City Councilman Leroy Comrie has taken on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on soft drinks of more than 16 ounces. He’s right when he says there ought to be a more effective way to limit the amount of calories children consume.
Comrie believes a more effective approach would be modeled on legislation he introduced to limit the amount of sodium and calories in fast food meals marketed at children. His bill was never passed but, he says, McDonald’s has voluntarily begun offering healthier menu options.
McDonald’s should be applauded. Other fast food restaurants should do the same, if they haven’t already, especially those that target children.
But Comrie lost credibility when he chose to stand next to Eliot Hoff, a spokesman for the anti-soda ban group New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, at a press event.
“There’s no study out there that says drinking more than 16 ounces of sugar impacts obesity,” Hoff said.
At a public hearing in Queens, Kelly Brownell, a professor at Yale University, said, “Soda in large amounts is metabolically toxic. You don’t feel as full when you consume calories in liquids. These beverages are the single greatest source of added sugar in the American diet.”
But you don’t need to be a Yale professor to know that soda isn’t healthy for children or adults. Education is the answer.
Why not ask Olympic athletes like Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin to help get the message out that foods like sodas and fries aren’t healthy?
Save the Dollar Van
Speaking for thousands in the outerboroughs, Councilmen Comrie and Jumaane Williams have called on the city Taxi & Limousine Commission commissioner to grandfather the commuter van companies into the outerborough taxi street-hail plan.
Unlike TLC Commissioner David Yassky, they understand what these vans mean in neighborhoods where taxis are seldom seen. The councilmen claim Yassky has gone back on promises that he would institute new rules to regulate the commuter van industry under the TLC.
The councilmen say that ever since the Metropolitan Transportation Authority eliminated several southeast Queens bus routes in 2010, their constituents have had to rely on the dollar vans.
This is a no-brainer, Yassky.