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Press Release

Press Release # 018-13
Monday, June 3, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS: (347) 396-4177
Jean Weinberg/Diane Hepps:

Health Department Launches New Ads Highlighting High Sugar Content of Fruit-Flavored Drinks, Energy Drinks, Sweet Teas and Sports Drinks

New Ads to Debut on TV and Buses Showing How These Drinks “Sound Healthy” But Can Have More Sugar than Soda and Can Contribute to Obesity and Diabetes

June 3, 2013 – The Health Department today launched new ads educating New Yorkers about the added sugars found in fruit-flavored drinks, energy drinks, sweet teas and sports drinks. The new ads, which are a part of the “Pouring On the Pounds” campaign and will run on buses and TV, explain that these beverages may “sound healthy” but are packed with added sugars that lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and its serious complications. The TV ads encourage New Yorkers to replace these sugary beverages with healthier options such as water, seltzer, fat-free milk, and fresh fruit. The ads will run throughout the month of June.


“Sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit-flavored drinks sometimes sound like they’re good for us, but they are contributing to the obesity epidemic just as much as sugary soft-drinks,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, Health Commissioner. “A 20-ounce lemonade delivers 67 grams of sugar and 260 calories, more than a typical soft drink. Replacing these sugar-laden drinks with healthier options is one simple but powerful choice New Yorkers can make to reduce their risk of obesity and diabetes.”

While sales of carbonated soft drinks have fallen in recent years in the United States, sales of non-carbonated sugary drinks have risen substantially. The new ads are designed to warn New Yorkers, who may mistakenly believe that non-carbonated sugary drinks are healthy, about the health risks of these drinks.

Sugary drinks are associated with long term weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Data from the New York City Community Health Survey also show that nine of the top 10 neighborhoods with the highest obesity rates city-wide were also the highest in sugary drink consumption. Even moderate consumption of sugary drinks can have health consequences. With every additional sugary beverage a child drinks daily, his or her odds of becoming obese increase by 60%.

Nearly 650,000 adult New Yorkers reported having diabetes in 2011, an increase of approximately 200,000 adults since 2002, according to the Health Department’s April 2013 Epi Data Brief. In addition, an estimated 230,000 adults likely had the disease but were unaware of it. Diabetes is twice as common among obese New Yorkers. Diabetes can lead to vision loss, heart disease, kidney damage which may require dialysis, and amputations.

New Yorkers can call 311 to get a Healthy Eating packet with more information and tips on how to cut back on sugary beverages. Search #PouringOnThePounds on Twitter for tips and news.

For additional information, search for “Pouring On the Pounds” and “Eating Healthy” on or call 311.