Would This Ad Convince You to Give Up Your Soda and Juice?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Last December New York State had considered implementing a sales tax on sodas and juices to help offset the rising rate of obesity, but that proposal appears to have fallen through the cracks.

Now New York City public health officials are taking the message to encourage people to give up soda and juices to the streets--literally. For a three month time period, 1,500 subway cars will carry an ad depicting fat being poured from a soda bottle into an overflowing glass with the phrase "Are You Pouring on the Pounds? Don't drink yourself fat" in hopes that this type of "in-your-face" ad campaign will encourage many people to give up their beloved sodas and juices.

While the ad is quite disgusting, I am not too sure if it is worth the $277,000 price tag it cost to put this campaign together.

How many years have we been told about the correlation between soda and juice consumption and obesity?

And it may not just be enough to say NO! I do believe that food and beverage industry plays a huge role in forming our behavior with what we consume, therefore leading us into an almost addicted state when it comes to certain foods and drinks.

In Dr. David Kessler's book, The end of overeating. Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite former Coca-Cola executive, Mike McCloud, admits that the company went into fast food giants, McDonald's and Burger King, and convinced them to upsize their cup sizes in order to increase company profits. So instead of the small 8 ounce drink that was sold years ago the average is now, 12 ounces. This may not seem like a big increase, after all we are only talking 4 ounces. However, with kids and adults being far less active these days, those 43 extra calories can add up over time--and that is if they stick with 12 ounces and not get the free refills that many restaurants make available to their customers.

And sodas are not the only culprits. Energy drinks and other sugary drinks also contribute to our obesity epidemic. I believe the only way to wean Americans off sodas is for parents to stop buying them and definitely keep them out of the schools. Obesity is an issue that we must hit from all angles and certainly education is a start. As to what impact an ad campaign will have on people, I guess we shall see in the months ahead.

Do you believe ads, such as the one mentioned above, have an impact on changing society's views on issues? Do you think shock advertising is an effective means of changing people's habits? What do you think of advertising as a tool for tackling the obesity issue?

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I not normally endorse government ads like this, but I think this would defnately make some people think about what they are drinking. The price tag for the add seems much more cost effective then managing taxes on drinks (something people will not connect to the issue) or outlawing large servings of drinks (which is unconstitutional!) Report
Would this ad convince me to give up soda and juice?

I'm not much of a soda drinker as it is, but that image is going to stay with me for a Very Long Time. I also don't drink much juice, but when I do it is 100% fruit juice and I usually dilute it 50 - 50 with water. Report
Since I was pregnant with my first baby, I started reducing my juice and soda intake. At first it was just for the baby, but I also realized that it was better for me as well, since Diabeties runs in the family. So now, I don't usually buy soda, unless someone needs it for an upset stomach, and I am continually trying to combat my son's craving for them at fast food restraunts. I think i need to re-explain what soda can do to you though, and he thinks I only worry about caffein. Report
I have not had a sugary soda in about 30 years...I have given up all diet drinks...now all I drink is water...healthier and cheaper... Report
If it makes people aware, it is worth doing. I work in a school that has banned energy drinks and soda, and I find it amazing the number of parents that have no idea that sports drinks and energy drinks are not healthy for children (or adults for that matter) to be drinking all day every day. People drink soda as if it were water, and wonder why they have difficulty with their health. Report
I don't agree with others - I don't think people that drink sodas or juices as normal realize the damage that they are doing to themselves. I didn't. I quit when my stomach hurt everytime I would drink a glass of it. I had justified it prior to that with the fact that I was drinking Cola Zero, therefore there were no calories, carbs, fat, or anything else to hurt me. The same would be true of others. It isn't until you become "Educated" that you see the truth and change your mind. I think they should use the money in educating our youth (and everyone else, too) instead of putting it on the subway where it will be destroyed by those that have different opinons. It's just like taxing cigarettes. Those that feel there is nothing wrong with smoking and haven't admitted the health issues will still pay the high price for their choice of death until something catastrophic (like a heart attack or lung cancer) strikes then they will re-educate themselves. Unfortunately, it's usually too late.

Let's work on educating in schools. Ever had a kid who has been learning something about recycling get in your face about your trash? It works on any subject. Pressure from others is also a great way to get people educated.

I had a friend who threw a wadded up wrapper on the sidewalk in downtown Seattle. I looked at it and thought, "What a pig!" Then I was suddenly Jack Lemon on the Odd Couple and I pointed at the offending wrapper and made him pick it up and throw it in the trash can only about 5 feet away. He heard about if for about 10 minutes from me. He never did it around me again. We can change others, regardless of being nice or going overboard, like I probably did. We can still changes others to the better side of life. Report
Go forward with this ad campaign. This will affect the very young and many others intermittently. Report
I can't help remembering the zombiefied New York City commuters I saw every day, tied to their iPods or cell phones and buried in their newspapers. You'd have to smack them upside the head with a bottle full of fat to get their attention in the morning.

