NYC health department launches campaign comparing sugary drinks to cigarettes

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Health officials are launching a new push against sugary drinks. ((AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File))

New York City health officials are launching a new media campaign comparing sugary drinks to cigarettes.

The initiative by the city health department emphasizes that both products are hazardous to your health and reminds New Yorkers that sugary drinks can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cavities and weight gain.

The city says about 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 3 public high school students drink at least one sugary drink daily and that rates are higher in communities of color, especially among young black and Latino children.

The health department reminded people not to give children sugary drinks, including soda, sweetened iced tea, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit punch and other fruit-flavored drinks that have added sugar

In New York City, sugary drink consumption overall declined among adults between 2007 and 2017, according to health department statistics.

"Like cigarettes, sugary drinks are bad for our health and can have long-term consequences," saidHealth Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. "Through this campaign, we hope all New Yorkers will understand that, while sugary drinks may be sweet going down, their impact on our health is not.We urge all New Yorkers to consume fewer sugary drinks, and parents should not give sugary drinks to their children."

The new ads, in both English and Spanish, are running on TV and social media citywide. The campaign runs through early February.

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