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