- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Michael Bloomberg and his battle against bulging waistlines are targeting new villains: sweet tea, energy drinks and fruit juices.

New York City’s health department launched a series of TV and bus ads on Monday that warn people about the high sugar content in drinks that are seemingly healthy.

The ads cost about $1.4 million and are part of a “pouring on the pounds” campaign that dates back to 2009, The Daily Mail reports.

One of the television ads shows a young boy happily slurping on a juice box. The scene takes a dramatic turn when it flashes to what appears to be a patient being operated on with the words “amputation,” “heart attack,” “vision loss” and “kidney failure” appearing on the screen. The patient then flatlines…

“Fruit-flavored drinks are not a healthy choice,” a voiceover says after the cheerful music resumes, instead suggesting that parents should switch out their unhealthy drinks with water, seltzer, skim milk and fresh fruit.

Soft drink makers and sellers are currently suing the city over efforts to restrict the sizes of soda sold in many eateries. If the city gets its way, any soft drink over 16 ounces will be outlawed across the city by March 2013.

According to the New York City Health Department, more than half of adult New Yorkers are overweight or obese. Mayor Bloomberg has argued that the government has a responsibility to regulate what people put into their bodies and help curb the growing obesity problem.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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