9:00 AM EDT, April 9, 2013
Melissa Healey's article, "NYC's failed cap on sugary drinks prompts soul searching" on April 4 draws an interesting parallel between New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's improbable public health battle against obesity and our nation's long history of public health activism and success stories.
Taking on the "larger forces" through policy — whether the tobacco and alcohol industries or "Big Food" — is a winning model in public health. The impact of taking on corporate interests is best appreciated in individual behavioral change. As a registered dietitian, my endless "empty calories" and "extra pounds" health advice to my dad made not a drop of difference in his habits. However, he stopped drinking soda completely when he learned about the mayor's plan to ban large sugary drinks, and he has since lost 10 pounds.
Mayor Bloomberg and other public health officials understand the good that comes out of taking on corporations to create environments in which the healthy choice is the easy choice.
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