Bloomberg Wants to Push New Yorkers Up Stairs

Credit: Spencer T Tucker/NYC Mayor's OfficeCredit: Spencer T Tucker/NYC Mayor's OfficeNew York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will hopefully transfer power peacefully at the end of this year, but his war on obesity isn't over yet.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg issued an executive order requiring city agencies to implement "active design strategies" to help builders and planners get New Yorkers to take the stairs, and "combat obesity, which is killing more than 5,000 New Yorkers each year," according to a press release

"New York City has been a leader when it comes to promoting healthier eating and now we're leading when it comes to encouraging physical activity," Mayor Bloomberg said. "Physical activity and healthy eating are the two most important factors in reducing obesity and these steps are part of our ongoing commitment to fighting this epidemic."

And Bloomberg wants to be the leader of the movement. From the New York Daily News:

On this issue, the billionaire mayor said he’s leading by example. He rarely uses the elevator in his townhouse on the upper East Side, he said.

“I have five floors,” Bloomberg said. “I take the stairs.”

And Bloomberg says even when he's not using the stairs, he doesn't stand still on escalators, according to Politicker. City Hall promotes this latest nanny initiative as encouragement rather than force, but that is misleading. From The Wall Street Journal:

Legislation being submitted to Council would require building owners to provide visible access to stairs and post signs encouraging their use near elevators — the city’s health department says it has already had success experimenting with signs that implore people to “burn calories, not electricity.”

With Mayor Bloomberg's lifestyle preferences imposed on more New Yorkers, Deputy Mayor Lisa Gibbs says the city would be "saving the equivalent of 500,000 pounds of weight among adult New Yorkers annually."

Read more Reason coverage of Michael Bloomberg's nanny state mayorship here.

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  • Killazontherun||

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will hopefully transfer power peacefully at the end of this year, but his war on obesity isn't over yet.

    Yeah, but that wont shut him up. Only when he croaks will our ears be at rest.

  • B.P.||

    But which form of demise will most poetically cap his life of public service: emphysema, salt poisoning, clogged arteries, or his concealed weapon accidentally discharging?

  • Killazontherun||

    He will die with a bouncy teenage hooker on top while in mid seismic level orgasm. Cause when God spits in our faces, he never misses.

    If this shows up multiple times or not at all, it is due to squirrel fuckery.

  • Ted S.||

    Getting shot during a stop and frisk.

  • NeonCat||

    Ha! Three hour long video will on how you shouldn't smoke, drink, drink soft drinks, eat trans fats, etc.

    Then at the end he announces his entire fortune is being devoted to cloning him and running for mayor again.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    You know who else governmentally "encouraged" physical fitness and activity?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    John F. Kennedy?

  • mr simple||

    Arnold Schwarzennegger?

  • SIV||

    Teddy Roosevelt?

  • Rich||

    Marilyn Monroe?

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Hitler?

    Aw, nuts. Sorry.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Hitler?

    Aw, nuts. Sorry.

  • A Serious Man||

    You know who else would double post statements?

  • sarcasmic||

    The three o'clock squirrels?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Charlie Chaplin?

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Hitler?

    Aw, nuts.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Squirrels?

  • A Serious Man||

    You know who else would double post statements?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    "Aw, nuts."

    That's what attracts them...

  • sarcasmic||

  • Ted S.||

  • Ted S.||

    Err, since the OP used the word "governmental", I should have linked to this.

  • SIV||

  • Bardas Phocas||

    He's here to protect us from the Terrible Secret of Space (ie fatties).

  • Bryan C||

    PAK CHOOIE UNF

  • Doctor Whom||

    With Mayor Bloomberg's lifestyle preferences imposed on more New Yorkers, Deputy Mayor Lisa Gibbs says the city would be "saving the equivalent of 500,000 pounds of weight among adult New Yorkers annually."

    What excellent results. Per adult New Yorker, that's....

    Um....

    Uh....

    Well, government must do something, and that is something.

  • Aresen||

    Per adult New Yorker, that is less than the normal fluctuation between two weighings.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    "But if even one fatty is redeemed...!"

  • Aresen||

    "I lost 500,000 lbs in one year on the Bloomberg Diet"

  • UnCivilServant||

    Unfortunately, it was all currency... Shouldn't have invested in those Forex markets.

  • Slammer||

    Where's my Hat Tip?

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    It was eaten by an enraged NYC fatty.

  • Rich||

    "obesity, which is killing more than 5,000 New Yorkers each year,"

    ... mostly fat on fat killings.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    +1

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't like the sound of these 'ere boncentration bamps.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Well, I gave him my baby to kiss and he bit it on the head.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I think he'd do a lot of good for the stock exchange.

  • EternalOptimist||

    How about placing limits on his bloated comments in general. How much would that save the citizens of New York?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I demand a law that forces people on escalators to still walk up or down them like stairs when I am also on those escalators.

