New York takes aim at junk food in battle over obesity
As part of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's latest move to fight obesity, food shoppers in some city markets will have to walk past — gasp — apples, bananas and other healthful items before reaching the junk food.
Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK — Just as New Yorkers are adjusting to the idea of doing without supersized sugary sodas, those on the hunt for fattening food and drink could be facing another hurdle.
Shoppers in some markets will have to walk past — gasp — apples, bananas and other healthful items before reaching the junk.
It's all part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's drive to combat obesity in New York City, a fight that has the backing of many health and nutrition experts, but is a thorn in the zaftig sides of people who say they should be able to eat and drink what they want.
Bloomberg announced the latest move Wednesday, days before the city's Board of Health holds a public hearing on his proposal to ban supersized sodas from sale at most restaurants, delis, cinemas and sports venues.
That proposal targets sugary sodas of 16 ounces or more.
People who can't endure a movie or meal without those 54 teaspoons of sugar and 780 calories in the average 64-ounce drink will be able to dodge the rule by buying several smaller sodas.
Bloomberg said he's hoping that extra step will make consumers think twice about what they're drinking and discourage them from going for seconds or thirds.
Making people work harder for their junk food is also behind the newest idea, Shop Healthy NYC, which will have participating grocers in the city's unhealthiest borough — the Bronx — stocking and displaying healthful food and produce at eye-level on shelves normally housing chips and sodas.
That includes the stands at the checkout counter, the ones normally laden with candy and other easy-to-grab snacks.
Wholesale distributors also plan to create incentives for supermarkets to stock healthier foods.
The city's health department said it had commitments from about 150 food establishments in the area, and that the program could eventually be extended into other boroughs.
Material from The New York Times is included in this report.