Michelle Obama isn’t ‘endorsing or condemning’ NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban

{mosads}”The first lady wasn’t weighing in on this specific policy debate one
way or the other,” Schake said in a statement provided to The Hill. “She
was trying to make the point that every community is different and
every solution is different and that she applauds local leaders
including mayors, business leaders, parents etc. who are taking this
issue seriously and working towards solving this problem. But this is
not something the administration is pursuing at a federal level and not
something the first lady is specifically endorsing or condemning.”

Bloomberg plans next month to propose a restriction on sales of soft drinks more than 16 ounces in size by restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas in New York City. The news was met with scorn by Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and others who accused Bloomberg of implementing a “nanny state.”

Bloomberg has defended the ban as an effort to fight obesity, a cause Obama also advocates with her Let’s Move! initiative to fight childhood obesity.

“We’re not taking away anybody’s right to do things, we’re simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another cup,” Bloomberg told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell last week.

Let’s Move! encourages private companies along with public schools and communities to implement healthier standards and provide opportunities to exercise. The first lady has faced criticism similar to Bloomberg over her advocacy for policy changes in cities and schools, but argues that she is not looking to implement a “one size fits all” strategy at the federal level.

“Let’s Move! is not about having government tell people what to do, because government doesn’t have all the answers,” she has said, defending the initiative for providing “tools” to support parents in making healthy decisions for their children. 

—This story was originally posted at 3:28 p.m. and has been updated.

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