New York’s disgusting anti-soda ad

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.

You can contact NYC’s health department to let them know how you feel about this ad campaign here.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

Read more about Jos

Join the Conversation