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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY

Obesity Ills That Won't Budge Fuel Soda Battle by Bloomberg

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

A hospital offers Zumba and cooking classes. Farmers markets dole out $2 coupons for cantaloupe and broccoli. An adopt-a-bodega program nudges store owners to stock low-fat milk. And one apartment building even slowed down its elevator, and lined its stairwells with artwork, to entice occupants into some daily exercise.

In the Bronx, where more than two-thirds of adults are overweight, the message has been unmistakably clear for a long time: Slim down now. But, if anything, this battery of efforts points to how intractable the obesity problem has become in New York's poorest borough. The number of the overweight and obese continue to grow faster in the Bronx than anywhere else in the city--nearly one in three Bronx adults is obese--leading the city's health commissioner to call it "ground zero for the obesity epidemic problem."

So it was to the weight-burdened Bronx that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg went last week to make the case for his controversial proposal to ban supersized sodas and sugary drinks. Standing in the lobby of Montefiore Medical Center, the borough's largest hospital, he was flanked by doctors who spoke of treating more patients than ever with diabetes, hypertension and other obesity-related diseases.

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