  • ShagNasty||

    Oh god yes people standing on escalators piss me off. Also those escalator like track things that go down long hallways in air ports. at least stand off to one side so people that aren't lazy as fuck can get by.

  • sgs||

    What an... interesting thing to be pissed off about, and complaining about them being lazy while using the conveyors seems wrong somehow, since you're using them too.

    So, what, you're too lazy to just walk, but people slightly more lazy, you can't stand?

    So confused...

  • Marc F Cheney||

    STAND ON THE RIGHT, WALK ON THE LEFT.

    Using escalators isn't lazy, it's fast. And when people stand on the escalators on both the right and the left, then it's not fast, it's slow.

    It's not that confusing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I really like walking on those strips in airports. It's like being the Six Million Dollar Man.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Thanks for that...now the theme song from that show will be going through my head next time I go through O'Hare.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Make sure you look like you're running in slow motion.

  • From the Tundra||

    Wearing a sweet 70's style red sweat suit is a must.

  • ||

    If only non-passengers could still get into the concourses, this would be a great idea for a flash mob.

  • wareagle||

    if you're in O'Hare, it won't matter. Your flight will be delayed anyway. god, I hate that place.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What is that in today's dollars?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Eleventy billion.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    How would one go about writing that sound effect? ...You know the one, I don't have to explain.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I'm tweaking it: Shuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh....

    Still, hat's off to ya.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I hear it more like: Ga-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Wait, what is this then?

    Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch
    Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

    Is that Michael Myers?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I'm disappointed -- but not surprised -- by this comment, even if it is sarcasm.

  • Ebriosa||

    Seriously. This is one my true joys in life and people who stand on them SLOW ME DOWN and look at how fast I'm going just strolling along!

  • UnCivilServant||

    I like the wording, since I have this tendency to walk up the down escalator and down the up escalator. You'd get people like me all the time just to screw with you and give you even more hassles.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Too bad New Yorkers don't want to push Bloomberg down the stairs. OH SNAP.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Here's an stair-based exercise regimen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D-FjFsAqbM

  • Live Free or Diet||

    "Physical activity and healthy eating are the two most important factors in reducing obesity and these steps are part of our ongoing commitment to fighting this epidemic."

    The most pro-exercise review of peer-review literature I can find:

    An analysis of 493 studies shows that exercise has little bearing on weight loss. Over a 15 week duration the data shows only a 0.3Kg advantage from Weight lost through diet plus exercise over Weight lost through diet.

    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=a.....dt=2835686

    And longer periods are worse.

  • sarcasmic||

    People like Nanny Bloomberg never facts get in the way of policy based on emotion.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    Otherwise he would have repealed the Salz Verbotten Gesetz the minute he finished reading the latest from the CDC.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Shouldn't that be the "Salzverbotengebot"?

    I kid... I kid...

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I'm sorry, my German is not what it once was. Are you punning on "Salzverbot Angebot"?

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    I had the Reinheitsgebot in mind, actually...

    As I'm sure you know, there are a lot of beer drinkers here.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I love good beer. And if I want to live long, I can't have much of it.

  • MJGreen||

    But are they doing squats?

  • Ted S.||

    Everyone knows muscle tissue weighs more than fat.

    Fuck BMI.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Everyone knows muscle tissue weighs more than fat.

    It's more than that. The overweight condition in obesity is a symptom of something "stealing" food and sending it to the fat before feeding the rest of the body. In upwards of 75% of obese people, the condition is caused by insulin resistance and hyperinsulinism. Exercise takes from the muscles when the muscles are not being properly fed, so it just adds to the hunger.

  • hotsy totsy||

    ^^^ YES

  • ||

    On this issue, the billionaire mayor said he’s leading by example. He rarely uses the elevator in his townhouse on the upper East Side, he said.

    “I have five floors,” Bloomberg said. “I take the stairs.”

    Flames. Flames, on the sides of my face.

  • Ska||

    I know this is pretty late, but props for Madeline Khan/Clue.

  • wareagle||

    without govt to tell you, how would you know that calories in being more than calories out lead to weight gain?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    You wouldn't. Especially as they don't.

    Ever see your wife eat less than your 5-year-old while keeping up with him all day, yet she can't drop those "last 10 pounds?" Caloric balance does not work when your hormones are commanding your body to do something else.

  • wareagle||

    of course, they do. No one ever lost weight by taking in more than they expend. Yes, I get the point about the wife, physiology, etc but that does not change math.

  • hotsy totsy||

    How we "expend" (or not expend) depends largely on our metabolism and our metabolism depends largely on our hormones.

    My boyfriend was overweight and ate less than I do. (I'm not overweight, and if I gain a few pounds I quickly lose.) He exercised an hour on the treadmill every damn day. (I can't stand treadmills.)

