Mike Bloomberg, Food Cop: Mayor Pushing Private Hospitals To Follow City Food Guidelines

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Hospital food, in general, sucks -- and thanks to Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his incessant war on flab, it's about to suck a lot more.

Hizzoner announced today that several private hospitals in New York City have agreed to follow the mayor's dietary guidelines used for city-run hospitals. In other words, hospital food at several private hospitals is about to be just as awful as the food at city-run hospitals.

"If there's any place that should not allow smoking and try make you eat healthy, you would think it would be the hospitals. We're doing what we should do, and you'll see most of the private hospitals go along with that," the mayor said this morning.

The move is part of Bloomberg's Healthy Hospital Food Initiative, which spells out what types of food -- and how much of it -- the mayor thinks people should be allowed to eat at hospitals.

We've looked at the guidelines. The gist: no fried food, minimal amounts of salt and lots of vegetables -- which is great, and all, but there's nothing to stop you from bringing in your own unhealthy food.

The pros: ?.

The cons: If you want a cheeseburger while you're on your death bed, you'll have to leave the hospital to get it, or have someone bring it to you. Not to mention, you live in a city run by a 70-year-old billionaire who thinks it's his job to tell you what to eat.

So far, the mayor's attempt to be every New Yorker's personal nutritionist has led to a ban on food donations to city homeless shelters. The reason: The city can't monitor the amount of salt in the donated food. It has also led to hospitals playing hide-and-seek with baby formula because Bloomberg thinks it's best that new mothers breast feed their babies.

The most-publicized consequence of Bloomberg's crusade against fatsos is the now-approved ban on "sugary drinks" getting served in containers larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, movie theaters and sports venues. The so-called "Big Gulp Ban" was approved earlier this month.

Like most of the mayor's over-reaching food policies, the Healthy Hospital Food Initiative will do nothing to curb obesity -- again, there's nothing to stop people from getting unhealthy food from sources outside of the hospital.

In reality, Bloomberg's pushing private hospitals to abide by his policies is just another symbolic gesture to give the appearance that he's cracking down on flab -- and just the latest addition to the New York nanny-state.
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