In the midst of its lawsuit against the American Beverage Association (the trade association representing giants like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo), the New York City Health Department has expanded its battle against sugary drinks to include fruit-flavored sports drinks, teas, and energy drinks.
According to Bloomberg.com, the newly devised campaign plans to exploit drink companies that market their products as high in antioxidants, vitamins, and energy, saying they may be unhealthy in other ways. The campaign includes new television ads and subway placards implemented today, June 3, with pictures displaying sugar-induced health concerns, such as diabetes amputations and failed organs.
Chris Gindlesperger, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association, claims that the Health Department is oversimplifying obesity as a disease. “The public does not believe that solutions to obesity are as simplistic as a ban on the size of just one item that people consume, nor should they,” said Gindlesperger.
In March, New York State Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling turned down Mayor Bloomberg’s obesity-reducing plan to prohibit the sale of sugary drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces. The city appealed the March decision, and new arguments will be heard June 11, according to the city and the ABA.