Hizzoner’s Nanny Culture, With a Grain of Salt

The New York Times reports today that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been caught “salt-handed.” Despite targeting sodium in his latest nanny-state crusade, the mayor privately enjoys pouring it on by the shaker-load:

Under his watch, the city has declared sodium an enemy, asking restaurants and food manufacturers to voluntarily cut the salt in their dishes by 20 percent or more, and encouraging diners to “shake the habit” by asking waiters for food without added salt.
But Mr. Bloomberg, 67, likes his popcorn so salty that it burns others’ lips. (At Gracie Mansion, the cooks deliver it to him with a salt shaker.) He sprinkles so much salt on his morning bagel “that it’s like a pretzel” … Not even pizza is spared a coat of sodium.

The Times also talked to a Bloomberg dining companion about his beverage habits. While the Mayor’s Office encourages New Yorkers to “drink smart” by choosing water, Bloomberg gulps down three-to-four cups a day of coffee and rarely drinks H2O. Which makes us wonder if dietary scold Michael Jacobson has a secret butter and cheese-fries habit.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the Big Apple mayor has failed to live up to his own dietary standards. In 2007 New York City banned trans fats from most of the city’s restaurants, a proposal that received backing from then-Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden. Bloomberg was subsequently photographed snacking on Cheez-Its, a cracker containing the very trans fats that he felt justified in publicly demonizing. (The Times notes today that the cheese crackers are still Bloomberg’s “snack of choice.”) And on a late-2007 visit to New York City, we snapped a photo of a bodega inside the city’s own Department of Health selling the same snacks that made local food cops’ “naughty” list.
Personally, we’re backing Hizzoner’s right to chow down on a sodium-covered pretzel, or to make his lunchtime soup taste like seawater. But we’re not big fans of “do as I say, not as I do.”

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