Earlier this week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed Mississippi–the state that recently passed an “anti-Bloomberg bill” to ban localities from requiring displayed calorie counts or restricting soda cup sizes in restaurants–as a “farce” with its efforts to block any importation of New York City’s health initiatives. And, on his weekly WOR radio show this morning, Mr. Bloomberg took his argument to the next level by pointing to the Magnolia State’s obesity rate and the life expectancy of its citizens.
“You’ve got to love it,” the mayor exclaimed. “In the state with the highest rate of obesity, they passed a law that says you can’t do anything about it. Life expectancy in that part of the country is 20 years lower than it is in our part of the country. Thank about that! The average person lives 20 years less and they pass laws to keep … from making that better? If you wrote a book about it–if you wrote a movie–nobody would produce the movie. It would be so inconceivable, it would be ridiculous.”
Earlier this afternoon, the New York City Board of Health officially approved its plan to ban larger soda cup sizes at restaurants and concession stands, and, barring a successful lawsuit and a court order, the initiative will take effect in six months. And although a majority of the city’s residents disapprove of the move, at a press conference, a testy Mayor Bloomberg repeatedly told reporters the ban won’t be as controversial as it seems.
“I think it’s fair to say there’s no evidence that it will hurt their business,” he said about restaurants arguing the requirement will affect their bottom line. “Maybe outside of the limelight of newspaper or television camera, they would probably agree that down the road, what’s likely to happen here, what’s very likely to happen, is eventually they will just transition pretty much everything and change the public’s taste. Why? We cannot continue to have our kids come down with diabetes at age 6. If it was one of your children I think you’d be out there with a very different kind of question.”