Also, long after cigarette ads were pulled from billboards and magazines, schoolkids were still seeing them in the subways and buses (as late as 1998, when I left NYC). So, subway ads as a healthy influence? I don't think so. Report
It may work on some people but for others those ads just won't. If you want it you buy it. Like cigarettes, they have pictures of tumors, rotting mouths and disease and people still buy them because they want to, or are addicted knowing there are some consequences. Maybe the solution should be why is pop so affordable. You go to fast food place and make an order it comes with pop, if you want to subsitute it and get a bottle of water you end up paying 2-3 dollars ontop of the meal price. Some stores you can buy a 2L bottle for 99cents, while that same bottle for water cost double the price or more. Report
It doesnt really affect my family....we drink juice and diet soda in moderation....and I lost 20 lbs by switching to diet soda yet im not sure the ad refers to diet or sugar free soda or juice which is what we drink but mostly we drink water and milk Report
Don't we know that soda is not good for us? If I choose to drink soda, that's my darned business. Again...government...stay out of our personal business. I know how to raise my children and what they need to consume. Nanny State...go away. Report
We need to be aware of all ads . My family drinks sodas ; but I only drink water and fruit juice in moderation. Report
Brilliant idea! People need the shock factor really. If the adertisement was bland no one would take note, I know I certainly wouldn't. This is what america needs tax should be added to the bad stuff and school's should deffinately get rid of soda's and candy bars. In England when I was at school we wern't allowed soda's, chocolate and chips in the vending machines or in the cafe. Junk food was taken off the menu and only healthy foods and snacks were served. Tbh this is when I started to lose the weight. Before it was so easy to pick up junk and chocolate bars but afterwards I was encouraged to choose healthy foods and drinks. It did me the world of good and it certainly kicked my soda habbit. I would have at least 4 can's a day previously! Now I only drink water.

So thank god to the goverment over here I used to hate you at school but now I thank you.. Report
$277k is a lot of money better to have an ad depicting a healthy active life and what that could mean for individuals. Report
Most people know that sugary sodas aren't the very best thing for them. But far fewer think there's anything wrong with juice. THAT one will be the eye-opener for many. Report
It is not unusual for ads that attempt to foster "good behaviors" to actually encourage more naive people to see what they have been missing. This has happened with teens and smoking, teens and sex, and so on. The money for these ads could be better spent on feeding people and helping those who have had a difficult time in life. Report
I used to be a big diet pop drinker. I gave it up for about 4 months now and I don't even miss it. I think soda is really bad for us all diet or not.... Report
I very seldom drink the sodas and juices, so it wouldn't help me but if the shock value helps other people out of their stupor, why not Report
That's fine for bevs that are loaded with fat, calories, or sugar. But what about "diet" drinks? Iced tea no sugar, diet Coke? I'm sure when you go to McD's and order an unsweetened tea it will cost the same, tax and all, as the sweet raspberry tea. I guess my point is tax on bevs is tax on bevs, not just the "bad" ones. Report
They should put this ad on every bottle of soda like they do cigarette warnings!

I think a noticeable tax on these kinds of items is a much better deterrent, but the ad drives the point home. It is SO easy to disregard the caloric impact of sodas and many sugar loaded juices if you have never been educated about them. Report
There are heavy tax on alcohol and cigeretts, why not the "other" main addiction, i.e. soda. Report
In Ontario, we pay a lot of taxes but we don't pay taxes on food unless it's junk food. Chips, cola, chocolate bars, are all taxed. Fruit, grains, milk are not. (Unless you are buying in a single serving at a Convienence store, then it is considered takeout and is taxed). I don't think that it makes a big difference. I used to work at a grocery store as a cashier and most families bought lots of crap. Even though that it is taxed, it is still cheaper. Report
I think that for a lot of people it might do some good. If every time you picked up a soda and tried to put it to your lips you thought of that... {shiver}... I'd have a lot harder time choking down the soda. Report
I haven't thought about the taxing thing, but I think far too many things are "taxed" by the government.

