Thank you Riptide for hosting a great race yesterday!! It was a beautiful day to get out and run! Thanks to all the kids who participated. You guys are awesome!!!! Thank you to the incredible energy and enthusiasm of the move volunteers. move could not exist without you. You are amazing people!!
Mark Bittman on food and all things related.
Imagine you had a multibillion-dollar industry that was (a) enormously profitable and
(b) under frequent attack from public health researchers because (c) it’s demonstrably bad
for the health of your customers.
This was, of course, the story of the tobacco industry, and it is – right now – the story of the
sugar-sweetened beverage industry. Like the cigarette makers, the peddlers of soda cannot
do much about any of this: they owe it to their shareholders to maintain those profits, and the
products they sell evidently cannot, no matter how hard they try, be tinkered with to change factors (b) and (c). 
Even if the beverage industry were composed of the nicest people in the world, it will not stop
marketing to children unless it’s made to; indeed, these marketing efforts are within the rules
of the game, however deadly they may be. The outcome of those rules and the marketing they
allow is pandemic obesity and all the costs associated with it, which have been detailed enough
elsewhere to pass over here.
The goal of right-thinking people, then, is to change the rules and somehow make it more difficult
for the marketers to do their job. This can be done by legislation, executive mandate or — in some
places, like California — referendum. Legislation to impose a significant tax on soda — a penny or
even two per ounce – has failed everywhere, though it’s come close, especially in Philadelphia. After
failing to pass legislation for a soda tax, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed (and will evidently
institute, five months from now) a ban on large sizes of soda in many New York City places.
by the United Nations, the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, The New
England Journal of Medicine, the Institute of Medicine and many others, and which the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention commissioner, Thomas Frieden, has called “the single most effective
measure to reverse the obesity epidemic” – on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Both of these are working-class, largely nonwhite cities, with populations of about 100,000. Richmond
 , ranked sixth-most-obese city in the state, is in the East Bay, north of Berkeley; El Monte – which
ranks ninth – is just east of Los Angeles, in the I-10 corridor. Were either to institute a soda tax,
the prediction here is that some or even many nearby cities would follow suit quickly, for two reasons.
The first, almost immediate, is that these nearly broke municipalities would each gain a new source of
income that could, according to the soda tax calculator developed by the economist Tatiana Andreyeva
of the Rudd Center in New Haven, be about $3 million annually . 
The cities must decide how to spend these small windfalls. Dr. Jeff Ritterman, a retired cardiologist
serving on the Richmond City Council, says that “for $86,000 we can teach every third grader how
to swim at one of our municipal pools, and for $800,000 we can put a nutrition-gardening-cooking
instructor in each of our 10 elementary schools.”
The longer-term benefit, which may take a year, or three, or even five to become evident and accepted, is
health. Studies have shown that reduced soda consumption results in reduced weight. How quickly and
how significantly a soda tax would reduce consumption remains to be seen. But without this kind of
intervention, says Ritterman, “Our adult obesity rate will go from 24 percent to 42 percent when the
present fifth and seventh graders reach adulthood.”
There’s a third reason other cities will follow suit, and that’s reputation. As a local observer said to me,
“You don’t think San Francisco is going to be out-done by Richmond, do you?”
For all of these reasons, the first city to institute a soda tax will gain historic relevance and begin a kind
of domino effect that proponents of public health can get behind. But it’s not going to happen without
a struggle; remember, the beverage industry has no choice.
And while the proponents of the tax are largely volunteers, public health proponents and well-intentioned
politicians (not an oxymoron!), the beverage industry has the bucks, and is spending them at a rate of
about 100 to 1, in Richmond, at least: according to Ritterman, as of last week the industry had spent
Though Ritterman is optimistic (“We’re going to win because truth and science are on our side”), El
Monte’s mayor, Andre Quintero, is more cautious: “The industry is spending very aggressively here:
they have every single possible tool you can imagine having at their disposal.”  El Monte, also, is
a small city of less than 10 square miles, so businessmen argue that it’s easy for their customers to leave
to buy soda (or to eat, and order soda with a meal) in a neighboring town. “But,” says Quintero, “even
making that conscious decision — I’m going to step out of the boundary to get my sugary drinks — is
going to work on the person and make them think, Is this a choice I really need to make?”
That’s the spirit: changing the rules to give people a reason to think, to consider, should change their
behavior. The New York experiment may be effective, but most experts believe a tax is the way to go.
Whether it’s Richmond, El Monte, both, or someplace else, the first city to institute a soda tax will
be the first domino to fall and eventually gain the gratitude of the rest of the country.
