Billboard in Green Bay Warns of Cheese-Obesity Link
70 Percent Fat, High in Cholesterol and Sodium
WASHINGTON—A huge billboard near Lambeau Field warns football fans and Wisconsin residents that eating cheese and other dairy products can make them fat and seriously damage their health. The billboard is sponsored by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).
Located at 2049 Creamery Road in De Pere, and visible to fans driving up Route 41 for the Oct. 2 game between the Packers and the Broncos, the billboard features an image of the Grim Reaper, with the words, “Warning: Cheese Can Sack Your Health. Fat. Cholesterol. Sodium.” Download billboard JPG.
"Cheese is the number-one source of saturated fat in the American diet,” says PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D. “Parents often have no idea that this high-fat product could be causing their children’s weight problems."
Foods served at Lambeau Field’s eateries are typically loaded with cheese and other high-fat dairy products. Offerings include Hall of Fame Curds, which are deep-fried Wisconsin cheese curds; Cheesehead Beer Cheese Soup, made with cheddar cheese, beer, and then topped with more cheese; and nachos piled with cheddar cheese and sour cream. Americans today eat three times as much cheese as they did in 1970—almost 33 pounds per person in a single year.
Cheese is the number-one source of saturated (“bad”) fat in the American diet. Cheddar cheese is 70 percent fat (by calories), and high in sodium. A single ounce of cheese curds, about a 1-inch cube, contains 9 grams of fat and 30 milligrams of cholesterol. A typical serving of nachos with cheese, beans, ground beef, and peppers gets half its calories from fat, and contains 1,800 milligrams of sodium—almost as much sodium as most Americans should consume in an entire day.
One-third of children and half of adults in Wisconsin are already either overweight or obese, according to the state’s Department of Health Services. Obesity rates in the state have doubled since 1990, and obesity-related medical expenses for the state are estimated at $1.5 billion annually.
European researchers have found that eating a small amount of cheese daily, about the size of a small candy bar, increases the risk of bladder cancer by 50 percent. Dairy consumption has also been linked to prostate cancer.
The billboard was originally designed to depict the Grim Reaper wearing a cheesehead hat. But after Foamation, Inc., which makes the hats, threatened to sue the billboard company, the company erected the billboard the headgear obliterated. The billboard still carries health warnings and directs football fans to www.PCRM.org.
If you’d like a copy of the billboard or want to interview Susan Levin, contact Vaishali Honawar at 202-527-7339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research,and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.