Everyone knows slushies, the slightly circus-like drinks, colorful and sweet, that are advertised as the ultimate human cooling agent during the scorching summer months. Well, eighteen Australian health agencies, including the Australian Cancer Council, have teamed up to raise awareness about the dangers of the “slurpee”. The campaign is called “Don’t Get Sucked In“, and is based on studies which show that one large frozen drink like that can contain over twenty tablespoons of sugar, which is half the recommended weekly dosage for an average adult.
That’s a truly staggering number. Imagine being able to drink up any other nutritional element in a similar way. Just thinking about consuming 50% of a week’s healthy dose of fat in one sitting is probably going to make most people nauseous. But it’s no different from the sugar situation in a frozen drink. That’s precisely what the campaigners at LiveLighter and Rethink Sugary Drink were counting on when they came up with the poster meant to curb public enthusiasm for these sweet drinks. It depicts a person holding a typical frozen drink cup and sucking through a straw, but the contents of the cup are a swirling mass of fat, criss-crossed with bulging veins and glimpses of entrails and such. A shocking image, true, but an accurate one. It represents the effect these industrial amounts of sugar have on the human body. Internal organs end up being smothered and compressed by building fat, not to mention the tremendous metabolic imbalances that arise from overindulgence.
The campaign posters will be displayed in Melbourne, in public transport stops, over the following two weeks. They face an uphill battle though, because the Australian advertising spaces are chock-full of enticing commercials peddling precisely the kind of cheap and cheerful summer drinks that the health agencies are trying to warn against.