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

More Fresh Vegetables Coming to New York City!

If you walk around New York City, you’ll see a Grey’s Papaya and a silver hotdog cart on every corner. There’s an occasional fruit stand, but they’re outnumbered. So now, to help curb New York’s obesity epidemic, city officials will soon unleash 1,000 brand new food carts—selling fresh fruits and vegetables to neighborhoods in all five boroughs. Currently, only 200 “Green Carts” are stationed throughout the city. Residents are very excited about it; The New York Times reports.

Actually, New York is pretty veggie-friendly already. In Albany, the Veggie Mobile cruises the streets selling fruits and vegetables to low-income neighborhoods and senior communities. And for years, a charming old salesmen sold his amazing vegetable peeler all over New York City.

Listen up! Now matter where you live. Great, cheap produce is easy to find. You just have to look for it. I’m a big dope, but I still manage to dig up plenty of cheap fruits and vegetables all the time.

Image credit: The New York Times – Richard Perry

Trillions Spent on Healthcare, Tax Soda

According to a new report, Americans spent $2.2 trillion on health-related costs in 2007, roughly $7,500 per person. Illustrated in Health Affairs, health spending accounted for 16.2% of U.S. gross domestic product in 2007. And at 6.1%, this is the slowest growth rate since 1998. Researchers attribute the broader use of cheaper generic drugs for the decline; Reuters reports.

What did you expect? More active, healthier living! Now, with healthcare expenses raging into the trillions, it’s no wonder why politicians, like New York’s Governor David Paterson, are proposing taxes on hurtful foods, like soft drinks. And in this video New York’s Health Commissioner, Richard F. Daines, MD explains how the soda tax would work. Just ignore the stuff about milk.