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Controversial billboard aims to stop people from eating eggs

The west side billboard encouraging people to quit eating eggs. (WSYX/WTTE)

A billboard rolled out Thursday morning urges people to "quit the carton" and stop eating eggs.

The group behind the ad claims eggs drastically increase people's chances of developing diabetes.

The billboard was put up along West Mound Street in West Columbus.

"It is a provocative billboard in different ways," said Maggie Neola, a registered dietitian who works with the group paying for the ad, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. "We are trying to get people's attention so that we do produce change in their lives, healthy changes."

The billboard said "eggs may increase diabetes risk by 68 percent." Neola said people should skip eating eggs and eat more nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

"We recommend you avoid that risk (of eating eggs) at all by eating a low-fat, plant-based diet," she said. "That's just a better route for your health overall."

Not all dietitians agree though.

"I don't agree with the billboard at all," said Brenda Rendelman, a dietitian with the Central Ohio Diabetes Association. "Eggs are in many ways one of the best foods out there. It's really unfair to the egg. I think a billboard should be put up that says, 'Stop bullying the egg.'"

There are plenty of dietitians who believe eggs can be a part of a healthy diet.

"They're really rich in protein and Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Coleen and selenium which can be hard to find," said Elizabeth Snyder, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. "It's a really great source of nutrition and it's cheap."

Like many things in life, Snyder said eggs are fine in moderation.

"If you eat so many eggs you gain weight, is it going to increase your risk (for diabetes)? maybe," she said. "You have to put on some considerable weight from those eggs. At 60 calories an egg, that'd be a lot of eggs."

Why the hate for eggs then? According to public records, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has spent thousands of dollars lobbying in Washington on animal welfare issues.

There are a few things dietitians agree increase someone's risk of developing diabetes. Snyder and Rendelman recommend avoiding candy, soda and junk food. Smoking is a habit which can vastly increase someone's risk as well.

"It's like throwing gasoline on a fire," Rendelman said. "Smoking should not be done. It increases the risk of a lot of very serious problems."

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