New Yorkers back Bloomberg; oppose soda ban, breastfeeding push

The majority of New Yorkers still oppose limits for sugary drinks.

New Yorkers are all for good health, just don’t ask them to quit drinking large sodas or to breastfeed more.

A Qunnipiac poll released Thursday shows city dwellers generally approve of Mayor MIchael Bloomberg’s push for health initiatives, but they disagree with specific plans to restrict the size of sugary drinks and to limit access to formula in an effort to encourage new moms to breastfeed.

About 54 percent of New Yorkers are against Bloomberg’s plan to ban sodas larger than 16 ounces, while 42 percent think it’s a good idea.

Voters also overwhelming oppose Bloomberg’s push to get new moms to breastfeed, with 56 percent against it. Only 24 percent of voters approve of the initiative. Women are more opposed at 60 percent, but 53 percent of men join them in the sentiment. Only 24 percent of voters agree with limiting access to formula to encourage breastfeeding.

Ironically, New Yorkers still believe that the mayor’s handling of public health is a good thing. 50 percent said they approve — only 38 percent disapproved. Most New Yorkers — 48 percent compared to 38 percent — don’t think Bloomberg’s eating and drinking health initiatives are examples of “nanny government.”

Meanwhile, New Yorkers said they would approve of the mayor’s rumored crackdown on alcohol abuse — 56 percent of voters think it would be a good idea and only 17 percent would oppose it. Each borough had strong support for an alcohol crack down, except Staten Island, where support is only 40 to 35 percent.

Stop and frisk opinion divided by race

Overall, New Yorkers continue to oppose the NYPD’s stop and frisk tactics, most recently with a 3 to 1 disapproval rate. Black voters most strongly oppose at 69 percent, while white voters tend to be in favor of stop and frisk at 57 percent. The majority of Hispanic voters — 53 percent — also approve of stop and frisk.

The support for the tactic was unexpected, as the Center for Constitutional Rights found that 84 percent of people who were stopped and frisked in 2011 were Black or Latino residents.


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