As New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg pushes to ban the sale of large-size sodas and other sugary beverages, new research in the British journal The Lancet finds that New Yorkers are living longer.
Researchers reveal that compared to many parts of the country, life expectancy in Manhattan has increased by 10 years, the fastest in the nation.
They largely attribute the rise to a crackdown by the New York City health department on unhealthy behaviors.
Manhattanites can now expect to live to the age of 82, which is the same as Japan, the nation with the highest life expectancy in the world, according to the United Nations World Population Prospects (2205-2010), and higher than Sweden and Iceland. Still, researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Heath Metrics and Evaluation found life expectancy in the US as a whole lengthened just
1.7 years per decade, a slower pace of progress than in the world's longer living countries. The US ranks 38th among nearly 200 countries with an overall life expectancy of 78.2.
According to the researchers, the city has boosted its life expectancy by reining in homicide rates and HIV/AIDS-related mortality, but also by the government's radical efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle. These include the city's ban on trans fats, prohibition of smoking in public spaces, and tax hikes on cigarettes.
In addition, according to a report from LiveScience, the Big Apple has created hundreds of miles of new bicycle lanes, mandated the use of calorie labels on menus in chain restaurants, and sponsored anti-obesity and preventive health services campaigns in subways.