New Yorkers have packed on the pounds since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office.
Adult obesity rates in NYC have jumped 25 percent since the soda-banning mayor came to power in 2002, according to statistics gathered by the New York Post
The year he took office, one in five Americans were considered obese. Eleven years later, almost one in four Americans is considered obese.
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Bloomberg’s crusade to fight obesity led to a year long soda battle when the mayor tried to ban all sugary drinks over the size of 16 ounces last summer. Many Americans were outraged that the mayor was taking away their right to choose.
The contentious idea earned the mayor the nickname, Nanny Bloomberg, but that didn’t stop him from defending his idea.
"Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, 'Oh, this is terrible,'" Bloomberg said in an interview in 2012
. "New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something."
The soda battle went all the way to the Supreme Court
, where it was struck down. Even after the court stopped the soda ban in its tracks, Bloomberg continued to ask vendors to downsize their drink options.
Aside from the Big Gulp battle, the city also banned trans fats from restaurant menus, added more bike lanes to city streets, and pushed for healthier meals in schools.
Despite these efforts, obesity rates are expected to climb in NYC and across the nation. It’s estimated that 75 percent of Americans will be overweight or obese by 2020, according to a study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development
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