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Campaign targets sugar use

A new video advertisement released Monday by the city Health Department shows a young man drinking sodas, a sweetened tea and a frozen coffee drink -- before ending with a montage of an overweight couple, a gangrene-infected foot and a male suffering a heart attack.

"Seems harmless enough," says a woman's voice-over of all the sugar consumed by the man seen in the spot. "But that many sugary drinks a day can add up to a lot of extra sugar, and all that sugar can bring on serious health problems."

The message: Just a few sweetened drinks can add up to the equivalent of 93 sugar packets by the end of the day, the Health Department said as it launched the 30-second television advertisement, a YouTube video and subway poster as part of its latest education campaign called "Pouring on the Pounds."

That is almost 1,400 empty calories of pure sugar -- and nearly three-quarters of the daily recommended calories for most adults, it said.

The campaign, which will run through Feb. 22, encourages healthier choices such as a glass of water, fat-free milk, unsweetened tea, seltzer and other drinks with no calories.

The latest advertisement is a sequel to one that shows a man sitting in a diner happily swallowing one sugar packet after another as two customers, sipping sugared sodas, look on in disgust.

"Too many sugar-sweetened drinks are fueling the obesity epidemic. Obesity and the serious health consequences that result are making hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers sick or disabled," said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

"This new campaign shows how easy it is to drink a staggering amount of sugar in one day without realizing it," he added.

The campaign says the extra calories can bring on obesity, diabetes, heart disease and higher rates of some cancers.

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