New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday that the life expectancy of a New York City baby born in 2009 has increased to 80.6 years. In 2000, the expectancy was 77.6, and today’s national rate is 78.2 years.
Mayor Bloomberg publicized the figures in a statement alongside Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley. During his statement, the mayor also cited New York’s health interventions, which include anti-smoking campaigns and strengthened testing and treatment for HIV.
He added that the life expectancy for New Yorkers in their forties has increased by two and a half years, to age 82, between years 2000 and 2009.
The obesity rate in schools throughout New York has fallen 5.5% over the past five years, thanks to the city-instituted programs to encourage healthy eating habits and physical activity.
According to a study, the percentage of obese children from kindergarten through 8th grade dropped to 20.7% over this past school year. According to city officials, the drop is due to programs working to remove deep-fried foods and sugary drinks from cafeterias, adding low fat milk and salad bars to the menu, as well as to limit junk food-selling fundraisers.
“The tide of the obesity epidemic is beginning to ebb,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Thomas Farley. “We see this as validation that our public health efforts to address the obesity epidemic are beginning to work.”
New York health officials have recommended that HIV positive residents be offered AIDS medication as soon as the virus is diagnosed. This immediate, aggressive response has proved to prolong life and reduce the spreading of the disease in the past.
Until recently, standard practice has called off the medication until the immune system weakens significantly, due to the steep expense. The pills can cost up $15,000 a year in the United States. Now, New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley has expressed his optimism as recent studies have shown the significant benefits of early treatment, together with education and testing, which suggest a promising strategy for battling the disease.
“I’m more optimistic now than I’ve ever been about this epidemic that we can drive our new rates down to zero or close to it- eventually. I don’t know how soon. But I’m very optimistic of the direction that it’s going to take the epidemic to,” Farley said.
According to the New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, a new ad campaign will be hitting the streets of the Big Apple within the month. The ad aims to expose people to the dangers of drinking soda and other sugary drinks on a regular basis. Drinking one soda every day is like consuming a fifty pound bag of sugar annually. Drinks such as these can lead to diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, arthritis and even some forms of cancer.
According to Farley, sugary drinks are the most common source of added sugar to a child’s diet, increasing the obesity risk dramatically with each serving. The New York ad campaign will include a YouTube video showing how far a person would need to walk to burn off the calories from a single drink, as well as bilingual posters which will strengthen the message.