The city’s Obesity Task Force today released its plan to “prevent and control” obesity in New York City.
The 23-page document highlights a variety of initiatives the task force believes will help combat the obesity epidemic which, according to the report, is most devastating to communities “already suffering from health and economic disparities.”
From the report,
The toll of obesity and resulting diabetes is striking New Yorkers unequally. For example,
residents of Bedford Stuyvesant or East New York are four times more likely than a resident of
the Upper East Side to die of diabetes. Black New Yorkers are almost three times more likely,
and Hispanics twice as likely as whites to die from diabetes.
Here are some highlights of from the proposal:
- Install salad bars in all of New York City schools to increase “exposure and familiarity with fresh fruits and vegetables.” So far, the report claims that the DOE has installed more than 800 salad bars in schools to date. The goal is to expand this iniatitve city-wide by 2016.
- Add playground attendants to lead free exercise programs in City parks. To promote more physical activity (e.g. playing and outdoor activity), the city intends to expand the Kids in Motion program, with “special emphasis” on areas of the South Bronx, East & Central Harlem and Central Brooklyn.
Of the initiatives, the most controversial has been the proposed ban on “oversized” sugar-sweetened drinks, which the report claims is responsible for nearly half of added sugar that individuals consume.
McDonald’s has increased drink sizes 457 percent since 1955, from 7 fluid ounces to 32 fluid ounces.
Setting a maximum size for sugary drinks offered and sold in restaurants and other Food Service Establishments is a way we can change the default and help reacquaint New Yorkers with “human size” portions to reduce excessive consumption of sugary drinks.