I am so proud of NYC's healthy organization for promoting this advertisement! Way to go! Report
I think that after we see and hear things repeatedly we as a whole start to embrace these new things and ideas even if they really don't have any merit. One ad isn't going to change opinions or habits. I do not think that they should pass any law or manipulate people into doing anything regardless of whether they think it's for the peoples own good or not. The more laws you pass the more control the goverment or the person in power has over you. It's dangerous. And the fact of the matter is, in the end it's your perogative and choice to be healthy or not. We as a whole need to become more responsible for our actions and we need to constantly stop trying to shift the blame for our problems. If your overweight don't point your finger look to yourself and try to find the solution. Report
The ads shouldn't be so vulgar. They need to start w/ the schools by banning the pop and so much juice. Report
I don't think this will help that much. With DVR, not a whole lot of people are watching these comercials anyways. I do think that is good to have on the billboards. It may not cut it down all the way be it will help people to make better decisions. Report
Wow! I am sort of in shock. I can not believe that shock is the new trend in advertising. It started with the cigarette ad and now soda too. I am not sure that it is appropriate to have shock advertising or campaigning in place. First amendment gives you the right to speak your mind but I would think that a person would use some tact and a positive spin of some sort. Report
There are many juices out now that are good for you like V8-Vfusion and the 100% juices. It is our choice what to eat and drink not the government. I want to get healthy and when I found I was on the edge of diabeties I stopped drinking soda and only the natural juices. My blood sugar is normal now and I only have soda maybe twice a month. Taxing is out of the question. Report
it can't hurt to educate. i have a niece that i beg her to drink more water and less diet soda. Report
No. I definitely do not think the ad will effect enough people to equate the money being spent. People nowadays seem to do whatever they want, until something bad happens. It's unfortunate but true. Report
I don't think that an ad is going to make the difference. I too was a Mt. Dew Addict. I drank 2 two liter bottles a night on third shift. Sometimes I actuallt got a sore tongue from all the acid. Many times I tried to quit. I finally was forced to look at my body because a medical Dr. refused to help me because my BP was so high. They sent me to ER and I was connected with a Cardiologist. He basically told me to get it together or have a stroke. I quit my Mt Dew habit that week. I still have a small coke like once every 3 weeks but I'm not addicted. So it's strictly mind over matter. Report
Excess calories = body fat. Not type of excess calories. Carbs, protein, fat are the intake- but our body stores excess calories as fat. Many of us get a lot of our excess calories from drinking them. It seems to me that this as is a good reminder.
I like the ad- thought provoking, but not directed at a 'person'- I'm glad they didn't show a person in it. Seems like this ad is not shaming, not finger pointing at a person, but informative.
Thinking = good.
Thanks, Spark! Report
Dude im sorry if i saw fat pouring out of a soda it would DEF cause me to stop lol. I agree sodas should be taken out of schools bc when i was a kid id have alteast 3 or 4 sodas a day... Thats one of the issues of why i am the way iam today... Thats where alot of obesity comes from is parents letting their kids be lazy and watch tv all day and play xbox and dirnking sodas and chips and candy and sometimes HORRIBLE GREASY AS H*** pizza they would have. Wether if you belive it or not even if it doesnt hit the person at that moment..adervtisments like THAT def would put some MAJOR thought into atleast 80% of peoples heads. I like the idea and most places should do it and DEF take out soda machines in schools! Report
The average CHILD drink size may be 12 ounces at fast food places, but the average drink size that comes with an adult meal is 20 ounces. That's definitely a huge difference! Report
Recently I was diagnosed with diabetes, and I am a Mountain Dew addict. The doctor told me I had to stop my Mt. Dew. Not slow down or cut back, but STOP. Not gonna happen. Can't do it, have tired before, just won't work! Anyway, in my research I have learned a few things that even my doctor had to begrudgingly agree with, and admit were accurate. Soda and fruit juices are not horribly bad for you if you are careful with them and the rest of your diet.

So I have found that if I remember BITMAP then I have a good handle on this nutrition, diet, and health stuff:
BALANCE the food groups
monitor you INTAKE
track your TOTALS
everything in MODERATION
ACTIVITY is vital
PORTION your plate

What gets me most about this ad is that is asks about pouring on the pounds and shows fat coing from the soda bottle, but if you read the label of a can of Mountain Dew, for example, there is 0 fat. There are 170 calories and 46g of sugar mind you, but no fat. What really happens when you drink a soda is if you are inactive (or sitting in front of the tv playing video games) like most of the young people today are, then those sugars are just sitting around not being absorbed into the bloodstream to be used for energy and therefore turn into the fat and the calories do not get burned off. But the fat does not come directly from the soda, it comes from the inactivity. If we encouraged a more active lifestyle, and that goes for adults as well (and sitting at the desk multitasking papers and phones and meetings does not count, as I am guilty of this myself) then perhaps the sugars would get absorbed in our bloodstream properly to be used for energy and the calories would be burned during our activities. This would prevent the sodas and juices from becoming the horrible monsters that this ad wants to depict them as. Of course, I am not saying they are good for you, there are much healthier alternatives, but they are not going to immediately put a spare tire on your waist or add padding to your rump if you drink them in moderation and maintain an active lifestyle.

