The city Health Department in New York is catching some heat for their latest ad campaign which targets super-sized soda portions. One of the ads in question features an obese man who had his right leg amputated due to type 2 diabetes. The copy on the ad reads “Portions have grown. So has type 2 diabetes, which can lead to amputations.” There is also a visual of three cups of soda showing how the portion sizes have grown through the years.
There are some major complaints about the ads coming from the American Beverage Association that say these ads paint an inaccurate picture of the dangers of soda. Spokesman for the American Beverage Association Stefan Friedman found the campaign needlessly disturbing. “Instead of utilizing scare tactics, the beverage industry is offering real solutions like smaller portioned containers and new calorie labels,” Friedman said.
Despite the complaints, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said the ads are needed to warn consumers about the massive portions they are consuming. New York City Mayor Michael Blumberg also defended the ads. “What do you want to do? Do you want to have people lose their legs? Or do you want to show them what happens so they won’t lose their legs? Take your poison. Which do you want?” Bloomberg said.
The Health Department’s methods may be a bit graphic, but they are at least drawing attention to the dangers of high soda consumption. Soda is the single biggest contributor to an unhealthy diet and is one of the highest calorie sources in the world. There is definitely a case for eliminating soda from your diet completely. Soda is full of empty calories, contains sodium which will make you thirstier, can weaken your bones and is bad for your teeth. Diet soda is not without its disadvantages as well. Several studies have linked drinking excessive amounts of diet soda to weight gain and possible kidney problems.
With all of the dangers associated with drinking too much soda, the New York City Health Department’s ad campaign could be the eye opener some people need to cut it from their diet.