NY Daily News has an article about the recent soda ban and child obesity. Most teachers are suggesting that we bring back mandatory physical education.
City Council members Monday grilled the city’s health commissioner over Mayor Bloomberg’s planned supersized-soda ban, with one arguing that restoring cut gym classes would be a better way to combat obesity.
By the city’s estimate, about 40% of public school students are overweight or obese — part of the evidence the Bloomberg administration cites as justification in its latest push to reverse the obesity trend.
Yet as city lawmakers from two committees quizzed city Health Commissioner<NO1><NO> Thomas Farley, Brooklyn Councilman Domenic Recchia said his children don’t get required physical education in city schools.
In fact, when the city controller’s office reviewed 31 elementary schools last year, it found that none offered physical education classes required under state law.
“If obesity is so important, why is gym being cut?” Recchia asked.
“Does every child get physical education every day? The answer is no,” Farley testified. “Would we want more physical education? The answer is yes — but it’s up to the Department of Education.”
Under state law, public schools must offer daily gym classes for students in kindergarten through third grade, and three times a week for students in higher grades.
Farley admitted that the city’s obesity task force, which helped formulate the proposed big-soda ban, never considered that idea.
He predicted it would cost “under $1 million” a year to enforce the prohibition, which would apply to sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces sold at restaurants, theaters and delis.
City health inspectors, who are already responsible for checking most of those establishments, will spend extra time making their inspections, Farley testified. Violators would be subject to an unspecified fine, but it would not count against the letter grade of a food-serving establishment.
The city has already spent $600,000 on ads highlighting the harmful health effects of calorie-packed drinks.
In a new poll released Monday night, more than half of New Yorkers — 53% — surveyed said they were opposed to the mayor’s proposal, considering it an overreach by government.
Marist College and NY1 polled 500 registered city voters by telephone on Sunday.
“Unfortunately for Mayor Bloomberg, New Yorkers find the glass to be half empty on his proposal,” said pollster Lee Miringoff.
Even a majority of those polled who said they want to lose weight — 51% — were against the idea.
Most of those who participated in the survey said they don’t even buy large sodas. Only 17% of the people questioned said they purchase drinks larger than 16 ounces when they go out to eat or to the movies.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/city-council-members-gym-day-slim-kids-better-nixing-supersized-sodas-article-1.1089942#ixzz1wvNzOGu0