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An open letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
I am writing to you regarding your proposed anti-obesity initiative, which would ban the sale of large sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and food carts.
While something must be done to address the growing obesity problem in this city and that this policy derives from those good intentions, this policy just goes too far. There are surely other ways to curb obesity rates in this city that do not involve infringing on an individual’s personal choices.
At a time when school budgets and after-school programs, which are essential tools in maintaining healthy lifestyles for children, are being cut, we should be concentrating on finding ways to restore this funding, not banning large sodas.
Restoring this funding will help kids get their required physical education in school and give them the ability to participate in programs like the New York Junior Tennis League, which uses tennis to teach elementary and middle school students about sports and nutrition.
In addition, as I have mentioned on several occasions, I urge you to restore funding to the Beacon Program, which by providing after-school and summer school activities, gives hardworking parents, many whom have no other option, the ability to keep their children in a safe, healthy and dependable environment.
Just as a fourth example, PS 35 in my district does not even have a gym.
I urge you to continue your efforts in combating high levels of obesity in this city not through gimmicks but by restoring funding to programs that contain real initiatives to help children maintain healthy and nutritious lifestyles.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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