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Marci Warhaft-Nadler

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Does Mayor Bloomberg Want Us to Be Healthy or Skinny?

Posted: 03/12/2013 5:00 pm

The judge has spoken, the ruling has been been made and our right to drink super sized, sugar loaded beverages remains intact.

I'll be honest with you and say that I'm feeling somewhat conflicted by the decision. I know that the main argument against the ban came from people who just don't want the government telling them what to do. Nobody likes to be told what they can and cannot eat or drink and people tend to get a little annoyed when they feel like they're being treated like children, or fools, or foolish children. That said, who the hell needs to be drinking soda from a cup big enough to swim in, anyway? If you're still thirsty after drinking enough liquid to bathe in, you've got some bigger issues that need to be addressed. I have no problem with Mayor Bloomberg wanting to limit the size of sugary drinks being sold, However, I do have a problem with the fact that, once again, he is completely missing the mark when it comes to taking action in the name of health.

An article by The Canadian Press states, "The rule prohibits selling non-diet soda and some other sugary beverages in containers bigger than 16 ounces."

Non-diet soda.

Aye, there's the rub.


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  • Infused Water

    Commercial brands deliver a calorie-free water with a hint of anything from cucumber to lemon to blueberry -- but these sips are just as easy (and less expensive) to make at home. <br><br> Simply cut up your favorite fruit or vegetable and leave in a pitcher of water for at least three hours, <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/345529/pineapple-mint-infused-water" target="_hplink">according to Martha Stewart's recipe</a>. You can also add herbs like mint or rosemary for an extra flavor punch.

  • Iced Tea

    This iced treat is an easy way to control the terms of your tea: caffeinated varieties like black, green and white tea make nice, strong iced teas -- but herbal options also abound for those of you who care to stay caffeine-free. <br><br> Simply brew a strong tea -- if you like your drinks sweet, add a hint of honey. Leave in the refrigerator until cool and then pour over ice. Or try one of Eating Well's <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/healthy_iced_tea_recipes" target="_hplink">healthy iced tea recipes</a>. <br><br> The tea <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/05/health-benefits-of-tea_n_1126594.html" target="_hplink">also delivers a burst of polyphenols</a> -- an antioxidant found in tea tannins -- that can help stave off some cancers and regulate cholesterol.

  • Seltzer + Juice

    NYU nutritionist and HuffPost Healthy Living contributor Lisa Young recommends adding a splash of juice to plain seltzer for a jazzed up treat. "It beats sugar in sodas!" she told The Huffington Post. <br><br> Unconvinced? Read this <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/08/01/i-am-seltzer-man" target="_hplink">ode to the mix</a>.

  • Kombucha

    This fermented tea has gained popularity in recent years for its purported health benefits (for more on that, see Nutrition and Fitness Editor <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meredith-melnick/kombucha-tea_b_1304730.html" target="_hplink">Meredith Melnick's 'buch explainer</a>), and while those remain controversial, there is no denying that the drink is low-calorie, low-sugar, low-caffeine and hydrating.

  • Iced Coffee

    For those who get a kick from caffeine, flavored water just can't beat a Diet Coke. That's where iced coffee comes in: highly adaptable (add or skip the sugar! use dairy milk or a substitute like almond!), relatively inexpensive and with a strong, almost caramel-like flavor, a cold, eye-popping coffee can serve as a lower sugar alternative to your favorite soda. <br><br> And research shows that coffee may have health benefits that extend well beyond weight management: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/03/coffee-heart-disease-cancer_n_1316480.html" target="_hplink">helping to protect</a> against several types of cancer, Type 2 diabetes and more.

  • Flavored Seltzer

    Flavored seltzer can stave off cravings for the sweeter stuff. Although they are low-calorie and caffeine-free, they are full of flavors like raspberry, lemon-lime or black cherry and are just as refreshing.

  • Fresh Juice

    Unlike bottled varieties, freshly juiced fruits and vegetables have no added sugar. By selecting the ingredients, you can also control sugar portions by tempering sweet fruits like mangoes, grapes and melons with low-sugar, high-fiber fare such as kale, celery and lettuce.

Why is drinking copious amounts of sugar-laden drinks unhealthy but consuming the same amount of chemical filled crap just fine? WHY are we protecting people from the evils of sugar while promoting, accepting and even encouraging the consumption of diet drinks which are filled with chemicals that come with risks related to health issues like depression, severe migraines, inflammatory bowel disease and cancer?

Oh wait a minute, I know why, because they have less calories! Calories are bad because they make us fat and fat is bad because it can lead to health issues. Can you see my concern here? Why is that certain health risks are acceptable as long as they don't affect our size? Why are we, once again, putting our weight ahead of our health?

Here's the really crazy part, some research has suggested that artificial sweeteners can lead to, say it ain't so, obesity!

I have no problem with the government wanting to help us get healthier, but I do have an issue with it just wanting to make us skinnier.

I work with kids as young as seven and eight years old who have already started counting calories in fear of getting fat and that's just not OK! If we want to raise healthy children we need to teach them that eating well makes them feel good, instead of promoting the dangerous message that eating less makes them look skinny and skinny is what they need to be.

Time to stop trying to lose weight and start focusing on gaining health.


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