Nutrition Committee Wages War on Cheese


If you were a child of the 1980s you may remember the anti-drug PSA, “This is your brain on drugs” where a man cracked an egg onto a sizzling pan. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is utilizing the same shock tactic, but they’ve added some cheese to that omelet, to tackle the 21st century obesity epidemic. The PCRM has strategically placed two billboards in Albany, New York with one displaying a picture of a shirtless man’s enormous gut with the caption, “Your abs on cheese.” Another billboard with an obese woman squeezing her thighs, states, “Your thighs on cheese.” Albany has been targeted by the PCRM because of the local obesity problem representative of the nation as a whole, with 60 percent of its adult residents considered overweight by the state Department of Health. To stymie a future epidemic, the billboards are being utilized in a plan by the PCRM to call for the minimization of dairy-based products in the Albany school lunch system. But Albany isn’t the only target of the PCRM’s war against cheese. They erected an even more frightening billboard in Cheesehead Nation itself, Green Bay, Wisconsin by Lambeau Field, home of the Packers in September. Cheese might not be as commonly associated with unhealthy foods such as sodas or processed desserts, but the average serving of cheddar cheese gets 75 percent of its calories from fat. That ratio can outweigh the positive nutrition facts in cheese, like the low carbohydrates and high protein. The PCRM may have it’s heart in the right place battling obesity—being overweight can increase the chances of developing health problems such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease. But will the shock value campaign be successful, considering cheese is likely not the only food leading to the images on those billboards?