Suck down a soft drink, suck down a blob of fat. That’s the indelible message of the Health Department’s new public-awareness campaign. “Are you pouring on the pounds?” asks one of the campaign’s posters, which proudly displays a stream of yellowish fat, graphically webbed with blood vessels, being poured into a glass. The poster’s takeaway warning, “Don’t drink yourself fat,” seems unnecessary, given that the repulsiveness of the accompanying image alone could inspire a city-wide dehydration epidemic.
The agency’s campaign, which will place the posters throughout the subway system, will run for the next three months. The glass of fat is its “signature” image, and is being used to encourage New Yorkers to drink just about anything — water, seltzer, low-fat milk, gutter run-off — than soda, sports drinks, or sweetened ice tea. In the accompanying press release, NYC Health Commissioner Thomas A. Farley says, “Drinking beverages loaded with sugars increases the risk of obesity and associated problems, particularly diabetes but also heart disease, stroke, arthritis and cancer.” Thanks to the new ad campaign, he might want to add sudden nausea to that list.