NEW YORK - At a time when a new Gallup report finds a slight decline in obese Americans last year, New York City has launched a new anti-obesity campaign aimed at telling residents to eat less, Reuters reports.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that slightly fewer American adults were obese in 2011 (26.1%) than in 2010 (26.6%). This decline was largely offset by a slight increase in the percentage of Americans reporting a normal weight -- increasing to 36.1% last year from 35.4% in 2010 -- while the percentage overweight, but not obese, showed less change.
On Monday, images of diabetic man whose love of sugary soda led to the loss of his legs are the first ads in a series that attempt to shock New Yorkers to eat smaller portions, said Thomas Farley, NYC health commissioner. "These are hard-hitting images because we really felt we need to drive home a point that large portions are not completely benign," he said.
The campaign, which juxtaposes the diabetic man with cups of soft drinks, informs the public that the rise in portion sizes in restaurants and in food products corresponds with the increase in obesity and Type 2 diabetes, which "can lead to amputations." The takeaway? "Cut Your Portions, Cut Your Risk."
"Portion control is indeed an important piece of the solution to obesity," said Stefan Friedman, an American Beverage Association spokesman. "Instead of utilizing scare tactics, the beverage industry is offering real solutions like smaller portioned containers and new calorie labels that show the number of calories in the full container, right up front, to help people chose products and sizes that are right for them and their families."