Billionaire Bloomberg to Fund $5m Public Health Projects in 40 Cities Worldwide
Originally posted on www.theguardian.com.
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire bête noire of both the sugar industry and the tobacco industry, famously fought for a ban on the sale of large-sized colas and other sweet drinks when he was mayor of New York and lost. Although that is not how he sees it.
“We actually won that battle,” he says. “I have always thought if we had not been stopped by the court, it would have died as an issue. Nobody would have known about it. But the fact that it kept coming back to the newspapers was a gift in disguise because people started to think, Holy God, maybe full-sugar drinks are bad for me.
“So what happened was consumption of full-sugar drinks around the world has gone down dramatically. If we had won the thing, I think it would have been less.”
Bloomberg did plenty more for public health while mayor of New York, including imposing one of the first bans on smoking in bars and restaurants in 2003. Since then he has widened his sphere of influence, funding successful campaigns through his philanthropic foundation for sugar taxes in Mexico and Philadelphia and for curbs on smoking all over the world.
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