Monday, October 06, 2008

NYC's new anti-obesity message to restaurant patrons

After the firefight over menu labeling, New York City knows better than to expressly target restaurants in its new push for healthier eating. But the products depicted in the campaign that commenced today aren’t exactly what you’d whip up at home for breakfast or lunch, unless you’re Rachael Ray or a chain R&D chef. The message of the Department of Health’s new ads is clear, even if the approach is coy: Think twice, or maybe a third time, before ordering that burrito, sub or muffin.

The ads started appearing this morning on city subways. New reports indicated that about every fifth car will feature the billboards, from now through January. An Associated Press report pegged the total “spend,” as they say in the advertising world, at $82,000.

“2000 calories a day is all that most adults should eat,” blares the placards, which will share subway real estate with ad space for impotence cures, English-language courses and dermatologists. Pictured below that headline are finger-foods that look decidedly restaurant-born. A flag in the items reveals the calories of each—475 in a muffin, for instance, or 1,170 in a burrito. One installment compares the calories content of a tunafish sub (530 calories) with a roast beef version (290 calories). “Choose less. Weigh less,” advises the ad copy. You can read it for yourself here.

The campaign carries the theme, “Read ‘em before you eat ‘em.” Clearly it plays off the city’s new menu-labeling requirements, which went into effect for some chain restaurants in April. Units of chains with at least 15 units nationwide are required to post calorie counts on their menus or menu boards for every item that is offered over an extended time.

Clearly the city is planning to call attention to the calorie counts by urging citizens to read them.

1 comment:

  1. This is absolutely hilarious! The city that nobody tells what to do. The city that survived the worst terrorist attack in US history. The city known for its great food and indulgence is being told to eat 2,000 calories a day. Are we witnessing the sissification of the big apple? I'll donate to a ad fund that depicts an overweight cop, fireman, city worker holding their crouch giving the middle finger to the camera with the tag line: "Here's your 2,000 calories"

    Sincerely, Steakman