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Health Department ads in subways stress curbing calorie count


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Health Department ads in subways stress curbing calorie count



October 6th 2008



Two of the nutrition-emphasizing ads

(above and below) that debuted Monday.

[/float]Now there's no escape from warnings to get back on that diet and eat less - even underground.


Starting Monday, New Yorkers squeezed into crammed subway cars will find brightly colored ads cautioning them to limit food intake to 2,000 calories a day.


"One of the things that came up in the process was the need to give people an idea what the total is," Frieden said.


For most people, it's about 2,000 calories, with adjustments for men and women based on activity levels.


The five ads - which bear a striking resemblance to fast-food posters for McDonald's, Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts and the like - warn "Read 'em Before You Eat 'em."


In April, the city began requiring restaurants to post calorie information on menu boards, just as they do the price.


The restaurant industry spent more than a year battling the requirement but lost in court.


[float=right]amd_muffin-ad.jpg[/float]The rule has been adopted in California, and last week Yum! Brands, parent of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, volunteered to post calories in its nationwide branches.


But Frieden said reading the calorie counts is just half the fight - the rest is making sure you don't eat more than your daily allowance. He said the ads serve as a reminder.


One shows a 470-calorie muffin, another a 1,170-calorie burrito and a third shows that a tuna sub has 240 more calories than a roast beef sandwich.


"If you are like me you think, 'I can have the roast beef sub and still have dessert and come out ahead,'" Frieden said.


The program is costing the city $82,000, according to the Health Department.


"Obesity and diabetes are costing society billions of dollars," said Frieden.


"So even if we make a small difference we are saving money."

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