Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg Claims He Fights Obesity By Banning Large Sodas But Actually Causes Child Obesity By Cutting Physical Education In Schools.
"There is one public health crises that has grown worse and worse over the years? It would be irresponsible if I didn't take action". If you know what you are doing "common sense" would say you might want to do something about it".
While the Mayor conveniently ignored are the reasons why the judge stopped the soda ban as "arbitrary and capricious". First the judge stated that it was an end run around the City Council. Second, was the lack of authority by the City health Department since it's not considered a "health emergency". Finally, there were so many loopholes in the proposed regulations that a bus could travel through them. The Mayor's new mission as the Mayor who brought healthy living to New York City. However, when it came to the New York City students, the Mayor's education policies actually encourages childhood obesity.
Since July of 2008 there has been a drop of 12% in the number of licensed physical education teachers. That is from 2,150 to 1,890. Moreover, many of the small schools the Mayor has touted have no or inadequate gyms or fields for physical fitness and some small and Charter schools have no gym classes at all! Added to the inadequate or lack of gym space is the limited extracurricular activities in these small schools. Many of the extracurricular activities are sports related and keep the children physically fit. Only those schools fortunate enough to occupy a large campus have adequate physical education facilities. Assuming they have the money to fund these programs. Worse, the very stringent Bloomberg budget restrictions make school principals reluctant to spend money on non-core subjects or add extracurricular activities.
Even the large comprehensive schools feel the severe budget restrictions imposed by the Mayor. For example, the few schools that have swimming pools do not get any funding to maintain them nor do they give these schools extra funding to hire swim teachers who can properly supervise and give swimming lessons to the school's students. In addition, many of the schools claim the DOE has inadequate funding of necessary and up-to-date physical education equipment. While the DOE, under the Mayor's watch has a road runner program that includes anywhere between 60,000 and 100,000 students, that is less than 10% of the New York City student population of 1,100,000! Finally, the Mayor's emphasis on increased test preparation means that less money is spent on physical education.
The Mayor might claim that his legacy as Mayor was to improve the health of the people of the City. However, the reality is the very children who needs it most, children trapped in neighborhoods of poverty and violence and are afraid to go out and play, are the ones most affected by the reduction and lack of physical education in the New York City schools. Just another example of the Mayor's "children last" agenda.