Hip hop mogul, animal rights activist and vegan Russell Simmons has jumped on NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s bandwagon to fight obesity in his home state. Last month, Mayor Bloomberg proposed (not without controversy) that the city prohibit the sale of soda in 16 ounce or larger containers citing the sugary drink as a major contributor to the obesity problem in this country.
On behalf of PETA, Simmons has penned a letter to New York City Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley asking him to include dairy drinks in the proposed ban. The letter states:
As a native New Yorker, I applaud your initiative to combat obesity in our city by proposing a 16-ounce size limit on sugary drinks. Limiting soda consumption is a good step, but to achieve real results, people need to eliminate dairy products, too. Drinking milk and other dairy products can lead to weight gain and other health problems. A 2005 nationwide study led by a Harvard Medical School researcher showed that children who drank more than three 8-ounce servings of cow’s milk per day were 35 percent more likely to become overweight than kids who drank only one or two servings (or a maximum of 16 ounces) per day. The study also found that replacing soda with cow’s milk, which is loaded with artery-clogging cholesterol, provided no weight-loss benefit—none. In light of this information, my friends at PETA and I urge you to include cow’s milk and other dairy-based drinks in your proposed beverage regulations.
What do you think? Should NYC ban milk? Soda? Should other cities join in? Are these bans ridiculous? Helpful?