New York’s “Pouring on the Pounds” Campaign

I applaud New York state for aggressively attempting to fight the problem of obesity.  There is no denying that we, Americans, have a problem.  The latest U.S. statistics are alarming:  on average, we are consuming between 200 and 300 more calories a day than we did 30 years ago, and about 32% of american adults and 17% of children are obese.

What is New York state doing to combat this problem?  This will be a three month campaign targeting the sugar we consume in soda and other drinks.  The ads portray realistic pictures of human fat, complete with tiny, red blood vessels running through the yellowish fat.  Some have described the ads as being “gross”, “disgusting”, and some have reported being too turned off to look.  Will these ads have the desired effect; that is, will New Yorkers pay attention, think about it, and consume less sugar and calories?  Only time and controlled studies will tell.

I am optimistic.  I believe that the key to this campaign is the focus on the extra calories in soda and other drinks.  This is a step in the right direction.  It may be a small step, but it is a manageable step, which makes all the difference.  In my experience helping people to lose weight, I have found the greatest obstacle to be thoughts of hopelessness and helplessness.  If people are faced with a task that feels overwhelming and daunting,  they will not try.  These ads however, are strictly exposing the detrimental effects of drinking high calorie sodas and similar beverages.  And when a 12 oz. can of soda can have anywhere between 150 and 300 calories, the benefits of limiting these drinks can be much more than what people may at first suspect.

I am looking forward to the results of this campaign, currently only being carried out in the New York subway system.  I am hoping that if the results in New York are positive, that the rest of the country will follow suit with similar focus on small, but meaningful changes.

I would love for my readers to comment, and let me know how small, but substantial changes have helped you in your efforts to lose weight or to stay healthy.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Renee
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 02:16:26

    I can appreciate your point of view and agree this could be a good thing for the people of NY. It is surprising to realize how many people truly don’t know how to make a healthy choice when making a food choice.
    Since I have been “on a diet” for most of my life, I am always aware of calories and fat content. Therefore, I take it for granted that others are aware as well.
    It is obvious at this point that a large portion of the population does not have the knowledge YET to make healthy choices. So, anything that can be done to help people understand how even something as small as their choice of beverage can affect their health, can only be a move in the right direction.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this!


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