NY Attacks Obesity with Ads that are Meant to Shock

Image of hand pouring cola into a glass, cola is turned into fat.

A Glass of thick, yellow human fat, marbled with blood vessels, is NY's latest weapon to fight obesity. "Are You Pouring on the Pounds?" targets the billions of hidden calories which Americans consume each year in sodas and other sugary drinks. It is scheduled to run throughout the New York subway system for 3 months. It's a good thing too because Americans do pour a lot of the fat-promoting fizz, drinking 15 billion gallons of it each year.

New York health officials say the images used in the campaign are intended to be "ugly" and are designed to give people a jolt. Mayor Bloomberg's administration has also forced cafes, restaurants and fast-food outlets to post calorie content information on menus, deployed fruit vendors to poor neighborhoods and given corner shops incentives to sell fresh fruit and vegetables.

Finally a local government is doing something worthwhile, relating nutrition to health . No matter what they do, it can't be shocking enough. Unless you have worked in hospitals yourself, seeing children with cancer and men and women with lost limbs due to diabetes or stroked out and undergoing futile revival attempts while their families are sobbing and screaming in the waiting room, you most likely have separated yourself from the human suffering eating American junk food can cause.

Then when you consider that bad childhood diets create adult cancers, and childhood cancers and even newborn heart defects are primarily related to the pregnant mother's poor diet, you get even more frustrated with our society's self-deception that consuming and feeding junk food and fast food is not criminal.

If I were Attorney General or the Health Commissioner of New York City, I would advertise the fact that junk food kills people. And, I would do something to make nutrient-rich natural foods, like greens, beans and seeds available and affordable to the needy. I would prevent food stamps from being used for junk. I would make Disease Proof Your Child required reading for all government officials.

Just imagine if white flour, sugar and corn syrup were completely out of the American dietary landscape. What would American children eat?

Further reading: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8281203.stm

Not Many Junk Food Commercials Banned

In 2007, countries like Canada and the U.K. banned junk food commercials during kids’ television. It seemed like a good idea, but now a new study in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood reveals many commercials aren’t actually getting the ban. Researchers analyzed 2,315 adverts from Canada and 1,365 from the U.K., 52% to 61% were for unhealthy food, with 5% to 11% likely to be seen by children, but only 5% of the ads would be prohibited under the ban; via EurekAlert!

Even 5% can’t hurt, because previous research has shown most commercials during kids’ programming are for junk food, with American children being exposed to food of poor nutritional quality, like Honey Smacks cereal, which have as much sugar as a glazed doughnut.

In related news, a recent study found advertisements for unhealthy snack foods, like chocolate bars and ice cream, often appear right next to health articles in health magazines!

Image credit: (A3R) angelrravelor (A3R)

Junk Food Ads in Health Magazines

Hypocrisy, thy name is advertising. A new study in the European Journal of Public Health reveals 25.5% of advertisements in 30 popular British magazines are for ready-made meals, soups and sauces, which are full of salt. Another 23% are for high-fat and sugary foods, like ice-cream, chocolate bars, sweets and soft drinks. Only 1.8% of the adverts are for fruits and vegetables. And here’s the kicker, many of these advertisements appear alongside articles with healthy messages; ScienceDaily investigates.

Can’t say I’m shocked! Now, in December, research came out claiming sophisticated marketing campaigns do not acknowledge a drug’s rarer complications and hides any lack of long-term testing, putting people at increased risk of serious side-effects.

As for food advertising, last year Kellogg’s announced it would cut advertisements aimed at young children.

Via That’s Fit.

Image credit: pigdump