Health nut mayor puts new focus on New York's bad habits

When Mayor &to=' target=_blank>Michael Bloomberg sat down to lunch with children during a school visit a few years ago, he was disgusted by the soggy, greasy fries and other junk on their plates.

He pushed for a revamp of school menus and by the start of the next school year, fat-laden meals were being replaced by healthier versions. That same year, 2003, the city began handing out free nicotine patches and Bloomberg won his crusade to outlaw smoking in bars and restaurants.

Now the city is going after high-calorie foods in bodegas, restaurants and company cafeterias.

Experts say Bloomberg _ a bit of a health nut himself _ has targeted unhealthy lifestyles unlike any other administration before him.

"It's more aggressive than we've ever seen in the past," said Dr. Allan Rosenfield, dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "There's a willingness to take on unpopular but important issues."

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