    He had two of his parathyroid glands removed last month because his doctors said his calcium levels were too high. He has lost 15 lbs. without diet and didn't even get on the treadmill.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I lost 125 pounds in 8 months and kept it off for nine years. I eat more than twice now than I did when I was severely obese, and I exercise maybe half as much. I'm healthier and more energetic, and I don't wake up ravenously hungry in the middle of the night. Low carb/high fat!

  • Live Free or Diet||

    of course, they do. No one ever lost weight by taking in more than they expend. Yes, I get the point about the wife, physiology, etc but that does not change math.

    The problem is whether the math accurately describes the system.
    Food is used to make tissues, and acellular structures. It's used to make enzymes, cofactors and hormones necessary for cellular function and communication. It's used to make bile, stomach acid, mucus, and other secretions. It's used by gut bacteria. It can fail to be absorbed, to be excreted completely unused. It's converted to glycogen or fat for future use. It's transported to an individual cell that takes it in, and converts it to energy, in order to perform the above tasks.
    Only that last fate, immediate conversion to energy, even approximates the definition of a dietary calorie. And that barely scratches the surface of the problems with the paradigm.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Physical activity and healthy eating are the two most important factors in reducing obesity and these steps are part of our ongoing commitment to fighting this epidemic.

    Let's review the evidence for physical activity reducing obesity:

    ...

    That didn't take long.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    You found better evidence for it than I did!

  • Marc F Cheney||

    On the contrary, I think that by actually referring to anything, you were a little more charitable than me.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Yeah, I was more charitable in that I gave the meta-study that threw most in their favor. That still makes your post more factual.

  • Barry likes the (D)||

    Wow, go bloomberg! those extra five calories burned will roast the fat off the fatties!

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Two pieces of dry toast: 128 Calories.
    That's briskly walking up stairs for 15 minutes.
    Which assumes of course that it doesn't make you hungry for more than two pieces of dry toast.

  • Tonio||

    Oh, this is too easy. Just astroturf up some groups advocating for the elderly and mobility-impaired to fight this stuff.

    All I'm seeing is that he's throwing a bone to landlords who don't want to install elevators in those five-floor walkups.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Bloomberg To New York: DROP DEAD climbing stairs.

  • Salvatore||

    Check your ablebody privilege. not everyone can take stairs.

  • ||

    Yes! He's discriminating against the disabled by making the elevators harder to get to.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Detroit declaring bankruptcy tomorrow.

    Bloomberg declaring moral bankruptcy today.

  • Ebriosa||

    I was in Ireland last fall and since I usually take stairs, I always look for them. There were certain hotels where the only way to really get from floor to floor were the elevators, which was really frustrating when your room is only one floor up (let's not get into first floor/ground floor terminology problems). My mom and I once found stairs that led down from the room and did not get out at the lobby, but kept going down to the kitchen, where we startled the staff.
    And I was just in Florida in a hotel where, as is pretty common, the stairs are more emergency things, where you can get in but can't get out except on the ground floor. Normally that's okay, because going up stairs is the harder of the directions, but the elevator smelled amazingly bad.
    Maybe Bloomberg just needs to walk around everywhere with signs he made himself to point to and encourage stairs and shame building occupants from hiding them, in his copious spare future time. Because that would be okay. Stairs are good. I am pro-stairs. Anti-paperwork- system of fines - hassling laws.

  • MythicalLibertarianWoman||

    Elevators give me motion sickness, so I'm always looking for stairs. They're ridiculously hard to find in most hotels.

  • Anders||

    New Yorkers voted for Pocket Hitler several times.

    And they will elect hot diggity dawg Wiener soon, who is every bit as much a fascist. His wife is the lesbian Islamist girlfriend of Hillary though, so that's some change you can believe in.

  • Rasilio||

    "saving the equivalent of 500,000 pounds of weight among adult New Yorkers annually."

    That works out to about 0.06lbs per New Yorker annually or about 5 lbs over the course of an 80 year life.

    I'm having a REALLY hard time figuring out how this could ever pass a cost benefit analysis even if their numbers were accurate

  • Agammamon||

    " . . .signs that implore people to “burn calories, not electricity.”

    But what about GLOBAL WARMING?!

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Who elected this guy? I thought New Yorkers were the smartest people in the world!

  • ||

    Just ban elevators already!

    Except for the disabled.

  • Russell||

    Why stop at stairs? New Yorkers with bad bodymassatude shoud be limited to high protein meals obtained by chasing squirrels up the trees in Central Park.

  • TrueDat1||

    Funny because: New Yorkers Wants to Push Nanny Bloomberg Out A Window.

  • NL_||

    Feels counter to the ADA, at least in part. One mandate requires installation of stairlifts and elevators and another mandate is supposed to make people feel bad about using them.

    I suppose the potential to embarrass people with bad knees or bad backs into straining themselves is not a consideration, even though it may worsen health problems. This isn't a public health measure, it's a public self-righteousness measure.

  • LibertarianAmazon||

    Can someone push Bloomberg down the stairs to return the favor?

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