07/19/2012 10:04 am ET

Bloomberg's 'Shop Healthy' Program Asks Bodegas To Reposition Junk Food, Make Fruit Visible

In the latest installment of Mayor Bloomberg's mission to curb obesity, the city has introduced a new "Shop Healthy" program calling for bodegas and supermarkets to reposition their food products so that healthy food options are placed in front of the store, and junk foods are removed from eye level.

The plan was introduced Wednesday and the city has already asked 170 bodegas in two Bronx neighborhoods plagued by high levels of obesity to agree to the program's changes.

The Daily News reports 80 food bodegas and supermarkets have signed on. 70 percent of adults in Fordham and West Farms-- the neighborhoods chosen for the pilot program-- suffer from obesity.

"Shop Healthy" is voluntary, but according to The News, supermarkets that have yet to participate will receive relentless urgings to join.

Bronx Democrat and State Senator Gustavo Rivera said, "We’re saying to stores, ‘You can present healthier options to the people who shop at your stores every day.’ Still making money, still making sure that you have a successful business, but presenting healthier choices to people."

The plan follows Bloomberg's controversial push to ban the sale of large sugary drinks in the city, a plan that has sparked anger from local business owners and New Yorkers who believe the mayor is overstepping his boundaries.

Bloomberg's response to critics has been unsympathetic. Earlier in July he said, "If you want to kill yourself, I guess you have the right to do it. We're trying to do something about it."

The Bronx specifically is known for its high level of overweight and obese residents. In light of Bloomberg's soda ban proposal, HuffPost spoke to Bronx residents to weigh in on the uproar.

While some praised the plan as a "good thing" and admitted to their large intakes of soda drinks, many local business owners expressed fear the plan would worsen the economy.

Below are 11 other food items Bloomberg may want to ban:



Foods Bloomberg May Want To Ban Next