New York City’s department of health recently released a new set of posters for its campaign against obesity and diabetes.
The new ads illustrate the growing portions of fast foods and sodas, and connect them to the dangerous health conditions. The ads show how the increase in soda and French fry intakes has made both obesity and diabetes much more common.
“Portions have grown. So has Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to amputations,” one poster reads, with an image of growing soda cups and an amputee in a wheelchair. This is only one of the city’s recent attempts to discourage super-sized servings of sugary drinks and fast, fatty and salty foods.
New York’s health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said “The portion sizes that are marketed are often much more than humans need.”
The American Beverage Association has responded to the campaign, claiming it oversimplifies the connection between the portion sizes and the health conditions.
“Portion control is indeed an important piece of the solution to obesity,” Stefan Friedman of the association said. “But instead of utilizing scare tactics, the beverage industry is offering real solutions like smaller portioned containers and calorie labels that show the number of calories in a full container, right up front, to help people choose products and sizes that are right for them and their families.”
A recent study was published by HealthDay News which linked alcoholism and poor diets. The study analyzed the drinking and eating habits of 12,000 adults, aged 18 to 64. Those who drank heavily before, after and during meals were found to have bad nutrition.
One of the study authors explained that “Drinking alcohol may reduce maintaining a healthy diet…. And may indirectly contribute to several chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, mellitus, cardiovascular disease or cancer.” The research also indicated that alcoholism may reduce fruit and vegetable intake, while increasing that of fast foods and animal proteins.
“If your alcohol consumption is excessive or if you find it results in poor dietary choices, you need to reduce or stop your drinking,” says author Tom Griesel. “This may seem a little radical, but if alcohol or anything else is affecting your health or keeping you from experiencing optimal health, you need to do something about it right away.”
Griesel added that alcohol consumption has an effect on sleep cycles, as well. His sister, Dian Grisel, Ph.D., explained “When reviewing your health habits, closely examine your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is empty calories and difficult for your body to process. Your body primarily treats alcohol as a toxic substance. It is not a necessary nutrient. Although we feel red wine is probably the best choice when it comes to alcohol, it can still be a serious health hazard if it results in poor diet choices or is consumed excessively.”