Our Lady of Weight Loss

Our Lady of Weight Loss

NYC Health Department Kicks Sugary Beverage Industry in Tush

It takes both chutzpah and cojones (both indigenous to NYC) to roll out a campaign that takes on the beverage industry. And that’s just what the New York City Department of Health has done with its “Pouring on the Pounds campaign,” that effectively highlights the anti-health impact of sugary, sweetened drinks. 2009-09-02-ARTpouringpounds2.jpg
The cost of the multi-lingual ad campaign is about $277,000. It will run in 1,500 subway cars for three months.
Its signature image is a bottle of soda (or sugary substance of your choice) that is pouring into a glass. As it reaches the glass, the liquid turns to fatty globules. A stunning reminder of how these high-calorie products are empty calories that lead to obesity and other related health problems and diseases, particularly diabetes and heart disease, stroke, arthritis and cancer.
The ad queries, “Are you pouring on the pounds?” And it warns, “Don’t drink yourself fat.” Needless to say, one can quench their thirst with water.
According to the American Heart Association, Americans now consume on average 22 teaspoons of sugar per day or 355 calories. The NYC Department of Health found that more than 2 million New Yorkers drink at least one sugar-sweetened beverage each day, averaging 250 calories per ‘pop.’2009-09-02-ARTpouringonpounds.jpg
Sweetened beverage consumption is highest among 18-44 year old and among adult blacks and Hispanics.
How We Learn:
If you consider the research conducted by Child Development Theorist Linda Kreger Silverman, which indicates that approximately 75% of the population learns from visual cues and 65% from words (25% exclusively), then utilizing visual campaigns that are heavy in images and words, makes perfect sense.
My only question is this: $277,000 seems a small amount of money to pay to deliver such an important message. Why only 3 months? Why only in New York City?
To the rest of the nation, I say, “Hey, ramp up the chutzpah and get some cojones.” And to the NYC Health Department, I say, “Super-size this campaign and count me in!”
More things that you really do want to know! YES, you do!
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  • Tim

    3 cheers for the Health Department- and thanks for bringing this to our attention.
    Energy drinks- terribly misnamed, are one of the nastiest things one can put in the body. I’ve read countless articles on the subject, have written them as well, and occasionally speak about the topic.
    There is an exception in that market that got introduced Sept 1st, 2009 (yesterday as I write this), that is in a category of it’s own. It is completely natural and yet with years of scientific research, it has some pretty amazing benefits and is very good for the mind and alertness as well. Sweetened with Stevia leaf, an herb.
    It has a bit of caffeine, due to the green tea extract, but it’s the other ingredients that make the big difference. In the interest of disclosure, I became so impressed I became a rep for the product. I can guarantee you won’t find anything like it anywhere. I was able to obtain some before it was officially launched, and drink it everyday with great benefit.
    I almost feel sorry for the general public that for the most part won’t look past the grocery isle to find something exceptional.

  • Hillary Fields

    Hi Janice! On your sister Beliefnet Blog, Everyday Ethics, we wrote about this ad campaign a couple days ago:
    I’m all for public awareness, but not so much for shock and awe while we’re at it. I’m of the opinion that there’s enough gross glistening goo covering the walls of the NYC subways as it is without these posters adding to it, but it seems I’m in the minority! I won’t argue that sugary drinks are a health hazard. I just wonder if turning our stomachs is the right way to turn our habits around.

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