IMPACT
03/12/2013 06:36 pm ET

Michael Bloomberg: Poor People Need Soda Ban Because They Can't 'Take Care Of Themselves'

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Tuesday that he’s still going to fight for his soda ban that was struck down, a measure he thinks will greatly benefit poor people.

A judge on Monday blocked Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban, which would have prohibited eateries from selling non-diet soda and other sugary drinks in quantities greater than 16 ounces. But New York’s determined mayor said he plans to appeal the decision. He sees the measure as an effective tool in curbing obesity, primarily among poor people who “don’t have the ability to take care of themselves,” as well as wealthy people do, he said, according to the New York Post.

The health-conscious mayor made the comment just hours before the judge ruled against the controversial ban and also discussed the prevalence of obesity among low-income families.

“With so many poor neighborhoods suffering the worst of this epidemic…It would be irresponsible not to try to do everything we can to save lives,” Bloomberg said.

Research supports Bloomberg’s claim that there’s been a rise in obesity among disadvantaged people.

According to the Food Research and Action Center, obesity rates rose by 10 percent for all U.S. children ages 10 to 17 between 2003 and 2007. But the rates increased by 23 percent during the same time period for low-income children.

While many supported Bloomberg’s efforts to try and encourage healthier eating habits, his critics were quick to show how one simple ban might not make that significant of a dent in the waistlines of the seriously overweight.

“Why not insist on maximum calorie limits on everything else restaurants serve, like cheese and steak and dessert?” Trevor Butterworth wrote in an op-ed piece for the Daily Beast in May. “When you single out one product but exempt others of a similar kind, you send the message that those who legislate do so unfairly.”

But Bloomberg said he sees the ban as a critical move to start tackling the epidemic that will claim the lives of 70,000 Americans this year, 5,000 of whom live in New York City.

“We have a responsibility as human beings to do something,” Bloomberg said at a press conference on Monday, “to save each other, to save the lives of ourselves, our families, our friends.”

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