyone who cares about the wellbeing of our children and all Americans. “
STATEMENT OF EZEKIEL J. EMANUEL, M.D., PH.D, VICE PROVOST FOR GLOBAL INITIATIVES, CHAIR, DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL ETHICS AND HEALTH POLICY, LEVY UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AT PERELMAN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND THE WHARTON SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA ON MORNING JOE
“When you and I were growing up six ounces or eight ounces was the norm. Now you’ve got 20 ounces, 26 ounces, 32 ounces. It is ridiculous. I think your Mayor is bold.
“I do think we should not think of this as the end. This is only part of a complex approach that we need. And I do think what he’s saying is right – these ginormous drinks, they’re not what we ought to be doing. He’s doing what we did about smoking, saying we need to get this category off the element.
“But even you, Joe, who are conservative I might say, you don’t think this is nanny-state. I’ve heard you say that. You think that we need to do a lot here, and I think we should get the nanny-state issue off the table, because this isn’t about the nanny-state.”
STATEMENT OF KELLY BROWNELL, DIRECTOR, RUDD CENTER FOR FOOD POLICY & OBESITY AT YALE UNIVERSITY, IN USA TODAY
"This is a big deal. soda companies and restaurants will go ballistic, and the reason is it interferes with their basic business model, which is to sell as much as they can of their highest profit margin item. They are establishing the role of government in fighting obesity by setting limits on sizes. This is an approach that I think would help fight the obesity epidemic, but we'll have to do many such things in order to reverse the epidemic.”
STATEMENT OF CENTER FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MICHAEL F. JACOBSON
“Mayor Michael Bloomberg's pioneering proposal to limit serving sizes of sugary drinks is the boldest effort yet to prevent obesity, which is not only painful for millions of Americans but is costing our nation upwards of $150 billion in higher health costs annually. New York City’s health department deserves tremendous credit for recognizing the harm that sugary soft drinks cause in the form of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease—and for doing something about it. We hope other city and state public health officials adopt similar curbs on serving sizes and reducing Americans’ exposure to these nutritionally worthless products.”
STATEMENT OF DR. ROBERT ROSS, PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA ENDOWMENT
“We need to move Mayor Bloomberg’s effort beyond the five boroughs to all fifty states. Junk drinks are a leading cause of an obesity and excess weight crisis that affects nearly one of every three kids in the United States and half of all kids in poor, rural areas.
“We must treat junk drinks like the health hazard that they are. Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal will not only begin to curb the thousands of killer calories from junk drinks, but this action will also help educate the public about the threat they pose.
“Soda and other sugary beverages are the leading source of added sugar in children’s diets today. This crisis is making our kids sick and costing our nation billions in medical costs and lost productivity.
“We applaud Mayor Bloomberg for his continued leadership and to his innovative and aggressive approach to preventive health.”
STATEMENT OF THE UNITED WAY
“United Way of New York City is dedicated to improving Health, Education and Income for the most vulnerable New Yorkers, so we applaud Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to ban sales of large-size sugary beverages from restaurants, mobile food carts, movie theaters and delis. With 58% of NYC adults and 40% of city public school students obese or overweight, this measure would be a powerful step in combating unhealthy weight and advancing the effort to make New Yorkers healthier.
“United Way of New York City’s food programs similarly require soup kitchens and food pantries to limit beverages to skim milk and 100% fruit juices, and we join the Mayor in his continued efforts to encourage New Yorkers to make better food choices. Measures like these, coupled with nutrition education and greater access to locally grown fruits and vegetables, are key to reducing diabetes, hypertension, and other diet-related diseases that plague far too many in our city.”
STATEMENT OF THE GYNHA/1199 SEIU HEALTHCARE EDUCATION PROJECT
“There is no question that excessive soda consumption has helped trigger a dramatic increase in obesity and related illnesses like diabetes in New York City,” said GYNHA president Kenneth E. Raske. “New York’s hospital community applauds Mayor Bloomberg for taking an important step to improve the public’s health.”
“Banning the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks will improve our health today and the health of future generations,” said 1199/SEIU president George Gresham. “Dozens of studies have shown that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to increased weight gain and obesity, and thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, New York City is doing something about it.”
STATEMENT OF THE CITIZENS’ COMMITTEE FOR CHILDREN
“CCC strongly supports Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to establish a maximum size of 16 fluidounces for sugary drinks sold in food service establishments, such as restaurants, arenas, food carts or movie theaters. Over 40 percent of New York City’s public school children in
kindergarten through eighth grade are obese or overweight, and it has been proven that the
consumption of sugary beverages is a large contributor to this rate.
Curbing consumption of sugary beverages, particularly for children, is therefore critical. Obese and overweight children are at risk for chronic health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. The Mayor’s proposal will not only help children learn important lessons about portion control, but it will serve to positively impact their long-term health and well-being.”
STATEMENT OF NANCY HUEHNERGARTH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW YORK STATE HEALTHY EATING AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ALLIANCE
“Portion sizes have exploded in the United States in the past few decades and so has obesity. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the average size of a fast-food soda is six times larger than a soda 60 years ago. If we want to encourage people to consume fewer, non-nutritious sugary drinks, then Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to limit the size of these drinks is a smart move.”
STATEMENT OF THE OBESITY SOCIETY
“The Obesity Society supports the efforts of Mayor Bloomberg to ban the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages larger than 16 ounces. This is a measure that will help efforts to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, which research shows are a major contributor to increased calorie intake by both children and adults, thus potentially contributing to the nation’s obesity epidemic.
“Two-thirds of American adults and over half of Canadians are overweight or obese. In addition to the significant cost it imposes on the nation’s health care system, obesity at any age increases the risk of many chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes, and can significantly worsen quality of life.
“Although obesity is caused by myriad of factors, there is a large body of evidence suggesting that a significant contributor to consumption of extra calories over the last three decades is the over- consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages including soda, sports and energy drinks, fruit drinks, and enhanced waters. Research indicates that Americans consume nearly 200-300 more calories per day than 30 years ago, with the largest single increase in calories due to sugar-sweetened beverages. Calories from sugar-sweetened beverage are empty calories because they are typically devoid of nutrients other than simple sugar. In contrast, 100% fruit juices, while containing natural sugars, do often contain vitamins and minerals. Research also suggests that sugar-sweetened beverages fail to produce the feeling of satiety that occurs from calories derived from solid foods, thus potentially contributing to overeating.
“The substantial increase in calorie intake from sugar-sweetened beverages is explained in part by increasing portion size: the 6 ½ ounce single serving bottle enjoyed in the 1960s has given way to the 20 ounce drink found in vending machines and store cold cases, and to the 20-32 ounce drinks in chain stores and restaurants. The New York initiative specifically targets this problem and attempts to bring serving sizes of these beverages back to a more reasonable range. Although the relationship between sugar sweetened beverage consumption and increased calorie intake is strong, it should be noted that not all research demonstrates a link between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and obesity.
“Sugar sweetened beverages have also been demonstrated to have an adverse effects on obesity-related chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In a study of 91,249 women followed for 8 years, those who consumed one or more servings of soft drink per day were twice as likely as those who consumed <1 serving per month to develop diabetes. These effects remained significant after controlling for BMI, energy intake and other potential confounders. Studies have also found associations between sugar-sweetened beverage intake and blood pressure.”