After soda and baby formula, Bloomberg says, 'anything that we can think of that will improve your health'
12:43 pm Jul. 30, 20122
On the heels of his administration's efforts to reduce consumption of both sugary soda and infant formula, a reporter today asked Mayor Michael Bloomberg, "What's next?"
"Anything that we can think of that will improve your health," he said.
On Sunday, the New York Post reported that the Bloomberg administration, starting in September, will discourage nurses and doctors working in New York City from distributing infant formula bottles liberally, instead keeping close tabs on their inventory and encouraging medical staff instead to talk up the benefits of breastfeeding.
According to the Post, "With each bottle a mother requests and receives, she’ll also get a talking-to. Staffers will explain why she should offer the breast instead."
Further, the city has asked hospitals to stop distributing goodie bags full of formula-branded goodies.
Bloomberg has made public health one of the primary focuses of his three terms in office, banning smoking in restaurants, bars and city parks, asking the Board of Health, which he controls, to ban servings of sugary soda in containers larger than 16 ounces, and and now this.
Today, he responded to the now-familiar assertion that he playing public nanny.
"[M]ost public health officials want to encourage women to breastfeed at least for the first couple of weeks, because the outcomes are better," he said, at a press conference announcing a new engineering initiative at Columbia. "And if they can do it, that's great. And if they can't, they can't. Our job's not making anybody do it. We're suggesting. The same thing with the full-sugar drinks."
The mayor said reporters focusing on the government-activism aspect of his health initiatives were missing the real story anyway.
"The fact that 8.4 million people in New York City are living three years longer, and you don't think that's something to write about, I don't know what else to tell you," Bloomberg said.
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