Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
A Queens lawmaker who's pushing a bill to fight childhood obesity is getting attention for being overweight himself.
Colleagues of Councilman Leroy Comrie, who is estimated to be about 300 pounds, came to his defense Wednesday during a meeting and said drawing attention to his size was an unfair "attack."
"For those who went out and put pejorative names before his actual name in the media, well shame on you," said Councilman Vincent Ignizio, "because that's what we all strive to not have happen in this society."
Comrie's bill, which Ignizio does not support, would limit toy giveaways to fast food meals with fewer than 500 calories, 600 milligrams of sodium and contain no more than 35 percent fat.
He said he was prepared for the criticism when he introduced the legislation: "If you look at me and you see me talking about health and nutrition you would smirk so it's not — it wasn't unexpected that I would encounter some backlash and not focus on the positive aspects of the bill."
Comrie said he eats fast food himself but wants low-income kids with limited options not to be tempted to order unhealthy meals.
The Health Department says it doesn't have any comment on this proposal, and McDonald's did not return WNYC's request for comment.
San Francisco passed a similar bill last year.