The New York City Health Department launched a $1.4 million TV and bus ad campaign Monday and expanded its mission to end consumption of sugary drinks.
The ad features a “pouring on the pounds” phrase that has been used since 2009 within the city.
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said that fruit-flavored and sports drinks sometimes look healthy, but often contribute to obesity at the same rate as soda. He added that replacing sugary drinks with healthier ones is a simple step to take to avoid obesity and other health problems.
However, the American Beverage Association said the ad oversimplifies obesity.
"Selectively picking out common grocery items like sugar-sweetened beverages as a cause of obesity is misleading,” said American Beverage Association's Christopher Gindlesperger. He added the public will not be convinced by the ad.
"The public does not believe that solutions to obesity are as simplistic as a ban on the size of just one item that people consume," Gindlesperger said.
One in five New Yorkers are overweight or obese, according to the city’s health department. The epidemic costs New York City $4 billion in health care each year.
The city and soft drink makers are currently in court arguing the city’s ban. While a judge struck down the measure, calling the rules “arbitrary and capricious” for applying to only certain restaurants and drinks, the city has appealed.