Mayor Bloomberg, center, speaks at the Ryan-NENA Community Health Center
Joyce Purnick, WNYC political analyst, longtime New York Times political writer and author of Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, discusses Mayor Bloomberg's policies on health and safety: sugary drink sizes; transfats; smoking; and guns.
Couldn't the Mayor and his health obsession gotten to the same end if he had just decreed that sweet/sugary drinks won't cost less per ounce than a 16 oz. drink? It seems less invasive and people's own economic sense does most of the work.
Michael P. Gsughan from Brooklyn said:“Prohibition was tried with alcohol and with various drugs and it did not stop people from using those things.”
Prohibition and the war on drugs is such a far cry from limiting the serving sizes of soft drinks that your analogy is ready to snap under the strain.
john from office, there are not to many "blacks and Hispanics" where I live yet there seems to be absolutely no shortage of overweight out of shape white folks and white folks that smoke.... So what are you trying to say?
Soda is a sugary drink which is unhealthy when drunk in large amount, BUT we have intelligence and freedom of choice. Prohibition was tried with alcohol and with various drugs and it did not stop people from using those things. Education is key so that people will make decisions in there own best interest without big brother stepping in.
Evan S. Cowit said:“Henry, you're missing the point.”
No. I understand his point. It’s stupid. So I laugh at it.
jg, sugar just shouldn't be subsidized.
Gary, my point is, people, regardless of their political affiliation, always try to control personal behavior they do not like.
Why do so-called conservatives try to control people's sexual lives or their drug use? There is no virtue on either side.
Sophie-----then try Bill Bennett!!
The obesity problem is a HUGE problem, no pun intended, but how to tackle it is a question. We overtaxed smoking and prohibited it in public, and health insurance companies can reject you, or make you pay through the nose if you are a smoker.
Personally, I think sugar should be heavily taxed and regulated like tobacco and liquor. I personally don't use sugar and use substitutes like Splenda and the like. If I ate carbohydrates, I'd be 40 pounds heavier without a doubt. I've been on Atkins since 1997 and it has worked reasonably well for me.
I do NOT consider the "ban" on large sodas to be a "ban". For me it provides a better option of a "smaller" soda. This would be a great benefit when my highly athletic son and I go to the movie theater where the only "option" is a grossly oversized soda. You can always buy more soda. On the other hand I really resent paying high health insurance premiums because a) people who pay no attention to their own diets increase the costs of both health care and health insurance, b) large corporations can negotiate lower prices for their health insurance than self-employed small business owners such as myself. I am tired of corporate welfare for large corporations and tired of paying more taxes to cover those who don't buy or can't afford health insurance and end up using much more expensive emergency care.
@Gary from queens
Listen to Rush? Never. He's too loud and hysterical for me. Thanks anyway.
Henry, you're missing the point. He wants to take his family to the movies and give them a treat. He's said that he splits the large soda (usually 32 oz.) among 4 people. 8 oz. of Coke is 150 calories. At $11 per movie ticket and now $3.00+ per soda per person, that may be more than he can afford. I'd also point out that the smallest soda at most theaters is 16 oz. So now he spends more money and drinks more sugary soda. How does "public health" benefit?
Bloomberg is RICH, he is not afraid of the NRA, does not need them to get into office.
I think Bloomberg should take this a step further and make a grocery list for anyone receiving government food assistance. He could help quite a few people by only allowing healthy foods to be purchased with government assistance cards. No chips, sodas, candy, cakes, etc.
Sheldon:She is not talking about police policies now. and this is not about bloomberg. it's about these mandates on personal behavior. at least right now. so focus on the topic please.
Sophie:I listen to NPR and BL because I believe everyone should listen to opposing points of view to better understand those views. When are you going to listen to Rush Limbaugh?!
MichaelB:Sheldon doest have a point. Bloomberg has done good and bad things. the bad are overreach in many respects. But my point was that the listed items on the show heading were all liberal initiatives, and it always seems unproductive to me to have on a supporter of such things, especially when the things are liberal policies
People complain that government isn't doing its job. Then berate it for attempting just that -- as its job is being the custodian of the people. Bloomberg in this respect is just behaving like a good public servant. But in the skewed wider American context he is freakin' ENLIGHTENED.
I appreciate Bloomberg's public health initiatives. The one that affects me the most is the miles and miles of bike lines that he has opened. I use them every day, and I get my exercise on my way to work.
Brian, please ask the grumblers who are bemoaning the High Fructose corn syrupy limit if they VOTED in the last mayoral election. I did vote for Thompson however, I don't mind the sugar limit.
John, "blacks and hispanics are getting huge" as opposed to the bone thin white population?
"How about the water fountain, Joe?" Could you be any more condescending, Ms. Purnick? Sorry we can't all live up to your standards.
OMG! I can’t buy a giant soda! That’s it; I’m not going to the movies anymore!
LOL @ the caller.
Measuring how many people DIED from cancer really doesnt tell you anything with the exception that there are more people staying alive With cancer. What should be measured is HOW MANY people are Diagnosed with cancer first and see if that figure has changed.
Take a ride on the 4 5 or 6 train uptown or into Brooklyn. Blacks and hispanics are getting huge. It is because of sugar in the diet and a lack of self control. I see it everyday. Along with the smoking, still high in the community. Cools and newports, of course!
