A new public service announcement by the New York City Health Department meant to draw attention to the effects of sugary drinks is being called too graphic by some. In it, the question arises about how much sugar you consume throughout a day in just drinks alone. In the video, it shows a person reaching for drinks over the course of a day. The results are that by the end of a day, the person has unwittingly consumed 93 packets of sugar.
That’s pretty alarming enough, but just watching the teen repeatedly pick up the soft drinks, it seems like much more than the typical person would have. The voice over says that while grabbing drinks throughout the day seems harmless enough, all that sugar can bring on obesity, which causes type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It then flashes to a photo of overweight people and then a graphic picture of toes that are gangrenous from diabetes complications.
Admittedly, while it’s the last thing you’d want to see over breakfast, the message is meant to get attention. Currently, more than 700,000 New Yorkers have diabetes and more than a million suffer from a condition known as pre-diabetes, according to the Health Department. The blood-sugar illness has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers. It also leads to approximately 1,700 deaths, 2,800 amputations and 22,000 hospitalizations in New York City alone.
I like the idea of getting our kids to be more aware that drinking sugary beverages is unhealthy. While so many kids know that soda is bad for them, some mistakenly believe that iced tea or juice drinks are good for them. Like anything, moderation is key. The ad might work best on tweens and teens that are on their own all day and grabbing these beverages at school and after-school. Hopefully, kids who have grown up drinking healthy beverages will continue to make good choices in the teen years, but a good reminder doesn’t hurt.
Critics of the PSA say that the blackened toes resulting from diabetes is a rare condition found in later stages of the disease, and this campaign is merely a scare tactic. One thing is for certain; kids will most likely remember the ad and possibly remember it when they buy drinks, which is the intention behind it.
The campaign started on Monday and runs through February 22.
What do you think? Is the ad disturbing? Or a good way to make an impact on kids?
Image: New York City Health Department