Thursday, October 15, 2009

How About a Tall Glass of Human Fat?

(BBC News Summary)

New York City really knows how to stay in the headlines. In their latest attempt to free their citizens from the deadly clutches of obesity and all related health issues, NYC's Department of Health has started a new public-awareness campaign complete with a series of ads warning us about the hidden calories and sugar in commonly consumed beverages. The ads ask the question 'Are You Pouring on the Pounds?' followed by a sobering warning: 'Don't drink yourself fat'.

While it's no secret that over-eating, resulting in a calorie surplus, leads to weight gain, many people are still unclear about the correlation between beverage consumption and weight gain. Yes - beverages contain calories, too. (Anything your body has to do work on, or metabolize, contains calories.) The ads feature a gruesome glass full of human fat being poured out of some of America's most beloved beverage containers - the bottles represent Gatorade, iced tea and Coca Cola. The ads are
a stark reminder of how these products can lead to obesity and related health problems.

According to Cathy Nonas, director of the Health Department’s Physical Activity and Nutrition Programs, “When people count calories, they too often forget to include the liquid ones...We need to start thinking of the sugar in sweetened drinks as unwanted, wasted calories. These calories provide no nutritional benefits and can lead to weight gain. Water and other zero-calorie beverages are a better choice.”

Read up on the details in the press release entitled "Anti-obesity ad shocks New Yorkers" from BBC News (Oct 7, 2009)