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Another day, another health initiative. Two actually. The effort to encourage bodega owners to stock healthier options will fail miserably. In this economy, no merchant will stock popular items on back shelves and potentially take a loss in profits. But the public education campaign is a good place to start. Over time, if there is more demand from consumers for healthier options, the junk food will move on its own.
Mayor Bloomberg's anti-obesity health agenda continued today with the announcement of two new initiatives. A voluntary program called "Shop Healthy NYC" will encourage bodegas to stock and prominently display healthy foods, while reducing the availability of junk food. Two leading suppliers and distributors for City food stores also will work with store owners to offer discounts.
A second initiative called "Cut the Junk" will promote healthy foods as a cost-effective option. The public education effort includes a booklet and subway campaign, and will target low-income families who may be stretching their food budget dollars.
Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs said today, "Lasting change can be slow, but daily decisions as simple as buying an apple instead of a sugary beverage can have positive long-term health impacts." What do you say?
Will these initiatives work in changing the eating habits of New Yorkers? Do you think bodega owners will voluntarily carry more nutritional options at the urging of the Health Department? What is the biggest challenge facing low-income New Yorkers when it comes to healthy eating choices?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
It's all wrong. Mayor Mike thinks that him and his cronies are smarter than everyone else. They want everyone else to be like them because after all they are BETTER.. Bodega owners should be left to decide what they will sell. They know their customers and what their customers want and that's what they will stock. If they comply with Mike's latest brainstorm the bodega owners may find themselves stuck with stocks of products their customers do not want. Their sales will decline they will be unable to pay their rent and other expenses, they will go out of business. So Mike's initiative will cause more unemployment. Next election we have to send Mike and his cronies to the unemployment lines.
That's All folks!
I hope, in the name of freedom and individual rights, that every NYC citizen ignores the dictates of Bloomberg and his coterie of fascists. This is NOT what anyone is paying taxes for. The purpose of government is not to make you slim, obese or anything. In personal matters such as these the proper response is, "Butt out."
It is true that unhealthy people who do not carry insurance are a burden to taxpayers who have to pay for their treatment. But why should we be paying for other people's health treatment? Have we all been declared slaves to the unhealthy? This age of dependency has to stop. Everyone must take care of themselves and not beg or via government demand that they be taken care of.
Port Richmond, SI
This horse we keep beating must be dead John, I can tell it wears on you night in and night having to listen to everything New Yorkers have to say while the people in charge just ignore them and do as they please. As someone who was laid off from New York City Off Track Betting in 2010 I am about to get thrown off of Unemployment and can't even get my pension money back from the city I can tell people are just struggling not to sleep in streets let alone eat properly. That is the main problem people have with eating right, they can't afford it due to the machinations of the Mayor, the Governor and they Wall Street buddies. How can Bloomberg profess all of this concern for people's health and nutrition habits on the one hand, and then turn around and be against such crazy ideas as a living wage and jobs with health benefits and the right to have paid sick time. It just feeds into my belief that the Mayor has a split personality, neither side being very humane.
And all this talk about trying to change what bodegas sell is a joke because nowadays most low and middle income people have been herded to the big box stores in the city that sell crap in bulk. Go to the BJ's in Harlem or the Bronx and you can see people dividing up the cheap spoils out in the street. This like everything else the Mayor has done to working class and poor people in this city, he dug a nice mass grave to put people in and now he wants to throw us a carrot to make himself look magnanimous. Next year if there is an incremental decrease in obesity he will hold a press conference asking for Nobel Prize, the reality may be that people just couldn't afford to live here and took their health problems elsewhere. Addition through subtraction, just like any crafty business man....
Mr. Mayor - PLEASE change school lunch menus so that options are healthy (and organic and local when possible!)...no more BBQ sauce made of grape jelly and ketchup! Please also spur the adoption of a K-12 health & nutrition program so that our youngest New Yorkers can begin to understand their bodies and the effects of food & exercise on them...they need to grow up knowing WHY they are better off choosing some foods over others. Kids can really drive family purchases, and one day soon they will be paycheck-earning shoppers who make good choices about what to eat.
First of all I still believe as many others do that this Bloomberg has a lot nerve to continue to run our lives by telling us what we can eat. I would like to know or for that matter see some of their grocery receipts just for curiosity. I really don't think that in his expensive town house and all of the other expensive homes that he owns he serves nothing but rabbit food. GIVE ME A BREAK = THIS IS ALL ABOUT HIM BEING A DICTATOR.