Sorry, the mayor is right.
My freedoms! My freedoms! Won’t Mayor Bloomberg think of my precious freedoms!
Oh wait, I need a Holocaust analogy. You know who else made public health initiatives?
That’s right, Hitler!
Well… he would have anyway.
Do you hear my truthiness Bloomberg? You socialist you! Argh! (Shakes fist!)
(I’m totally not being serious.)
Not that I support this particular soda ban BUT, whether we like it or not, the mayor via the city's health dept, HAS THE POWER and the RIGHT to regulate products being sold in establishments it regulates, hence this "ban" being restricted to restaurants, movie theatres etc.
More and more venues are offering "unlimited refills" of sodaa. From the IKEA cafe to certain Burger Kings. They provide a smaller cup to begin, but you're on your own after.
I'm PRO on all the health initiatives from the mayor, including this one. If not this, then let's slap a big label on the cups with the caloric content.
The fact is, even a 12 oz can of soda is a huge cup of sugar - and I regularly see kids on the street with a can of grape of orange soda as their morning "nutrition." So let's make that caloric part of the label larger, not a fine print item that no one sees.
Graham Walker from Bronx, that was my same point and question. The time frames are pretty short thus far, making the cause-effect equation more difficult to determine.
I think Councilmember Koppell meant "pretext" rather than "pretense."
Me too! But it's donuts -- Several years ago, after calories were made pubic I was doing laundry at a laundromat outside my building. When I got washers loaded I took the free half hour to go to a national donut shop (you know which one -- DD). My plan was to reward myself with coffee and a donut. (I have/had a weakness for donuts.) I saw the calories posted and didn't have that donut. It just didn't justify the calories and the time on the treadmill required to burn them off. I haven't had a donut in the ensuing several years and I'm very proud of myself.I didn't vote for Bloomberg when he ran the third time because I supported term limits. But I'm grateful to him for the donut-free years.
A Crumbs cupcake shop opened underneath my building. When I went in and saw how many calories are in one of their cupcakes, I turned around and left the shop.
I think all food(packaged/ selling establishments should post calorie numbers for all their items, not just business that have 5 or more locations.
Do you have any idea how long it takes for lung cancer to become evident! The short time period that the "Bloomberg" smoking ban has been in place is not long enough to produce the significant changes in lung cancer being alluded to in your program. Have an expert on lung cancer on before making such rash suggestions!
To specify the health issue involved in noisy bars and drunken kids: Noise damage to ears, producing stress, etc. And binge drinking is a known health problem. And that's what we have these days in bars: pub crawls are a prime example of this binge drinking craze.
Gary -- Sheldon's got a point. And I'm an independent. (Of course, those on the other side do the same thing all the time.)
@Gary from queens(very long sigh) Why do you listen to this station if it pisses you off so much?
listening to politicians complaining about the mayor's initiative is so offensive to me. how about we present a choice to these corporate whores- ok, you don't like a mandated restriction on things that are really bad for your health? then we'll start taking away benefits and medicaid from those that are committing self-abuse..fat people who are fat because of their lack of self-control will lose their medicaid benefits or have them significantly cut. how does that sound? (and i don't want to hear about the myth that is "food deserts", they do not exist)
Conservatives are mocked when we say that government involvement in healthcare will justify government intrusion in so many personal avenues of our lives.
And here is Pernick reinforcing that. re cig smoking. Next she will say that sugar and obesity is causing increases in gov spending on healthcare.
Oops, she just did!
I support the recent spate of public advertizing that points out, using chilling graphics, the dangers of smoking and drinking and excessive consumption of sugar and sugary drinks. But I don't support making the sale of cigarettes or soda pop illegal. The people have the right to know the effects of what they consume, but they also have the right to make their own decisions, as long as they can pay the resulting doctor bills.
Perhaps, health insurance companies should be allowed to inquire how much sugar one consumes just as they ask about smoking from prospective insurees.
Wait a minute... on that differential of lung cancer rates between upstate and in the city ... what are the timeframes we are talking about?
Sorry Ms. Purnick, but you are not qualified to say "it seems to me" on whether the better numbers for NYC are attributable to the smoking ban, unless you've either done the research or are citing true research.
So how far back does the study show improvement, and how does that correlate with what is known --timewise -- about the effects of people quitting smoking?
Would you discuss why Bloomberg hasn't done anything about noisy bars. And related to these bars, done nothing to restrain the drunken, disruptive kids streaming out onto the sidewalks.
Gary - you need to take a chill pill.
Is Bloomberg's obsession with stop and frisk, or with charter schools "liberal"?
Was Bloomberg's ban on trans fats and smoking in restaurants, or introducing letter grades for eating spots "liberal"?
Can you, just for one day - call someone or their policies out, without making it a "liberal" or "conservative" thing?
Way to go Brian. What better way to have a "critical" review of Bloomberg's liberal nanny-state policies than to have it explained by a super liberal working for a liberal newspaper?
What's next? Will you invite David Duke to review the history of the KKK?
Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm
your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the
right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the
Comment Guidelines before
By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's
It's your neighborhood, your city, your country, your world, and now your website. Brian Lehrer delves into the issues and links them to real life.