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Drink Sugar? Fuggedaboutit.

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, October 7 2010

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's war on obesity and diabetes takes it to the web video front. (via Danielle Gould) A new video, posted on YouTube as part of the New York City Department of Health's "Packing on the Pounds" campaign, shows a man sitting and a diner counter and downing packet after packet of sugar, as his fellow diners look on in unconcealed disgust. The kicker? The orange soda and cola they're drinking contain the same amount of sugar the beast next to them is eating.

The video wraps with this message: "You'd never eat 16 packs of sugar. Why would you drink 16 packs of sugar?" The first video in the NYC DOH campaign, in December, was a rather disgusting affair showing a man drinking a soda can-full of pure fat. "Roughly three out of five New Yorkers are overweight or obese, and sugary beverages are fueling the epidemic," said New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley in a release. “While this video is lighthearted, its message is serious. The sugar consumed in these drinks can lead to obesity and other health consequences, including diabetes and heart disease."

How effective is a video like this? This sort of visual depiction of some of the hidden facts of modern life can be eye-opening, if done right. At the very least, the companion signs on the New York City subway make me fairly horrible should I ever consider drinking a non-diet Coke. Job done.