¡Basta! Diverse Groups Join Together to Say Enough to Promotion of Sugar Sweetened Beverages

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Amicus brief filed supporting NYC Board of Health policy on sugar-sweetened beverages. Diverse groups include National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Association of Black Cardiologists, National Congress of Black Women, and United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE).

“It’s time to say enough! (¡basta!), and put community and children’s health first,” said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the nation’s leading science-based advocate for Hispanic health.

Today, the Alliance was the lead signatory on an amicus (friend of the court) brief filed in the NY Appellate Division of the Supreme Court supporting the NYC Board of Health’s (BOH) public health rationale and authority to limit serving sizes of sugar sweetened beverages to 16 ounces in New York City food service establishments. The brief filing comes two weeks after a lower court ruled that the NYC BOH policy could not be implemented following a court challenge organized in part by the beverage industry.

“There is an urgency to alleviate the diseases in our community that could be prevented by stronger education and policy to address how sugary drinks, among other things, are negatively impacting our health. Our women and children have very high rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. It is our duty to do what we can to prevent the health problems our communities are facing,” said Dr. E. Faye Williams, Chairperson of the National Congress of Black Women.

The brief filed today by a diverse group of 16 signatories, argues that the NYC BOH policy is needed from a public health standpoint and that the Board has the authority, having gone through a public hearing process, to make the policy. The brief points to federal and city data showing a third of adults in the U.S. are obese and, both nationally and in New York City, obesity rates are higher for Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks. The New York City data cited in the brief also shows higher daily consumption of sugary drinks and higher rates of diabetes for Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks.

“We can make a difference with this policy. We know sugary drinks are associated with long-term weight gain and drinking sugary beverages increases our children’s odds of becoming obese and suffering from chronic disease as adults. This is a common sense policy that will help create environments of health for all,” said Elizabeth C. Yeampierre, Executive Director of the United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE).

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Amicus Brief Signatories: National Alliance for Hispanic Health (lead signatory); Association of Black Cardiologists; Children’s Aid Society; Comunilife; Harlem Health Promotion Center; Montefiore Medical Center; Mount Sinai Medical Center; National Congress of Black Women, Inc.; New York Chapter 2, American Academy of Pediatrics; New York Chapter, National Association of Hispanic Nurses; Prevention Institute; Maya Rockeymoore, PhD; Shape Up America!; The California Endowment; United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE); and, Walter Willett, MD, MPH, DrPH.

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Abigail Hernandez
National Alliance For Hispanic Health
(202) 797-4357
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