ALSO I'M VERY CURIOUS THAT HOW COME ALL OF THESE THINGS BECOME SO IMPORTANT TO THIS DICTATOR AFTER ALL OF THESE YEARS. IT DIDN'T SEEM TO CONCERN ANYONE ABOUT THE GARBAGE THEY GAVE THE CHILDREN TO EAT FOR LUNCH ALL 0F THESE YEARS IN SCHOOL. SO AGAIN I ASK WHY NOW? [YUK].
What stupidity. An apple is at least $1.99 a pound, usually comes out to $1.00 or more per apple, what low-income family could afford to buy an apple a day for a whole family? A big soda is $1.99 regular price - with that you can supply everyone for two dollars. The Deputy Mayor made a stupid comparison anyway.
If The Mayor wants to do something - go after the big companies that put all the junk in the food in the first place. They are the ones maximizing their profits at our health expense. Stop wasting good money on ad's, booklets, people sitting around getting paid to come up with stupid ideas. Go to the source of the problem - the Big Companies manufacturing chemical concoctions they call food.
Esmerelda, East Village, NYC
If the mayor wants to do something about obesity he should start with the city workforce. I see too many grossly overweight cops and other city workers these days.
John from Astoria.
I teach kindergarten in a public school with a low income population. The school provides children with cereal, lowfat milk, and a piece of fruit every morning. HOwever, many children arrive with chips, a sugary beverage, and some sort of packaged cookie on a daily basis. Not only are they wasting their money, but they are filling their children with sugar and processed food.
Let me say,the bodega donot give to rats ass they are all about the money. You can get what ever you need from the corner stores,healthy food java not the bodega here in the Bronx.sorry not going to happen I live in the Bronx
The store near my job has fruits and vegetables up front. I know this because I walk right past it on my way to the deli counter for my fried egg sandwich. I don't tell those mamby pamby dim-wits what or how they should eat and I'm SURELY not going to let them tell me! You all can let them dictate your eating habits, but as for me? I'll take the good old fashion greasy spoon diner ANY DAY. By the way, I'm not obese. I get excersise!
It's a great idea to stock Bodegas with healthier foods. Will it work? I don't think so. Why, because junk foods are less expensive than healthier foods. And people in low income neighborhoods have not been taught to eat right from day one. It's like cigarettes, people know they could cause Lung Cancer, yet they buy them anyway.
"Bloom-Booger" has a lot of nerve. His job is to worry about politics not, what people are eating. He can't stop a fat person from being fat. Maybe, I hate the look of his saggy bones and jacked up hair line.
South jamaica, queens
Its just not gonna work! Money is a big issue n time! I can spend less getting fast food "the value menu" "dollar menu" will give me more for my buck..I think we should look more @ fast food chains to offer healthy choices! Rotate veggies on the value menu! More than just salad! I have two jobs and don't have time to cook... I would love 2 eat more healthy but don't have the money! The cost of GOOD fruits n vegetables need to come down!
I believe that the bodegas nor any other establishment that relies on sales to make their living, should not be the target since they are not the root of the problem. Education is the key. If people now are not aware that fast food is unhealthy and juices/fruits full of sugar are not good food choices then they will continue to eat those items regardless of what is mandated or not. Parents are responsible for their children and it is an atrocity to see obese children because they are simply eating what is offered, but they are children & not as educated.
Dawn from Middle Village
* Your last commercial break started with Dunkin' Donuts. Junkfood marketing is too powerful, because those companies spend millions.
*And my question. It's nice that Bloomberg wants bodegas to stock healthy foods, but who is going to police this? When they sell one apple on the first day, do you really expect them to stick with the initiative.
I'd just like to remind Norm that not everybody lives on the affluent upper east side! Not everybody's bodega has vegetables!
Also, I'd like to point out the ridiculous irony of the multiple sugary beverage commercials that are accompanying your show! We mustn't forget that regardless of choice people are being bombarded with bad imagery.
This is Salvatore from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Obesity Is a touchy subject. However, the only way these new changes or any future changes will work is if you educate educate educate. Knowledge is power. Make changes to the NYC education system and mandate that nutritional education will be on the curriculum from the first grade all the way through college. Empower people and change will happen!!!!
Great show and great topic.
it's a good idea (far from great though) because it's bringing access to folks with little access. Obesity is a public health issue and we have to shift from thinking of this as a challenge to our freedom as individuals to thinking of this as an opportunity to address a public health issue that disproportionately affects certain groups of people. All stores have a limited menu of options, so we don't really have free will to choose whatever we want. So why not be open to other options?
I don't think ad campaigns qualify as education, since it is one-way dissemination of information. So, there could be more done on this end. Again, an opportunity to engage community groups to educate community members.
I think you would be better off getting more stock footage. It is also quite ironic that there is a Dunkin Donut's advertisements during the commercial break.
