Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg: Empty-Headed Hypocrite

New York Mayor Bloomberg has proposed banning the sale of sugary sodas larger than 16 ounces by restaurants, delis, movie theaters and food carts. That's supposed to show he's fighting obesity. But a week later he showed up at Nathan's 97th annual July Fourth International Hot Dog Eating Contest, where he announced: "It is a moment for all New Yorkers and all Americans to celebrate the inalienable rights bestowed on us by our forefathers: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For the contestants assembled here, that includes consuming as many hot dogs as humanly possible."

This hypocrite would deny beverage consumers the same “inalienable rights bestowed on us by our forefathers” to consume sugary beverages of their choice that he grants for “consuming as many hot dogs as humanly possible.” Indeed, he proclaims the latter “a moment for all New Yorkers and all Americans to celebrate.”

Bloomberg's position on the beverages is not only an infringement on individuals' rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness but shows the mayor's head is empty of facts regarding the food and beverages. Sugar-sweetened beverages account for only 7 percent of calories of the average American's diet, according to government data. And that 7 percent includes not only sodas but fruit juice drinks, sport drinks, teas and coffee with sugar. Added sugars consumed from soda have declined 39 percent since 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control—and yet obesity has been increasing during this period. Since 1998, the average calories per serving from beverages is down 23 percent due development of more low- and zero-calorie drinks—yet obesity continued to rise.  Sales of regular soft drinks declined 12.5 percent from 1999 to 2010--yet obesity rates continued to rise during that same time.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states: “There are multidimensional determinants of obesity....A food solution remains elusive, but a reductionist approach that focuses on one food or one component of the food supply, in the presence of too much, is unlikely to succeed.”

Dr. Gilbert Ross, M.D., practiced medicine for 19 years, was a member of the faculty of Cornell University Medical School and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and is currently Executive Director and Medical Director of the American Council on Science and Health. He says, “There is no solid evidence that restricting sodas to a certain size will have the slightest impact on obesity. In addition, enforcement of such a regulation would not only be quite costly, but it would also be extremely complex, given the various interpretations of the regulations.” Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, also of ACSH, says, “Not only is the latest proposed ban frightening in terms of government overreach, but it will have no impact on obesity.”

An Australian study of children consuming sugar-sweetened beverages 1995 to 2007 found that obesity had increased despite a substantial decline in intake of refined sugar.

Nor will taxing sugary beverages reduce obesity. West Virginia and Arkansas are two states that tax soft drinks, yet both are among the 10 states with highest obesity rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control

Now, here is Michael Siegel, M.D.'s explanation of facts about the hot dog eating contest:

"The winner of the 2011 hot dog eating contest consumed 62 hot dogs and buns in just 10 minutes. In the female competition, the winner consumed 50 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.

"A single Nathan's hot dog has 297 calories and 18 grams of fat. The bun contains an additional 120 calories. Thus, a single serving delivers 417 calories and 18 grams of fat. This means that the winner of the hot dog eating contest consumed 25,854 calories and 1,116 grams of fat within 10 minutes.

"Thus, Mayor Bloomberg participated in a ceremony that glamorized and promoted the over-consumption of already calorie- and fat-laden food to literally millions of people, including about half a million New Yorkers.

"And this is the guy who now wants to limit soda consumption to 16 ounces?"

For Bloomber's “blatant hypocrisy,” Dr. Michael Siegel inducted him into the Hypocrisy Hall of Shame

The New York Board of Heath—appointed by Mayor Bloomberg—is scheduled to vote on his proposal September 13.

New York Mayor Bloomberg's war on 16-oz. or larger servings of sugary drinks is the wrong war. It is fought for the wrong reasons by an empty-headed hypocrite oblivious to evidence, history and the nature of man and government.