NYC Mayor Credits Public Health Initiatives for Longer Life Expectancies

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says they contribute to a life expectancy of 80.6 for newborns in the city, higher than the national average of 78.2.

Public safety and public health have been at or near the top of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's agenda for some time. He hasn't quit on his plan to ban super-sized sodas as a way to combat obesity, for instance, and recently he and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley joined other city leaders in announcing all 138 farmers' markets in the five boroughs would accept the city's Health Bucks coupons, allowing low-income New Yorkers to obtain free fruits and vegetables.

Bloomberg reminded residents of the impact of such programs on Aug. 29, when he and Farley announced that Isabella and Jayden were the most popular baby names in the city in 2011 for the third consecutive year. There were 123,029 births in the city during the year, according to the mayor's office's news release.

"A baby born in New York City has a life expectancy 2.5 years longer than the national average, in no small part due to our bold public health initiatives," Bloomberg said at a press conference where one infant with each name was present. "This means we can expect to see many of the very popularly named Isabellas and Jaydens -– like these two little ones with us today -– more than 80 years from now."

The release said more than 600 newborns in the city were named Isabella and more than 800 were named Jayden last year. Babies born there now have a life expectancy of 80.6 years, higher than the national average of 78.2.

"Choosing a name for your newborn is an exciting part of having a baby. But above all, we must bring our newest New Yorkers into a healthy, safe environment," said Farley. "The Health Department helps women stay as healthy as possible pre-pregnancy, obtain quality health care during pregnancy, and receive the care and support their babies need to thrive."

"Baby Jayden and Baby Isabella are just two of the more than 21,500 babies who were born last year at an HHC hospital and were welcomed to the world in our modern, comfortable birthing centers where new parents and the entire family can gather to celebrate the new arrivals," said Health and Hospitals Corporation President Alan Aviles. "No matter what name you pick for your baby, the HHC network of pediatricians and child health centers can provide the medical home New York families need to keep babies healthy from birth through adolescence."

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