Combating Obesity

Obesity continues to be one of the greatest public health challenges of our time.

Obesity kills thousands of New Yorkers a year and costs $4 billion a year in health care costs. More than half of New York City adults (58%) are overweight or obese and nearly 40% of New York City’s public school students in grades K-8 are overweight or obese.

  

The increase in sugary drink consumption is the largest single cause of the rise in calories in the American diet in the last 40 years. Many studies show consumption of these beverages is linked to weight gain and obesity, and more recently, diabetes and heart disease.

Other studies show that people given larger portions simply consume more without consideration of the additional calories. Despite this information, portion sizes of sugary drinks continued to balloon drastically over the last 50 years, from 12 ounces to 32 ounces in many fast food establishments not as a result of consumer demand, but because of corporate decisions.

Together, these facts strongly suggest that if people are served smaller portion sizes of sugary drinks, they will consume less, gain less weight and be healthier — and we may just start to reverse the catastrophic epidemic of obesity.

The action on sugary drinks builds on Mayor Bloomberg's aggressive quality of life enhancing public health initiatives, such as banning smoking in public places and calorie postings at chain restaurant locations. These bold initiatives have improved life expectancy in New York City by three years since 2001, outpacing the increase in the nation as a whole by 2.2 years.

Learn more about NYC's efforts to combat obesity and join our email list or follow @MikeBloomberg on Twitter to stay up to date on this important public health issue.

Related Information
Statement of Michael R. Bloomberg on New York State Court of Appeals Ruling on Sugary Beverages Portion Size Limit
Jun. 26, 2014 MikeBloomberg.com
This proposal was one of many ways we confronted the obesity crisis head-on, and it started a long overdue national conversation about obesity and its causes.
Restaurant Voluntarily Adopts NYC's Sugary Beverage Portion Size Limit
Mar. 12, 2013 NYC.gov
Lucky's Restaurant on East 34th Street recognizes the health impacts of sugary beverages, a leading contributor to the obesity epidemic.
Data Shows Relationship Between Sugary Drink Consumption and Obesity
Mar. 11, 2013 NYC.gov
This new data is the latest evidence that sugary drinks are helping to drive the obesity epidemic, which falls hardest on low-income communities.
Barclays Center to Voluntarily Adopt Size Limit of Sugary Beverages
Sep. 13, 2012 NYC.gov
The new home of the Brooklyn Nets will voluntarily adopt the new regulations on the sale of sugary beverages adopted by the NYC Board of Health.
Mike Bloomberg on McDonalds Posting Calorie Counts in Restaurants
Sep. 12, 2012 NYC.gov
Obesity is the second-leading cause of preventable death after tobacco, and is the only major public health issue in America that is actually getting worse. The decision by McDonald's to post calorie counts in all U.S. restaurants will give consumers more information about the choices they make.
Weight Watchers Supports NYC's Anti-Obesity Proposal
Sep. 4, 2012 NYC.gov
Weight Watchers supports the City’s plan to limit the size of sugary drinks sold at food service establishments to 16 ounces or less.
Whole Foods Market Donating 57 Salad Bars to NYC Public Schools
Aug. 23, 2012 NYC.gov
Whole Foods celebrated the opening of a new store by donating 57 salad bars to NYC public elementary schools throughout the five boroughs.
Push for Anti-Obesity Proposal Continued Before Public Hearing
Jul. 23, 2012 NYC.gov
The push for the City's anti-obesity proposal continued before the NYC Board of Health conducts a public hearing on the proposal.
Weekly Radio Address: NYC Providing Greater Access to Healthy Food
Jul. 9, 2012 NYC.gov
Every way you measure it, the Health Bucks program has been a big success for both farmers and shoppers.
NYC Expands Health Bucks Program to Make Produce More Affordable
Jul. 2, 2012 NYC.gov
The City’s Health Bucks coupons will be accepted at all 138 farmers markets, improving access to healthy eating for low-income New Yorkers.
Weekly Radio Address: New Steps NYC is Taking to Combat Obesity
Jun. 10, 2012 NYC.gov
New York City is combating the obesity crisis on several fronts including the most recent proposal to curb consumption of sugary beverages.
Mike Bloomberg Highlights Health Impacts of Obesity
Jun. 5, 2012 NYC.gov
Mayor Bloomberg highlighted the health impacts of obesity, which kills an estimated 5,800 New Yorkers per year and is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the U.S.
Big Sugary Drinks Yield Big Waistlines
Jun. 4, 2012 USA Today
Rather than wringing our hands about the obesity epidemic, we in NYC are once again taking action to improve the lives of our residents.
VIDEO: Mike Bloomberg Discusses Efforts to Fight Obesity on Today Show
Jun. 1, 2012
Mike Bloomberg on the Today Show discussing NYC's proposed new rule on large sugary drinks.
Leaders and Advocates Support NYC's Bold New Anti-Obesity Initiative
May. 31, 2012 NYC.gov
Leaders and anti-obesity advocates are voicing support for Mayor Bloomberg's new public health initiatives.
Mike Bloomberg Discusses Ban on Sugary Drinks with Andrea Mitchell
May. 31, 2012
Mike Bloomberg joined MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell to discuss the proposed ban on the sale of large sugary drinks in NYC.
NYC to Combat Obesity by Prohibiting Sale of Large Sugary Drinks
May. 31, 2012 NYC.gov
NYC's Department of Health announced it is seeking to prohibit the sale of sugary drinks in containers with 16 fluid ounces or more.
Facts on Sugary Drinks from the Mayor's Task Force on Obesity
NYC.gov
Facts and figures about sugary drinks, from the Mayor's Task Force on Obesity.
NY Times: New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks
The New York Times
New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.
NYC's Plan to Prevent and Control Obesity
NYC.gov
By implementing a few bold initiatives, we can expect to see meaningful reductions in obesity rates among New Yorkers.
See climate change progress & actions being made by cities around the world in the @C40cities #CitiesChat on 9/2: http://t.co/WRk8P11DDq
2:01 PM Aug 29th
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