Just when you think the food nannies at New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene can’t get any more officious, they find a way to outdo themselves. Apparently, plastering the subway with gross-out posters of soft drinks turning into human fat wasn’t disgusting enough. Yesterday, the Big Apple’s Department of Hype—oops! We meant “Health”—released a video of a man pouring “fat” from a soda can and drinking it out of a glass in an effort to promote drinking alternatives to soft drinks, like water. We’re sure Food Police Chief Michael Jacobson is kicking himself for not thinking of it first. (If you really want to watch it, be our guest.)
It’s hard to see how viewing someone gulp down globs of fat boosts anyone’s mental hygiene, which is presumably one of the goals of the department. And it doesn’t take thousands of dollars in focus groups and ads to tell us that eating or drinking too much of anything with calories—even applesauce pretending to be human fat—will make people blimp up. The irony is that for all of the dietary naysaying and scolding that comes out of NYC’s government these days, even Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t seem to care enough to take his own administration’s health “advice.”
Governments shouldn’t be wasting money telling people what they should and shouldn’t drink anyway. Especially with disgusting special effects. Instead of spending public money to demonize sweetened beverages, New York City should simply stop drinking the public-health Kool-Aid.