City to Ban Smoking in Parks, Add Impetus for Exercise

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City health officials are making a new push to make New Yorkers healthier. This time, it involves getting outer borough residents to exercise more and banning smoking in city parks and beaches. As WNYC’s Fred Mogul reports, a similar effort launched during Mayor Bloomberg's first term in office has had mixed results.

The new batch of “Take Care NY” goals once again focuses on things like reducing smoking, slowing the spread HIV-AIDS and recognizing and treating depression. But there’s now more emphasis on physical fitness and a push to get city agencies to work together to improve health and shrink disparities. Final numbers aren’t in for the first Five-Year-Plan, released in 2004, but some goals were met early, such as making sure more residents have a primary care physician and some trends went in the wrong direction, such as fewer elderly people getting flu shots. In both cases, it’s difficult to assess whether city efforts made the difference or whether larger cultural and political forces influenced city residents. For WNYC, I’m Fred Mogul.