2:49 pm May. 31, 2012
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on the sale of super-sized drinks doesn't need City Council approval, which is just as well.
David Greenfield of Brooklyn said banning big sodas on public-health grounds doesn't make sense in light of the administration's opposition to his bill mandating helmets for cyclists.
"The reality is, a helmet is instant safety," Greenfield told me. "Nobody is going to argue with the mayor that drinking a lot of sugar is bad for you. But people don't die dead flat of a heart attack from drinking a Big Gulp, right? It's something that accumulates over time. So it's a little bit bizarre to me that he's not worried about the instant hazards but seems more concerned about the long-term health implications" of big sugary drinks.
Charles Barron said Bloomberg's rationale for banning the large drinks doesn't square with the mayor's proposed budget, which includes drastic cuts to social-service programs affecting poor and lower-income New Yorkers.
"I think this is a hypocritical concern about our health," Barron, a Democrat said, standing in the City Council chamber before the start of a meeting. "The real health disease in our community is the economic depravation.
"How can you be concerned about the sodas we drink but you're not concerned about summer youth jobs? You cut them from 83,000 down to 26,000. How can you be concerned about our health as we're drinking soda but then you shut our day care centers down?
"What about our school aid workers that you fired, 642 of them? What about their health? So don't come to us with concern about our health through soda. You need to be concerned about our health through the budget."