Streams

Bloomberg's Public Health and Safety

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

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.

Contributors:

Joyce Purnick

Comments [42]

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.

Jul. 26 2012 01:43 AM
Henry from Manhattan

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.

Jul. 25 2012 11:01 AM
Jon Pope from Ridge, NY

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?

Jul. 25 2012 10:59 AM
Michael P. Gsughan from Brooklyn

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:51 AM
Henry from Manhattan

Evan S. Cowit said:
“Henry, you're missing the point.”

No. I understand his point. It’s stupid. So I laugh at it.

Jul. 25 2012 10:51 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

jg, sugar just shouldn't be subsidized.

Jul. 25 2012 10:47 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:45 AM
gary from queens

Sophie-----then try Bill Bennett!!

Jul. 25 2012 10:44 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:43 AM

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:42 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

@Gary from queens

Listen to Rush? Never. He's too loud and hysterical for me. Thanks anyway.

Jul. 25 2012 10:42 AM
Evan S. Cowit

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?

Jul. 25 2012 10:41 AM
john from office

Bloomberg is RICH, he is not afraid of the NRA, does not need them to get into office.

Jul. 25 2012 10:41 AM
scott Bankey

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:40 AM
gary from queens

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

OK?

Jul. 25 2012 10:39 AM

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:39 AM
Peter from brooklyn

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:39 AM
yoMike from nyc

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:38 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

John, "blacks and hispanics are getting huge" as opposed to the bone thin white population?

Jul. 25 2012 10:38 AM
Evan S. Cowit

"How about the water fountain, Joe?" Could you be any more condescending, Ms. Purnick? Sorry we can't all live up to your standards.

Jul. 25 2012 10:38 AM
Henry from Manhattan

OMG! I can’t buy a giant soda! That’s it; I’m not going to the movies anymore!

LOL @ the caller.

Jul. 25 2012 10:36 AM
Linda from NYC

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:36 AM
john from office

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:35 AM
Henry from Manhattan

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.)

Jul. 25 2012 10:35 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:35 AM
Tom from UWS

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:34 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:34 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I think Councilmember Koppell meant "pretext" rather than "pretense."

Jul. 25 2012 10:32 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:32 AM
UWSer from UWS

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:32 AM
lcruz from brooklyn

I think all food(packaged/ selling establishments should post calorie numbers for all their items, not just business that have 5 or more locations.

Jul. 25 2012 10:30 AM
Graham Walker from Bronx

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!

Jul. 25 2012 10:30 AM
Sabrina

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:29 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

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.)

Jul. 25 2012 10:27 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

@Gary from queens
(very long sigh) Why do you listen to this station if it pisses you off so much?

Jul. 25 2012 10:27 AM
bernie from bklyn

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)

Jul. 25 2012 10:27 AM
gary from queens

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!

Jul. 25 2012 10:26 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:26 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

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?

Jul. 25 2012 10:25 AM
Sabrina

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.

Jul. 25 2012 10:21 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

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?

Jul. 25 2012 10:19 AM
Gary from queens

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?

Jul. 25 2012 09:29 AM

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