We can't solve the obesity crisis facing African-Americans by focusing solely on personal behavior. There is a long and storied relationship between the African-American community and food and beverage companies. The time has come for us to ask if we love their products more than we love ourselves.
Not much more than a year and a half after working with Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign Let's Move, Beyonce has recently signed a $50 million deal with Pepsi, which already includes her parading around pantsless pushing a cart of soda cans.
I applaud Mayor Bloomberg's dedication and willingness to take a stand against opponents to the ban and all the name calling criticism he has received. At the same time, banning supersize soda alone misses the point.
New York City's Board of Health recently approved Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to limit the sizes of sweetened beverages. The regulation restricts the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in restaurants, movie theaters, sports arenas and delis.
While it's obvious that the soda industry would be on the defense, largely missing from the debate so far has been the role of the fast food and restaurant industry as a significant driver of soft drink sales
If we want to reverse the obesity epidemic -- as we must -- then the policies we choose must be more nuanced and more positive. Copying the heavy-handed war on tobacco, as Mayor Bloomberg is doing with his war on soda, will fail.
I don't believe in pushing my choices on anyone, be it what to eat, who to vote for or what to wear. Shouting at people doesn't work. True, deep, integrated change is only possible when we're ready for it.
I believe that it's going to take all of us -- business, government, society, nonprofits, individuals -- working together to solve our obesity challenge. We need more holistic programs, not a narrowly focused, short-sighted ban that won't work.