You know that friend who loves to ask, “Ew, do you know how many calories are in those things?!”
Well in New York, we call that friend the government.
Mayor Bloomberg and his health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, want New Yorkers to eat right—whether they like it or not. In their push to promote healthy eating, Bloomberg and company have required restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus and banned them from using trans fats. They’ve stopped schools from serving sugary beverages and they’ve paid for mildly disturbing anti-soda ads on the Subway. And last week, they announced a plan to prevent New Yorkers from using food stamps to buy sugary drinks.
(BTW, besides banning bad foods, the city has also funded programs to make fresh fruits and vegetables easier to find and to encourage citizens to exercise.)
Bloomberg and city health officials explain that their efforts are really meant to combat diabetes and obesity—as well as to reduce the almost $8 billion in obesity-related medical bills that New Yorkers pay each year.
But some critics complain that Mayor Mike is overstepping his bounds here. Instead of snatching away our Cheetos, the city could simply remind us how nasty they are (right, because we didn’t already know that) and point us towards the granola.
So what do you think? Should the government be minding our meals, or should it leggo our eggos? Take our quick survey and let us know what you think about the city’s healthy eating initiatives.