NYC sugar scare ad shows diabetic's decaying toes; TV commercial warns sugary soda leads to diabetes

NYC sugar scare ad shows diabetic's decaying toes; TV commercial warns sugary soda leads to diabetes


Sugar is the new scourge of the city, the Health Department is warning.

The city cut a grisly new TV commercial warning of the health risks of sugary soft drinks - including images of a diabetic's decaying toes.

"Don't drink yourself sick. Go with water, seltzer, fat-free milk or unsweetened teas instead," admonishes the narration.

The 30-second spot stresses that a 20 oz. bottle of soda pop contains the equivalent of 16 packets of sugar.

A mid-morning soda, a sweetened tea at lunch, a frozen coffee drink in the afternoon and then a few sodas at dinner might seem harmless, but they add up to 93 packets of sugar, a female narrator intones.

The ad says excessive sugar intake can cause health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

And to drive home the message, the ad features the decaying toes and an unconscious man being shocked with a defribillator.

This the second such commercial released by the city in its campaign against sugar drinks.

The earlier spot was released in September 2009 - and featured a young man chugging what was described as liquid fat, with the admonition, "drinking one can of soda can make you ten pounds fatter a year."

Print versions of the ads have also been displayed on subway trains and.

A spokeswoman for the Health Department said the latest ad push could be seen as gruesome by some, but she added, "we're trying to educate people about the potential harmful health consequences of sugar drinks.

"We call them hard-hitting and realistic," she added.

The latest ads will air through Feb. 22 on major broadcast and cable TV channels in the area.