Already boasting some of the nation’s thinnest and longest living residents, New York City is aiming to help the rest of its locals get even healthier by recommending awareness on ballooning food portions, especially at fast-food restaurants, which can be found all across the city.
The new ad campaign, launched by the city’s Health Department, shows the increase in common portion sizes over the last fifty years, demonstrating the quadrupling of soft drink servings (from 7 to 32 ounces in 40 years) and the tripling of French fries (from 2.4 ounces to 5.4 ounces) at most fast-food restaurants. The ads are juxtaposed with graphic images of the effects of the obesity related illness, type 2 Diabetes, which can lead to leg amputations.
Some single meals at popular fast-food establishments exceed total recommended daily caloric intake for adults, according to a statement on the city’s website. Two thousand calories per day is the recommended intake for the average adult, but fast-food restaurants and processed snack foods can contain significantly more calories than consumers are led to believe through dollar deal menus and other marketing gimmicks.
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in the statement, “We are warning people about the risks of super-size portions so they can make more informed choices about what they eat. Consuming too many calories can lead to weight gain, which greatly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. If New Yorkers cut their portions, they can cut their risk of these health problems.”
New York City led the nation when it banned trans fats (used in processed and fast food) in 2006, and Mayor Bloomberg proposed banning the use of food stamps to buy sodas last year, but the city is still battling obesity. According to the city’s website, nearly 57 percent of adult New Yorkers are overweight, and two out of five elementary school children are also overweight.
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