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[Perspectives] Transforming health in New York City

Like all of the USA, and now most countries, New York City (NYC) at the start of this century was experiencing a steady rise in obesity and diabetes that portended reversal of hard-earned gains in life expectancy. Smoking rates had decreased from their highest levels, but had plateaued. The burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) was concentrated in low-income and minority areas. Even the smallest steps to address these challenges at the national level were systematically blocked by powerful industries representing junk food, soda, and tobacco.