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NYC Health organizes intense public-awareness campaign to deter soda consumption December 26, 2009

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The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygeine has organized a new public-awareness campaign to tackle obesity through targeting consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. The agency claims that Americans now consume 200 to 300 more calories each day than we did 30 years ago, and that more than half of these calories come from sugar-sweetened drinks. With many New Yorkers forgetting to count their liquid calories, NYC Health has created a new advertisement – which has recently “gone viral” on the internet – showing a man guzzling a can of fat. The point: consuming one can of soda per day leads to gaining 10 pounds of fat per year.

Not everyone is a fan of the advertisement. The American Beverage Association, for instance, claims that the campaign is irresponsible. The ad is sensationalized, the organization says, and ignores fat-free beverages as a simple alternative. The fact that the ABA is responding, though, indicates that the campaign has had significant success.

To see the ad yourself, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What is it about NYC Health’s recent advertisement that has made it wildly popular on the internet?

2.  What barriers did NYC Health face in convincing people to give up soda and other sweetened beverages? What were their major strategies in the advertisement above, and how were they used to overcome these barriers?

3.  Is the ABA correct?  That is, is NYC Health’s advertisement unfair and unethical?



1. Bryan Ortiz - January 20, 2010

As a fitness expert in NYC I couldn’t be more excited about this campaign. It’s about time people started realizing how much fat they are really in taking w/ soda.

This should hopefully encourage people to make smarter choices and start moving a little bit more.

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