DMI Blog

Karin Dryhurst

Making Cities Healthier

Originally posted by Karin Dryhurst at Next American City.

A child delivery center in Philadelphia recently had to replace their beds--beds that can hold 350 pounds--in anticipation of the growing number of obese mothers.

Donald Schwarz tells this story at community meetings around the city to convey the need to promote healthy eating and to support the tax on sugary beverages.

Both Michelle Obama and Urban Affairs chief Adolfo Carrion have applauded the efforts in Philadelphia to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income communities.

And the Obama administration recently awarded the city $25 million to confront both obesity and tobacco smoking.

Schwarz says the city will move forward with its fresh produce effort and Mayor Nutter will continue to push for the sugary beverage tax.

But isn't the soda tax regressive?

Schwarz battles that fact by arguing that obesity—which effects the poor at much higher rates—is a regressive disease that must be fought with a regressive tax.

Mayor Nutter credits Schwarz for amping up policies to curb obesity in a city where more than half of children are overweight or obese.

For example, Schwarz touted the city’s menu-labeling statute that requires more than just chain restaurants to provide nutrition information, including sodium and fat content. This expands upon New York's menu-labeling requirements, which affect fewer restaurants and only include calorie counts.

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Posted at 12:24 PM, Apr 12, 2010 in Cities | Food Policy
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