I disagree with the people who scream that the government has no business telling people what to eat. It certainly does! The way the authorities closed their eyes to big corporations taking over selling crappy "food" to American people and all around the world, the same way they should try to fix the damage already done. At least in NYC! When you travel around the country, with few exceptions like California, it is appalling the size of people, and it's only this way the past 27 years thanks to the bad advice of reducing fat and increasing carbohydrates/sugars.
It is interesting how people are against universal health care for everyone, but agree to pay for this ever increasing obesity epidemic. It is terible for the kids, they have to suffer because of the lack of regulation of bad food. They should be taught at school about real NATURAL food people were eating for thousands of years, not processed modified or artificially enriched, and maybe they will teach their parents how to eat...
Bravo for the Halal falafel carts! They serve many vegetable-based lunches and dinners and are Cheap and healthy!
Upper East Side
Small businesses, such as bodegas, which are often family owned, should NOT have to abide by these "rules". Their profits would surely go down.
The major cause of obesity is poverty. loaf of white bread $1.00, loaf of wheat bread $5.00. 2 liter bottle of soda 99 cents, gallon of Orange juice $4.99. fresh fruits and vegetables = very expensive. it costs a fortune to eat healthy. if you have children and earn say $20,000 a year, how would you spend your money? Bloomberg doesn’t have a clue about how real people live. this is a class issue. Some poor people can’t afford to eat well, it’s either the rent or wonder bread.
Meryl from manhattan
Does Bloomberg practice what he preaches? Who the hell would want to look like him? He has wrinkly, saggy skin, yellow teeth and very low quality hair. Yuk. What does he eat and drink?
All this is a smokescreen to deflect from the egregious and outrageous abuses of the Bloomberg Administration. He preaches and dictates about what we should eat and drink, but his developer friends are constantly tearing down neighborhoods and putting up ugly crap buildings and we are breathing in the dust and filth and being priced out of our homes. This vile little perfidious twerp needs to go away. He even bought his illegal third term, so why the hell should we put any faith in his motives?
The truth of the matter is that healthy food is far more expensive then fatty food. If the city wants healthier people they should work with the food vendors on lowering prices.
Jeff, IT Consultant
Preference leads the way for me, but it didn't my whole life. Education changes lifestyles. If people put more money in their food budget and less in entertainment and luxery, eating healthy is doable. No reason for 40" TVs and multiple vehicles for a "poor" family.
Patrick from Astoria
It is amazing that the prevailing, sanctioned view is that overweight people have now been officially identified as the problem in society: that somehow they are interfering with the lives of slim people. This is a textbook red herring move to keep our minds off the real and outrageous, growing problems in our city.
Bodega owners know what their clients are looking for and they stock their shops accordingly. It is both absurd and arrogant to think that lower income people – clearly targeted in this plan - are so dumb that they will go into a bodega to buy a tomato and come out with a bag of Oreos. Ooops!
What’s next on Emperor Bloomberg’s agenda? Having waiters take out a blood pressure cuff before allowing someone to order a salty meal?
Nobody has permission to dictate to people what to eat and how to eat. You want to be thin, good on you. You want to be fat, that’s fine too. But mind your BI business and don't tell someone else to do.
Simone - Chelsea
The Bloomberg Era stresses out single parents in NYC. That is what is causing obesity when a hardworking single mom cannot get an apartment for herself and her child that is what is causing us to go for unhealthier and much cheaper options because he has driven up prices in NY. I am stressed out Bloomberg so I am going for a Pepsi and a HOHO to comfort myself.
Hidden+not so hidden fat+calories not yet part of conversation..booze(much more fattening than soda), Fried foods, Chinese food, countless deceptively labeled 'low fat' foods frm muffins to salad dressing to frozen yogurt which often hav same or just a few less calories, CHIPS (most vending machines ALL chips!)!
People who are calling in saying they have many choices in their neighborhood should understand that they are very well-off compared to the usually forgetten-about poor citizens in our city, when 1 in 5 people are living below the poverty line and in a neighborhood that gives them no other option than the local Bodega that carries nothing but sweet artificial chemical cheese on sweet white "bread" with fake sweet mayonnaise. I don't buy the lame excuse that people want that garbage. They just need education on real food and access to it at a reasonable price, just like how our government subsidises big corporations who make the worst foods we are sold.
Access to healthy food is always determined by income level and the poorest of our neighbors have the worst diet and the worst health. Just because people are forced to live on food stamps because they were given no opportunities for real living wages they should not have to have a bag of potato chips for breakfast. It is our duty to care for those who are less fortunate.
Upper East Side