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The New York Times reports that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration isn't just fighting the obesity wars by banning things like trans fats and super-sized sugary soft drinks, but also is working with "community grocers to encourage healthier eating choices in some of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods, where more than half of the population has been deemed overweight or obese.

"Dozens of bodegas, supermarkets and convenience stores in two Bronx neighborhoods have agreed to prominently feature nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables near their entrances, while shifting sweeter, less healthy drinks and snacks to the back. Water and lower-calorie drinks will be displayed at eye-level and in the impulse-buy racks near cash registers, and city-produced 'Shop Healthy' banners will be draped in the aisles. Wholesale distributors in the area also plan to create incentives for supermarkets to stock healthier foods. While only a few of the stores have started to make these changes, the city’s health department said that it had commitments from about 150 food establishments in the area, and that the program could eventually be extended into other boroughs."

The Times notes that business support for the initiative may be illusory: "At C-Town, a worker was seen restocking a glass-front refrigerator near the cash registers about two hours after city officials had left the store. During the news conference, the refrigerator had been filled entirely with bottles of Dasani water; the worker said he had been asked to replace those with 20-ounce containers of Coca-Cola and other sodas."
KC's View:
It's unfortunate when the facts get in the way of a good story, which seems to be what happened here.

I may not agree with everything that Mayor Bloomberg's administration is doing, but I have no cause to doubt his sincerity in trying to deal with the obesity crisis. But if stores are just giving these initiative slip service, I wish they'd stop. It isn't good for anyone, and just wastes everybody's time.