The New York City health department has put together an ad campaign saying that, “Drinking 1 can of soda a day can make you 10 pounds fatter a year.” Here’s a gross, insulting video if you can bring yourself to watch it:
Not only is this ad fatphobic and insulting (it both says being fat is bad and that we’re already fat and soda is making us fatter), apparently it’s more about pushing an agenda than sharing medical facts. According to the New York Times, the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, pushed for the ad even though scientists protested it was factually inaccurate or at least misleading. There’s a bunch of science geekery in the article, but basically Dr. Farley felt it was more important to scare people away from soda than deliver totally accurate information.
I’m no fan of soda – I don’t like the taste and only drink it when there’s vodka or whiskey involved. I think Coca Cola’s a pretty bad company. But I don’t think fat-shaming ads designed to manipulate instead of inform the public are something a city’s health department should be in the business of creating.