June 17, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 025-15
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: (347) 396-4177
Sam Miller/Veronica Lewin: PressOffice@health.nyc.gov

Health Department Launches New Ad Campaign Highlighting the Health Risks of Children Consuming Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks remain a leading contributor to the obesity and diabetes epidemics

Forty-nine percent of high school students in the South Bronx, East and Central Harlem, and North and Central Brooklyn reported consuming an average of one or more sugary drinks per day, compared to 40 percent of public high school students citywide

The Health Department today announced a new ad campaign educating New Yorkers on the health risks of children consuming sugary drinks. The ads explain that even though a child may not be overweight or obese, sugary drinks can lead to increased visceral fat, a fat that builds up in and around their organs. Visceral fat can lead to the child developing diabetes, heart disease, or a fatty liver. The ads end by encouraging parents to choose water or fruit for their children instead of sugary drinks. The TV, radio and social media ads are running through the end of this month. View the new ads on the NYCHealth YouTube page .

“Sugary drinks contain empty calories that can cause damage to your child’s body, even if your child is a healthy weight,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Too much sugar can increase the amount of visceral fat, an organ-hugging fat that can lead to a variety of health problems. Choose water or fruit as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks.”

According to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, nearly 30 percent of New York City public high school students are overweight or obese. Sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugar in our diet and remain a leading contributor to the obesity and diabetes epidemics. Young people continue to drink sugary drinks – including soda, sports drinks and sweetened teas – at alarmingly high rates. Health Department data shows that 40 percent of public high school students reported consuming an average of one or more sugary drinks per day.

Sugary drink consumption among children and teens varies by neighborhood in New York City. Forty-nine percent of high school students in the South Bronx, East and Central Harlem, and North and Central Brooklyn reported consuming an average of one or more sugary drinks per day, compared to 40 percent of public high school students citywide. Nearly half of parents in the city’s poorest neighborhoods report that their 6 to 12 year old consumed one or more sugary drinks per day.

The NYC Health Department has been educating New Yorkers about the dangers of sugary drinks since 2009 through educational campaigns like “Pouring on the Pounds,” “Sounds Healthy” and “Drinking Yourself Sick.” For more information, search “sugary drinks” at nyc.gov .

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