NYC Battles Sugary Drinks

The health department of New York City is once again challenging its citizens to fight against sugary drinks in its “Pouring on the Pounds” campaign. As you may recall, it recently attempted to ban the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces. This time its targeting sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit-flavored beverages and sweetened teas as drinks that may sound healthy but actually contain high amounts of sugar.

While past versions of the campaign have specifically targeted soft drinks, this campaign warns people to watch all drinks while promoting more water, milk and fruit as alternatives.

From the article on Ad Age:
“Sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit-flavored drinks sometimes sound like they’re good for us, but they are contributing to the obesity epidemic just as much as sugary soft-drinks,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, in a statement.

The health department says sales of non-carbonated sugary drinks have risen substantially in recent years, and the ads are meant to warn New Yorkers who “may mistakenly believe that non-carbonated sugary drinks are healthy.” According to the health department, data from the New York City Community Health Survey shows that, of the 10 city neighborhoods with the highest obesity rates, nine also boast the highest consumption of sugary drinks.

The American Beverage Association is fighting back saying that the New York City Health Department has an obsession with beverages and is misleading New  Yorkers… the contribution of sugar-sweetened beverages to diet is small and declining, yet obesity rate continue to increase implies a flaw in linking sugar drinks and obesity.

Regardless, numerous health studies have shown that sugar – in its many forms – can increase the chance of obesity and too much sugar is unhealthy.

Should consumers be able to make their own decisions about their beverage intake or do you think that its the responsibility of health departments to discourage these types of unhealthy habits?

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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

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