Bloomberg’s Says Fatties Not Welcome in NYC

Trans fatties that is. Got your attention, no? Just a little NYC health history for you out-of-towners. In 2003, thanks to Mayor Bloomberg, smoking is banned in restaurants AND bars. People argue Big Brotherism…big brotherthe Mayor fights back with workers rights to not get 2nd hand cancer and the rights of all patrons to be healthy. In December of 2006 NYC restaurants were given 18 months to to cut out all artificial trans fat or face increasing fines. That’s right. Our restaurants are not allowed to cook with or add trans fat to food. Sweet, no? The latest in the fight against obesity? Calorie posting for chain restaurants. Did you know your latte packed 480 calories? New Yorkers did.

Now for the thinking part of the day. Obviously the things Bloomberg is fighting against…cancer, heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, and the million and one things that come with being obese are all seriously dangerous things. But is he treating us like babies….loved little babies, but babies none the less? Will these policies work? Are they a fair burden on businesses, especially the smaller ones? Would you welcome these policies in your own town?

Now for my little ol’ opinions. (You didn’t think I was going to just let you think for yourself, did you?) )Smoking ban…LOVE IT. smokingTo knowingly subject workers to carcinogenic toxins day in day out is completely unethical. And to make the argument that employees choose the job and therefore willingly accept the environment is to be completely oblivious to working class reality. Does it help people stop smoking? Yepperdepperdingdong. Since the ban, rates have dropped steadily each year. For those struggling, the city even offers free patches.

Tran fat ban…tansfatAgain I support it. Not much of a fast food eater…but still good to know that ALL restaurants are forced to cook responsibly. I’m not sure what argument from a consumer point of view could be made against this. The burden is entirely on the business end of things. Since the same laws do not apply to packaged food, I’m not entirely sure how much this will impact the health issues related to trans fat. (Trans fat is a biggie for long-term food.)  It certainly couldn’t hurt. All studies are speculative at this point.

Calorie posting. Surprise…I like it. It is just information so I can’t see what the objection would be to people being able to make a more educated choice about their food consumption. Can you argue against consumer knowledge? Is it a bit of a buzz kill when you see a cinnamon bun has 600 calories in it. Sure. Will this help reduce obesity….not sure. Obesity comes from a lot more than just not knowing how many calories are in something; a whole lot of other issues play into the epidemic. But for the average Joe Schmo, like myself, I think it will help us stick to our own personal dietary ideals.

Now…I do understand the whole BIG Brother argument against this kind of regulation and think it is valid. The truth, however, is that without intervention we are all going to continue to pay increasing costs of preventable illnesses. According to the Journal of Health smoking related diseases cost about 75 billion a year in health care costs, 20 billion alone to Medicare. So even if you have never smoked, you are paying financially for those who have. Obesity related diseases come in at 117 billion. Does the money change your thinking? It at least gives validity to it being a communal issue in need of government address. To the extent of mandates and fines….that is the debatable part. Universal health care, which I support, could just magnify this cost for the average American. Maybe with universal health care we need to look at universal responsibility…which includes personal AND business practices.

So to summarize, if you enjoy deep fried…everything, being oblivious to calorie and fat content, all whilst sucking back a pack of American Spirits…NYC just might not be your port.

11 Responses to “Bloomberg’s Says Fatties Not Welcome in NYC”

  1. Added by arduous on June 11th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I see absolutely nothing wrong with the calorie posting. It’s just allowing you to be a more informed consumer. Hardly Big Brotherish. Plus I don’t see why it provides a hardship to smaller businesses. The trans-fat thing? I have mixed feelings. Not sure if I support it or not. As for the smoking ban, we haven’t been able to smoke inside in California for so long that I don’t even remember what that’s like. Of course we are blessed with great weather so it’s not much of a hardship to make people go outside to smoke….

  2. Added by organicneedle on June 11th, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    The hardship for smaller chains is having to pay for the actual calorie research and paying for the updated menus.

    In what way are you mixed about trans fat?

  3. Added by arduous on June 11th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Oh, it has to be on the menu itself? It can’t just be on a sign in the restaurant? I didn’t realize that.

    The reason I’m mixed on the trans-fat is because that *does* feel the most Nanny State-ish to me. Unlike the calorie requirement, which is just giving the customer the info, or the smoking ban, which affects non-smokers/asthmatics etc who work in/patronize bars etc because of the second-hand smoke, the trans fat really only directly affects the eater, and it sort of is a dictate, of “I’m going to tell you what to eat.” Yeah trans fats are bad. So are sodas. On my site, there’s currently a banana debate. What if the government decided to ban restaurants from carrying bananas because they wanted to support local food?

    I dunno. Personally I try not to eat any trans-fats. And there are a lot of good reasons for the trans-fat ban too. I guess this is why I’m mixed.

  4. Added by heather t on June 11th, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    I love the smoking ban, but I wonder if it would be such a bad thing to make allowances for specific, licensed all-smoking bars, like smoking lounges or something. Governments provide a limited number of liquor licenses to sell alcohol, why not offer a small number of smoking lounge licenses?

    That way, we non-smokers don’t have to deal with that crap and the smokers will stop whining. (maybe)

  5. Added by organicneedle on June 11th, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    They do allow for all smoking clubs…like cigar clubs. The problem with allowing some bars to have smoking and some not is that all bar owners want the smoking…the employees don’t. It is still a worker rights issues.

  6. Added by CindyW on June 12th, 2008 at 12:07 am

    I am two hearted about posting calories. It’s unfair for small businesses to shoulder the cost of reprinting menus. On the other hand, for the social greater good, it is a FANTASTIC idea! 600 calories would stop me from stuffing the whole cinnabun into my mouth.

  7. Added by Matt on June 12th, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Did you see the Bunk study stating 2/3 of doctors in America want National Health Care. The doctors who did this study also conducted one in 2002 and found that the majority of doctors did not want national health care, the problem with this is that the 2 question surveys drastically differ in there 2nd question. I found this article, 60% of Physicians Surveyed Oppose Switching to a National Health Care Plan, It’s worth a read.

  8. Added by Po on June 16th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    I still don’t understand why people care if others are healthy or not. The only reason I can think of it because they think it raises their health care costs. Which is a really stupid reason for taking peoples freedoms away.

  9. Added by organicneedle on June 16th, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Well.. . it depends how you look at it. By people having to spend more of their hard earned money on health care costs incurred by other people’s choices you are in essence taking away their freedom to spend their money on other things. The smoking ban was done not so much to protect smoker’s health, but to protect those around the smokers…to protect their freedom to breath clean air. I understand the resistance to Big Brotherism…but I think when you look at the whole picture you see that these measures protect freedom too.

  10. Added by robj98168 on June 24th, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Posting calories and nutrition is one thing, but I think your mayor is a nazi- it is totally wrong to go into a private business and tell them they what they can or cannot use in their food. This is one reason why I won’t go to NYC. Well that and the damn yankees!

  11. Added by organicneedle on June 25th, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Hmmmm…a Jewish Nazi…only in NY. I see your point Rob…but there are all kinds of regulations as to what private businesses are allowed to use and serve. What about the trans fat is sacred?

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