Diabetes chief supports NYC soda plan (but don’t tell anyone)

Sometimes things just have a way of coming together.

Last Friday, American Diabetes Association (ADA) CEO Larry Hausner offered the keynote address to LifeScience Alley’s Diabetes Leadership Roundtable. Hausner was in town for the ADA conference in Minneapolis.

As it so happens, the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic last week launched a ten year, $250 million to $350 million partnership to ultimately cure diabetes.

Not to be outdone, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also announced a plan to combat obesity by banning city residents from using food stamps to purchase sodas.

What a crazy week for diabetes wonks!

An attendee at the diabetes roundtable asked Hausner what he thought of Bloomberg’s plan.

“Well…that’s a real political issue,” Hausner answered carefully.

Officially, the ADA board of directors has declined to adopt a position on the plan, Hausner said, although he didn’t really say why.

Oh well.

But then Hausner couldn’t help himself.

“ButIthinkit’sagreatidea,” he quickly blurted out, drawing laughter from the crowd.

New York is certainly not the first place to pursue the idea. Guess which state tried this before? Yup! Minnesota baby!

From the New York Times:

In 2004, the Agriculture Department denied a request by Minnesota to prevent food-stamp recipients from buying junk food. The department said that the plan, which focused on candy and soda, among other foods, was based on questionable merits and would ’perpetuate the myth’ that food-stamp users made poor shopping decisions.

The Times also reported House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Collin Peterson from (wait for it) Minnesota supports discussing a federal ban during deliberations for the next farm bill.

Officials from the university and Mayo say Minnesota should be all things diabetes.

Boy, they weren’t kidding!

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 10/11/2010 - 07:27 pm.

    I have often wondered why, instead of taxing high sugar/salt/saturated fat food products or seeking to limit their purchase with ideas like Bloomberg’s and Minnesota’s, the government doesn’t just have the FDA limit the amounts per serving of these ingredients in the food and drinks they package and sell.

  2. Submitted by Terry Hayes on 10/12/2010 - 08:59 am.

    Excellent point as usual, Bernice.

    I’d like to add a thought—diabetes is not caused by obesity. Lots of fat people aren’t diabetic, and lots of skinny people are.
    Diabetes may cause obesity in some people, but what you eat has nothing to do with whether or not you become diabetic. Read ‘Blood Sugar 101’ by Jennifer Ruhl. This is not to say obesity is harmless, but fighting diabetes by not letting poor people buy pop (what the heck is ‘soda’? We’re in Minnesota, people!) is plain stupid, not to mention an infringement on people’s rights to drink whatever they damn please.

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