A few months ago, we told you about how Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s office was enforcing a ban on donating food to homeless shelters because the city wouldn’t be able to monitor the sodium content of the food — hungry homeless people (who don’t care how much sodium is in their food) be damned.
At the time, we thought it was one of the dumber decisions Bloomberg’s made. Then breakfast happened.
The mayor’s office is now opposing a City Council-backed plan to provide breakfast to kids in New York City public schools because there is a risk that fat kids who already ate breakfast at home might sneak a second breakfast at school.
“We have a problem in obesity in children,” Dr. Thomas Farley, commissioner of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, testified at a City Council hearing earlier this year. “I am concerned that if we have breakfast in every classroom, that that could contribute to the problem and possibly make it worse.”
He went on to say that more kids are suffering from health problems related to obesity than are from “not eating enough calories.”
Change the record, already — Bloomberg’s war on fatsos is the same reason he hopes to ban soda served in containers larger than 16 ounces in New York City restaurants, movie theaters and sports venues. Hizzonor’s health kick is also the reason he gives for wanting to hide baby formula from new mothers, in a bizarre plan to promote breast feeding.
According to our mother, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It gives your brain a kick-start that studies show helps promote learning — especially amongst kids. The grub the city would provide hungry kids would be healthy foods like yogurt and fruit, so a fat kid swiping an extra granola bar probably isn’t going to lead to the heart attack that kills him 40 years later.
Just for the record, while the mayor thinks the risks of allowing a few fat kids to sneak an extra breakfast outweighs the benefits of making sure no kid goes to school hungry, it’s currently not a requirement in New York City schools to offer physical education classes.
Meanwhile, a recent survey finds that 44 percent of New York teens play video games or mess around on the Internet on school days, and 38 percent watch more than three hours of TV per day. According to the mayor’s office, “40 percent of the city’s public school children are either overweight or obese.”
That said, it’s unclear whether the mayor understands the correlation between exercising and being an unhealthy fatso.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 22, 2012