As far as the cost for the ad goes, it is relativey low considering the amount of money that is typically spent on an advertising campaign. However, I am sure there are better ways the city could have spent the money, particularly since this ad really isn't going to be as effective as they might hope it would be. What would have been more effective would have been to use the money in an effort to get people more physically active as that would be more healthy and have more lasting effects for everyone. Report
No, I think people do what they want to do basically. I work in a hospital and see the affects of NOT reading the label before consumption! It's all a matter of commen sense. Report
I don't think they are talking about fresh juice (like orange and apple) or diet sodas. I'm pretty sure the add is referring to drinks like regular Coke, Mountain Dew, etc. I could guess that it is also talking about juice, like Kool-Aid. A VERY inexpensive alternative to regular juice. I think this is a great idea. Do you all remember what it was like about 6 years ago before the No Smoking ad campaign began? It seemed like everybody smoked. Now the number is MUCH smaller. That my just be my perception, but I think those drastic campaigns work. Report
I'm all for whatever our communities can do to raise awareness towards healthy eating. I married into a family of McDonalds franchisees. I however, like every american have the choice of what I want to eat. A healthy meal can come from McDonalds or any other restaurant. It's just a matter of making wise choices. I had to teach myself how to eat healthy with the book "The Beck Diet". We need to teach our children how to eat healthy at a young age....it all starts in our own family. I wish our government would put a number system on our foods depicting healthy to non-healthy as done in some european countries. This too would help the average citizen understand how healthy the food they are consuming is. Report
Yes, it is disgusting;however, the visual drives the point home and it's easy to understand...which is exactly what you want when you are trying to get the public's attention!!! I disagree with that we just need more education in the home and schools when you are competing with commericals, ads and billboards from Coke, McDonald's, Burger King, Red Lobster and on and on. Not to mention, now we have ads on the Internet when all we want to do is check our email, Facebook or Twitter!

I think this will be effective in getting people to at least stop and think before they purchase/drink a soda whereas now many people tend to run on autopilot and don't even think before they make a decision. The real kicker will be after the 3 months when the ad ends, people will probably revert to the same habits - out of site, out of mind! But we will still have these commericals running by Coke and friends...

yeah lets just tax everything. More more more. We already pay a gigantic sales tax here in Los Angeles County (almost 10%!!!) why not more more more! How about we look at it a different way instead of governments constantly trying to get more $$$ out of citizens. How about a gym rebate for those monthly fees we have. I pay my "tax" to fight obesity by paying to be a member of a gym. Report
Just as an ad can lure you to buy a product...I think an ad can detour you from buying a product! Makes sence to me! Report
That ad sounds a bit harsh... there has to be a more direct approach without the dramatics. I agree that sodas, energy drinks, and even juice should not be sold in schools and that parents should take more control over what they serve their kids. I haven't bought soda for our home in such a long time, I can even remember the last time, but I do, on occasion, buy it when we eat out. The kids usually share one soda and I'll sometimes take a sip, but a lot of times there is still some left over and it goes in the trash. We don't take left over soda home (or in the car) with us. Report
My husband drinks root beer, my sister drinks diet Pepsi, my DIL drinks regular Pepsi, my son drinks Coke, I drank diet root beer. That's 5 kinds of sodas - expensive. I told my sister she and I would both drink diet root beer. I told my DIL that she would drink Coke with my son (she drinks it in restaurants OK). That took me down to three sodas. Then my sister said when she came over she would bring her own soda. At first I was offended, then though OK, that helps. At that point I decided to give up soda. Now I buy only root beer and Coke. If anyone wants anything else, they bring it themselves. It has been over a year since I have had any soda and it is great!!! I don't even miss it!!! When I got ot restaurants, I ask for water now. Great. Report
Illinois just instituted this type of tax. We pay about 7% more on candy that doesn't contain flour or nuts, pop, flavored teas, and alcohol. I don't do candy, pop and the teas, but I will continue to buy my wine. I see people with their carts full of pop so guess it doesn't really make an impact. I also think the stores are doing sales on the stuff to keep people buying it. Report
I love the idea of this ad. Report
I think some people will see this and not care. Just like people who smoke don't care about the consequences. However, I am the kind of person that needs those visuals to hit it home. Report
I think it might make me think before I pick up juice or soda. Report
Some people need a visual image to bring home to them just what they are putting in their system and the impact it has. I think it could work and if just one person takes note it is worth it - just think of the health $$$ that could be saved. Report
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