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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2012
           

Downsizing Sugary Beverages = Downsizing Diabetes and Obesity

Assemblyman Ortiz applauds New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the sale of large sized sugary beverages.

(Albany, NY) Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (51st A.D, Brooklyn), was pleased to learn that New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, will soon be proposing a ban on the sale of large sized sugary beverages by restaurants, mobile food carts, movie theaters, and delis. The Assemblyman has long advocated for health measures that would decrease the rates of obesity and diabetes in our State.

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Studies have shown the negative impact that sugary beverages have on our Nation’s health. Sugary drinks are the only food directly linked to obesity. Furthermore, soft drinks along with fruit drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks account for 46 percent of Americans’ added sugars consumption. One in five of our nation’s children are drinking 3 or more sugar-sweetened beverages everyday; this equals an extra meal’s worth of calories. I applaud the Mayor for taking action against the obesity and diabetes epidemic in our City. I have long supported measures that work towards prevention, rather than damage control, when it comes to the health of our State’s residents. Preventative steps save lives and cut down on medical costs, stated Assemblyman Ortiz. The cost of diabetes in the United States, per year, is $150 billion. Obesity adds an additional crippling $190 billion to health care costs every year.

The Assemblyman has introduced a variety of legislation aimed at cutting down the incidence of obesity and diabetes in our population and providing healthier options for our State’s consumers. Ortiz’s bill, A.1025-A, works to expand and improve regional farmers’ markets and to promote New York State grown produce. Another bill, A.1320, requires that a diabetes risk analysis be included in the health exam administered to all children entering public schools. The Assemblyman has also been fighting to expand New York City’s ban on Trans Fats throughout the entire State (A.7776-A).

 If we wait to deal with these problems, we are allowing a huge portion of our population to live a less healthy and greatly shortened life. The obesity epidemic is clearly a problem that we have not been able to solve at an individual level. We need to work together to combat this crisis and to put in place barriers to unhealthy and dangerous products, said Ortiz.

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