1. I’ll just call this “soda” from now on, but equally culpable are sugar-sweetened iced teas, so-called
fruit juices, so-called sports drinks, so-called energy drinks, sweetened waters, coffee drinks with a
calorie content like that of a banana split and anything else that has more sugar than you could ever
imagine pouring into a cup of coffee. Just FYI, a 12-ounce soda contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar; 12
ounces of Snapple is about the same; in fairness, Gatorade has “only” a little more than half as much
sugar as that. A “tall” Frappuccino, by the way, contains 8 teaspoons of sugar.
2.This isn’t a matter of building safer cars and putting seat belts in them, or of engineering cell phones
so they won’t receive texts while you’re driving (that’ll happen). At some point a wildly popular and safe
substitute for sugar may be found, but at some point a safe cigarette might be invented, or indeed a pill
that will allow you to eat supersized cheeseburgers, fries and cokes twice a day, and not gain a pound. The
winning ticket in those lotteries is worth billions if not trillions of dollars, and “they’re” working on it,
but “they’re” working on energy from fusion, too.
3. Home of Rosie the Riveter National Park!
4. El Monte is one of those rare cities that actually has a municipal health and wellness plan, and it
recently banned sodas from its park and recreation facilities.
5. The same calculator tells us that a penny-per-ounce tax in Los Angeles would reap more than $113
million in its first year.
6. A measure to force those working against the tax to disclose their funding sources was passed by the
city council and successfully challenged by the industry.
7.This includes referring to the soda tax as if it were a grocery tax, implying that soda = food, which it decidedly does not. See my column, What Is Food?
move had a very successful fundraiser on Saturday. Thank you to everyone for your support and enthusiasm. Costumes were amazing! All the proceeds from the event will go into a scholarship fund for kids living in Boulder from lower income communities. Thank you to everyone who made donations. A very big thanks to Bo and Trish Sharon, owners of Lucky’s Market, who provided us with the most delicious food ever! I would also like to thank Tim from Mountain Sun, who provided us with beer. We greatly appreciate you all for supporting our efforts to inspire kids to exercise and make healthy living accessible to all kids!
And the awards go to……………..
BEST FEMALE COSTUME – Sarah Remmert
BEST MALE COSTUME- Curt Pessman
BEST FEMALE DANCER- Cynthia Matthews
All trophies will be awarded this week. Congratulations!!
Office of the Press Secretary
Presidential Proclamation –
Obesity Awareness Month, 2012
NATIONAL CHILDHOOD OBESITY AWARENESS MONTH, 2012
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Over the past several decades, childhood obesity has become a serious public health issue that puts millions of our sons and daughters at risk. The stakes are high: if we do not solve this problem, many among America’s next generation will face diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other health problems associated with obesity. Thankfully, while more remains to be done, we are making real progress toward a healthier future for our children. During National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we rededicate ourselves to meeting that critical responsibility.
For more than 2 years, First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative has worked with stakeholders across the private and public sectors to expand access to nutritious food, promote physical activity, encourage healthy food choices, create healthy starts for children, and ensure families have the tools they need to make healthy decisions. Communities from coast to coast are taking action to fulfill those goals. Over 4,000 schools have established rigorous nutrition and physical activity standards through the HealthierUS School Challenge, and more than a million Americans have earned the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award by committing to healthy eating and regular exercise. The Healthy Food Financing Initiative is developing projects that increase access to healthy, affordable food in communities that currently lack these options. Let’s Move! has also partnered with faith based and community organizations that are expanding access to fresh fruits and vegetables in their neighborhoods, and local elected officials are leading the way in making healthy changes for cities, towns, and counties across America.
Earlier this year, my Administration implemented part of the historic Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act by releasing new rules for school lunches and breakfasts that ensure a higher nutritional standard one that includes more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, and less fat and sodium. These changes represent the first major revision to school meal requirements in more than 15 years, and they come on the heels of recent updates to the Federal Government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To commemorate the healthy choices families, schools, and communities are making in kitchens across America, the First Lady was proud to host the first Kids’ “State Dinner” this summer, which welcomed 54 young chefs to the White House for a formal luncheon to celebrate their commitment to healthy, affordable recipes.
Each of us can play a role in ensuring our children have the opportunity to live long, healthy lives, and by joining together in pursuit of that mission, I am confident we can build a brighter future for America’s youth.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2012 as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. I encourage all Americans to learn about and engage in activities that promote healthy eating and greater physical activity by all our Nation’s children.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty first day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.