Health Department Announces Healthy Living Ad Campaigns and “The Bronx Steps Up” Challenge

“Kim and Pura” ads highlight healthy food choices and family support

Fruits and vegetables are healthy on the go foods in “Take Me With You” ads

#Not62—The Campaign for a Healthy Bronx hosts “Bronx Step Up” Challenge


May 23, 2016 – The Health Department today announced a series of initiatives to promote healthier lifestyles and address chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Starting today, anti-obesity ads, starring family members Kim and Pura, will run on television and social media through June 30. A second ad campaign, “Take Me with You,” will also begin running on city subways and reminds New Yorkers that packing fruits and vegetables is an easy way to eat well while on the go.

Finally, in partnership with the #Not62—The Campaign for a Healthy Bronx, the Health Department is also hosting a series of community events, called The Bronx Steps Up Challenge, to promote healthy eating and exercise in the Bronx. Obesity and heart related diseases contribute to the chronic disease epidemic that serve as leading causes of death in New York City.

“Eating healthy foods and getting regular physical activity are key to improving health outcomes in our city,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “We are focused on creating environments and partnerships that make those actions easy, accessible, and part of the fabric of every community, regardless of income or ZIP code. The health disparities in our city underscore the importance of promoting public policies to make every neighborhood a healthy neighborhood.”

“After my mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, we were scared and wanted to make changes as a family. We cut back on soda, cooked with fresh ingredients and drank more water. Now that we're surrounded by healthier options, we feel healthier and happier,” said Kim, who is featured in the “Kim and Pura” ads.

Making Healthy Choices

The “Kim and Pura” ads highlight the importance of family support when making and sustaining healthy lifestyle changes. The ads share the story of 45-year-old Bronx born Pura and her daughter Kimberly. Both Kim and Pura adopted healthier eating habits after Pura was diagnosed with diabetes. Scared by her mother’s diagnosis, Kim supported her mother’s desire to improve her own health and the health of their family by getting rid of sugary drinks in their house, drinking more water, and cooking with fresh ingredients like fruits and vegetables.

Small Changes, Better Health - Kim and Pura


There are an estimated 1.5 million adults in New York City who are obese. Obesity increases the risk of developing diabetes and hypertension, both important risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Together, heart disease and stroke were the cause of over 18,000 New Yorker deaths in 2014. Heart disease remains the leading cause of preventable death in New York City. Changing our food environment at home and in our neighborhoods can make healthy choices easier.

In the last decade, New York City has promoted innovative public health policies, making it easier for consumers to make healthier food choices. New York City was the first city in the country to require restaurants with 15 or more locations to post calorie information, restrict the use of trans fat, and post sodium warnings on menu items that surpass the daily recommended limit of 2,300 milligrams.

In addition, New York City has improved the nutritional food standards for city agencies, implementing nutrition standards for millions of meals and snacks served at schools, senior centers, homeless shelters, and public hospitals. These policies are helping to change New York City’s food environment and improve the nutritional quality of foods.

Creating Healthier Neighborhoods and Community Engagement

In partnership with #Not62 – The Campaign for a Healthy Bronx, the Health Department and partners, including the Bronx Borough President’s Office and eight community organizations, are hosting The Bronx Steps Up Challenge, a series of community events that challenge Bronx residents to get active and to eat healthier foods. The challenge kicked off on May 20, with events occurring every day of the week, ending with the “Boogie on the Boulevard” street dance party on Sunday, May 29. Other events include the 5K Open Run with the New York Road Runners, Shape Up NYC classes with BronxWorks, and the Chicken Coopapalooza Bicycle Tour at Brook Park.

The Health Department is committed to engaging communities toward eliminating health inequities and working through community partners, such as #Not62 – The Campaign for a Healthy Bronx, to address the social conditions that contribute to poor health. Collaborating with other city agencies and residents to create healthier neighborhoods and help make urban spaces easy to use for physical activity is a key strategy to address the chronic disease burden in the poorest communities.

#Not62 - Uniting to Build a Healthier Bronx

Recently, the Health Department celebrated the accomplishments of a five-year bike lane planning initiative in East New York and Brownsville that helped transform the pedestrian and cycling infrastructure of the neighborhoods, bringing 21 miles of bike lanes to the area.

More Access to Fruits and Vegetables

take me with you
Take Me With You Campaign
Fruits and vegetables are delicious and affordable options for eating healthy. The Health Department wants to encourage New Yorkers to make healthy choices when grabbing a snack to eat on the go. The “Take Me With You” ad campaign reminds New Yorkers that packing a healthy snack like an apple, banana, or carrot sticks is an easy way to add fruits and vegetables to their diet.

Shop Healthy NYC works with community residents, food retailers, food suppliers and distributors to increase access to healthy foods. Shop Healthy NYC's targets neighborhoods with high rates of obesity and limited access to nutritious foods.

New York City provides nearly $300,000 in Health Bucks every year to community organizations as an incentive to attend nutrition and fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, and other health related activities. Health Bucks are $2 coupons redeemable for fresh fruit and vegetables at all 138 farmers’ markets.

Green Carts are special mobile vendors who sell fresh fruit and vegetables in areas with limited access to fresh produce. Since 2008, the City introduced nearly 500 Green Carts on city streets and increased consumption of fresh food for at least 75,000 New Yorkers.

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MEDIA CONTACT: (347) 396-4177
Chris Miller/Jeremy House: pressoffice@health.nyc.gov