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Obesity, diabetes, and New York’s Jumbo Soda Ban

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By SisiBroad | January 24, 2013 12:32 pm

Pepsi soda banIt was entirely predictable, when the mayor of New York city Bloomberg decided to take on the sparkling drinks industry with a proposed ban on oversized sugary sodas which is due into effect by March 2013.
Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, among several other usual suspects, accused Michael Bloomberg of overriding New Yorkers’ freedom of choice – as they would. The chorus is joined now by National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
There is nothing strange about it: N.A.A.C.P. has close ties to big soft-drink companies, particularly Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic branch of the Coca-Cola, last month awarded the NAACP $100,000 to support “a program promoting healthy eating, physical activity and healthy lifestyles in African American communities”.
N.A.A.C.P. supports the soda lobby despite that fact the obesity rate for African-Americans in New York City is higher than the city average. Obesity and diabetes are not minor issues; they are killers. About 6,000 New Yorkers die every year from obesity-related illness, and it is against that backdrop that Bloomberg has proposed limiting the size of sugary drinks sold in restaurants, delis, cinemas and sports stadiums to 16oz. Based on a 2011 survey, about 70 percent of black New Yorkers and 66 percent of Hispanic New Yorkers are obese or overweight, compared with 52 percent of white non-Hispanic residents.
By the way, the plan has also been zealously opposed by several members of the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.

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