BOSTON — Mayor Bloomberg is hinting that New York City could call on all restaurants, not just fast food eateries, to supply the caloric content of the food they serve.
"We are fighting the battle to get calories that are in foods listed with the same prominence that the price is displayed when you go into a fast food restaurant," Mr. Bloomberg said yesterday before receiving the highest honor bestowed by the Harvard School of Public Health, the Richmond Award.
"You can only really do this when it's standard portions and standard preparation methods. … Every individual restaurant, it would be very difficult to do," he added, before musing about the expansion of the calorie-reporting proposal. "Although, who knows? The public may demand it down the road, and we'll have to find ways to measure the calories in every dish that you buy."
Yesterday's award adds a highlight to Mr. Bloomberg's public health legacy and could provide him with a credential of national significance should he seek higher office. The university chose to honor the Harvard Business School alumnus and native son, who grew up in nearby Medford, for instituting the New York City smoking ban, fighting trans fats in restaurants, and battling illegal gun dealers.
Although the dean of the School of Public Health, Barry Bloom, teased the mayor by welcoming him to a "Red Sox Nation," Mr. Bloomberg largely avoided any pro-Boston baseball sentiment. Mayor Giuliani attracted the ire of New Yorkers last week by saying he was rooting for the Red Sox in the World Series.
As his mother, Charlotte, looked on, Mr. Bloomberg recalled attending summer camp with the daughter of a legendary Boston Braves pitcher, Warren Spahn, but said he did not remember going to Fenway Park or Braves Field more than once or twice as a boy.
Mr. Giuliani last week touted the fact that he was succeeded by a Republican mayor in a Democratic city. "I would hope that Mayor Giuliani feels that I've taken what he left the city and carried it on and made the city only better," Mr. Bloomberg told reporters yesterday.
Mr. Bloomberg's address, which included a broad overview of his public health record in New York City, drew a warm reception from the audience, which included a former governor of Massachusetts and Democratic nominee for president, Michael Dukakis.
"He's an impressive guy," Mr. Dukakis said after the speech. "He doesn't sound like a Republican to me."