Following news of the empirical success of its trans-fat ban, the City announced a two-pronged effort to slim your waistline today. The first initiative is a pilot program aimed at promoting healthier food choices in 150 stores in the Bronx through strategic store displays and discounts, while the second is a "Cut the Junk" ad campaign [pdf] that will show New Yorkers that eating healthily saves money.
According to a release, the program in two "high-need" neighborhoods in the Bronx (called Shop Healthy NYC) "has the potential to impact 136,000 people," and "asks bodegas to commit to prioritizing the stocking and display of healthy food and produce while aiming to minimize the availability of junk food." Here are the particulars:
The program, which is launching in the Bronx, starts with a food retail challenge in which storeowners commit to seven store changes including: Promoting healthy food and beverages with Shop Healthy marketing materials; offering fruits and vegetables at the front of the store or the cash register; displaying water and other low-calorie drinks at eye-level; offering and promoting a healthy sandwich and meal combo at the deli counter; stocking low-sodium and no-sugar added canned goods; stocking two snacks that meet NYC Healthy Snack Standards; and removing all advertising from the entry door.
Participating stores will receive marketing tools like shelf hangers and free-standing baskets to present fresh produce. To date more than 80 stores have agreed to participate in the retail challenge and almost 90 percent (150) of target stores in Fordham and West Farms have agreed to post materials highlighting healthier options.
The Cut the Junk program is set to begin in August, and will include a subway ad campaign and a pamphlet [pdf] that shows you how cheap and healthy cooking for yourself can be. The pamphlet will be distributed in food stamp offices, food pantries, and in farmer's markets. It also features a fantastic Hitchcockian silhouette of a man dumping potato chips down his gullet (last slide) to drive the point home. No word on whether the potato chip lobby will point out that fried potatoes do not turn you into a two-dimensional figure.