Graphic anti-obesity ads featuring a diabetic amputee surrounded by cups of soda have been posted in New York City subways, Reuters reported Jan. 11. The slogan for the campaign reads, “Cut Your Portions, Cut Your Risk.”
New York has a 57-percent rate of overweight and obesity, and 10 percent of the city’s obese population has type-2 diabetes. Obesity is a significant risk factor for diabetes.
“These are hard-hitting images because we really felt we need to drive home a point that large portions are not completely benign,” says Thomas Farley, New York City’s health commissioner. Farley has spearheaded other graphic ad campaigns in the past — including one that showed people drinking from glasses filled with fat — which the department says helped reduce the number of people in the city who had one or more sugary drinks per day from 36 percent in 2007 to 30 percent in 2010.
These ads create an “inaccurate picture” of the impact of soft drinks, counters Stefan Friedman, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association.
Reader Question: Do you think graphic ads are helpful in to getting people to adopt healthier eating habits?