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US: American Beverage Association criticises anti-obesity ads

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The American Beverage Association (ABA) has hit out at advertisements used in an anti-obesity campaign, launched by the New York City Health Department, which warns about the consumption levels of soft drinks.

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The 'Pouring on the Pounds' poster campaign, which launched across New York earlier this month, aims to "make consumers more aware of portion sizes" when choosing what to eat or drink. The city's health department said it hopes the campaign will "provide New Yorkers with the information they need to make healthier choices".

One poster depicts a man with Type 2 diabetes and an amputated leg sitting behind a graphic showing how soft drinks portions have increased over time. The accompanying text reads: "Portions have grown. So has Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to amputations. Cut your portions. Cut your risk." Other posters show fat dripping from a soft drink bottle, and a man sucking fat from a soft drinks can as it drips down his chin.

However, a spokesperson for the ABA has told just-drinks that this is "another example of the ‘what can we get away with' approach that shapes these taxpayer-funded ad campaigns".

"Our companies are out there providing real help for consumers with more low-calorie and smaller-portion choices, as well as new calorie labels that put this information up front before they make a purchase," the spokesperson said.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been fighting for the implementation of a soft drinks tax in the city to help tackle obesity. The proposal was dropped last year, however, and the mayor has since requested permission from the Government to ban city residents from using food stamps to buy soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages.


Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

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