Wednesday, March 9, 2011

NYC Anti Sugar Campaign

Shortly after DH and I married, we went to Ireland. It was about six months after our wedding. So while I always refer to it as our honeymoon, but I guess some could construe it as just a trip.

As we were lying in the bed of our comfy bed and breakfast hungover from the previous evening's revelry, we saw a gruesome public service ad depicting a couple of young teenagers laughing and joking talking on their phones as they crossed the road. They weren't paying attention as a car came up and plowed right through them. The moral of the graphic ad? Pay attention. In the US those images would be far too shocking. But in the EU, they felt that the subject matter was important enough and required a shocking ad.

Never again had I seen a graphic public ad. But NYC is coming close with their recent anti-obesity ads. There has been significant publicity around the TV ad showing a man drink what looks like pounds of fat from a glass of soda. It was really gross. That ad angered and shocked alot of people.

Last week as I rode on the A train I saw this ad campaign. In my subway car, the ad campaign had a total of 15 ads. There were maybe five or six different pictorials. 5 of the 15 pictorials were printed in Spanish. I am proud of my city for taking on sugary beverages. If the federal government continues to subsidize corn, we are subsidizing soda. What is a local jurisdiction to do? We can do little except public education. Here is the new anti-sugar campaign in New York City. I love it.

My only questions is...what is more shocking? 85 packets of sugar? Or one and three quarter of a cup of sugar? Will lots and lots of little bits be more scary for the general public or a measure of sugar that is usually only seen in whole recipes? What do you think? One packet of sugar is one teaspoon. There are 12 teaspoons in every quarter cup. 85 packets of sugar is a cup and three quarters. What is the more shocking amount to you?

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop and Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday


  1. A cup and three quarters is definitely scarier, at least to me!

  2. I don't know...most people don't bake...they add packets of sugar to their coffee and packets might be more relatable to the general public. If you think adding 4 or more packets of sugar to your coffee is a would you feel about drinking 85 packets in a day!!


  3. I agree with TQ... if you think about it, people who cook at home and shop in the grocery store every week probably aren't the focus on this campaign. Those people know what a packet AND a cup are like.

    The people I believe are being targeted are the convenience store shoppers, who don't cook at home. They probably don't have a good idea of how big a cup is, but they've definitely seen (and probably used) sugar packets.

  4. Sarah and TQ--I definitely think you are right about the campaign being targeted at those who don't cook. But one question? Does the average person using sugar packets think that one packet is a tiny, small, throw away amount? And that 85 packets would just be a slightly larger, yet still throw away amount?

    Just playing devil's advocate. What do you think?

  5. 1 3/4 cups of sugar is WAY scarier to me!!! AH! I understand the point about most people not cooking and what not, but I feel like "85 packets" just is too meaningless - it's hard to visualize a large number of small things, at least for me. I wish they would convey the point more visually: something like, if you drink 4 sugary drinks a day, almost one of them is STRAIGHT SUGAR (or whatever properly captures the comparison).