Mayor Bloomberg has successfully made New York City a healthier place by using what many have dubbed to be controversial public policy changes. Bloomberg pushed legislation to introduce more hybrid and electric taxicabs. He sought to expand the smoking ban to public places and parks. He successfully banned trans-fats from all NYC fried food joints and required menus in all chain restaurants to include calorie counts. He also championed multilingual radio, TV, billboard, and subway “shock” advertisements to promote healthy lifestyle choices. Remember seeing the image of a soda turning into fat on your daily subway commutes?
However, in probably his most controversial policy move ever, Bloomberg successfully restricted the size of sugary drinks/ sodas sold by restaurants, street carts, and movie theatres. It was a fight waged against one of the largest lobbyist groups in the country, an organization backed by millions of dollars from PepsiCo and Coca-Cola.
The Mayor’s passion to curb obesity has been both a moral and fiscal battle. New York City has runaway Medicaid costs as well as some of the highest obesity rates in the country. The only way to control healthcare costs and simultaneously manage the city’s budget is to get New Yorkers healthier. Bloomberg has taken an innovative route through his utilization of both awareness campaigns and legislation to get the job done.