Optimistic News for NYC Kids' Health

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dr. Thomas Farley, commissioner of the NYC Department of Health Mental Hygiene, discusses a recent report that shows the first ever decline in childhood obesity in New York, and the news that the city is at an record low for infant mortality.


Dr. Thomas Farley

Comments [17]

Sasha from Brooklyn

I used to work for the farmers market. I think that Latino health (and for that matter the Caribbean diaspora) can be directly linked to shopping at farmers markets and eating tons of fresh fruits and vegetables. Americans, especially Black Americans, unless they are from the south, often wince at carrots and kale. Their neighborhoods also sometimes lack access to fresh produce. As a woman of color from California this always surprised me, but I hope this report means that this is changing and we're all becoming more regular ;)

Dec. 12 2012 02:17 PM

Do the schools notify parents when their children (especially daughters) are dangerously underweight?
After all, this can be a sign of an eating disorder, a psychological disorder or drug abuse.

Dec. 12 2012 12:44 PM
Jf from Nyc

How can the city take sole credit for people realising that corporations are us with food. Word of mouth and the internet. The air sucks! When i bike to work without a gas mask the cars stuck in traffic completely choke my air. Cars must be illegal, it is a more extreme view point that its ok to destroy the environment so you can get around expensively without exercise.

Dec. 12 2012 11:40 AM
Freddy from Brooklyn

I'm sorry but the doctor is completely deluding himself if he doesn't think cultural attitudes towards body image doesn't have some effect on why young Black women are considered more obese than young White women. Fashion magazines, commercials, Hollywood actresses, et al beat home the theme "thin is in", so by sheer numbers young White women have greater issues with bulemia, anorexia and over-all negative body images. Young Black women, culturally are told that their curves, are sexy, so no they don't freak out about not fitting the societal "norm" that has been embraced by fashion. I would like to know what the numbers are among young White and Black women based on socio-economic background

Dec. 12 2012 11:34 AM
savitra from manhattan

bloomberg's administration has released several positive reports that have later turned out to be untrue, everything from school test results (they were inflated) to crime reports (they have been manipulated at many levels to make nyc look like its crime rate is improving). so, why should we believe these statistics?

Dec. 12 2012 11:30 AM
john from office

Grape soda + Barbeque potato chips + Menthol cigarettes = Death.

Dec. 12 2012 11:27 AM

"Do you think public policy affects public health in a positive way?" - attaboy Brian, keep serving up those hard hitting questions (I mean softballs).

Dec. 12 2012 11:27 AM
Frederick Stone from Red Band

Could the Hispanic life expectancy paradox be due to a greater likelihood of Hispanics to work in occupations such as construction which involve vigorous physical exertion.

Dec. 12 2012 11:26 AM
lcruz from brooklyn

yeah, "The Truth from Becky", whycome we don't do, at the very least eastern euro(Ashkenazi jews)Sephardi, Arab jews, western euros.

Dec. 12 2012 11:25 AM
Karen from NYC


More veggie stands/trucks in poorer areas (Bloomberg has started this but we need additional vendors);

"Diet vans" in ethnic neighborhoods, teaching people how to adapt traditional cuisines to lower-fat, lower-carb diets.

Dec. 12 2012 11:23 AM
Margaret C from Brooklyn

Don't these changing numbers reflect changing demographics? Wealthier, healthier people are moving to the city. Right? It's not really like we've done anything too be healthier.

Dec. 12 2012 11:15 AM
The Truth from Becky

Black Life Expectancy? *smh* why do you people alternate between Black and African American? Using the African American term as an after thought. What about Jewis Life Expectancy? Italians? Why don't we keep breaking it down by Ethnic group.

Dec. 12 2012 11:10 AM

A report said young people are too fat for our army?
I wondered how many of the people grew up without health insurance?
is this becoming a national security issue?

Dec. 12 2012 11:09 AM
Susan from Upper West Side

Sorry -- another question (this is a topic near and dear to my heart since I have a PhD in international nutrition from Cornell and an MHS from Hopkings) what does Dr. Farley think about Corey Booker taking money from Nestle for their childhood obesity campaign? especially since Nestle has had the most notoriously deceptive marketing practices for infant formula and sells many many food products that contribute to obesity.

Dec. 12 2012 10:49 AM
Susan from Upper West Side

Obesity is a complex multicausal problem. There are many reasons that have been implicated including corn in practically everything as well as sugary sodas. For well over 2 generations, humans have done what no mammalian species has ever done before -- fed our infants with an entirely artificial product. I seriously doubt that changing the strains of wheat is the ONLY contributor. In face, having worked in countries where there is NO wheat -- where the main staples are sweet potatoes and cassava -- I guarantee you that there is an obesity problem as well. Again the reasons are complex and multicausal -- partially due to hypothyroidism from lack of iodine in the soil coupled with the reduction in iodine uptake from eating cassava that contains thiocyanate. It is also partially due to the fact that eating becomes dysregulated when you are malnourished when you are young, making you more prone to obesity later in life. It is not just wheat eaters that get fat.

Dec. 12 2012 10:45 AM

Brovo Great news.

Hoping that making nurses sign out the reasons for using the PROMOTIONAL samples of formula will slow down the rampant sabotaging that occurs because some nurses either don't believe in breastfeeding, or don't know how to help breastfeeding mothers. I'm sure that will be a further contribution to declines in childhood obesity.

One question for Dr. Thomas Farley. As someone who works with mothers who want to breastfeed -- I have found that 80-90% of my clients had their choices overridden when someone in the hospital insisted on giving formula to their babies with or sometimes even without permission. In most of these cases, the reasons were not medically indicated. To date I have never seen a single client who was denied formula. A majority of my clients, however, had their choices overridden by hospital staff.

Two questions:

Why did you allow the new media to perpetuate the myth that a) there are only 2 choices, breastfeeding or formula instead of expressing milk or using human donor milk. And why did you allow the news media to run away with the false notion that choice is being denied to formula feeding mothers, when the reality has been quite the opposite for generations of women who were forced to formula feed instead of getting appropriate assistance to breastfeed?

Also, when are you going to encourage human donor milk banks in New York City? This would really empower women with choice.

Dec. 12 2012 10:37 AM
Elissa from Brooklyn

The wheat of today is not the wheat of the past 10,000 years. Modern wheat of the last 50 years is the product of genetic manipulations that have transformed its properties from 14 chromosomes to 42 chromosomes and changed the molecular structure of its protein. Modern wheat is now a 2-foot tall, high-yield semi-dwarf strain, different in both appearance and multiple biochemical features from traditional wheat.
Our metabolic response to this new wheat strain has a higher glycemic index than our response to sugar. WHEAT is the cause of the epidemics of the past 50 years of obesity, diabetes and many other health problems worldwide. Imagine eating that much sugar... ; read Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD, NYTimes #1 Bestseller

Dec. 12 2012 10:20 AM

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