DE PERE, WI (WTAQ) - Do you like cheese?
If so, a group called Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine wants you to drop that curd.
An image of the grim reaper with a cheesehead on will appear on a billboard along northbound Highway 41 in De Pere starting Monday.
“Our greatest concern is for children who are fed cheese products by their well-meaning parents,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Cheese is loaded with fat, cholesterol, sodium—and calories. It ought to come with a warning label so consumers understand the health risk.”
In a statement, the group says cheese is the No. 1 source of saturated fat in the American diet.
Cheddar cheese is 75 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.
The Madison-based Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board says the message is wrong.
"The organization is a front group for a vegan agenda," spokesman Patrick Geoghegan says. "So to position themselves as a physician's group is misleading."
Geoghegan adds that their own dieticians say cheese is part of a healthy lifestyle and diet, which should be consumed in moderation.
Located at 2049 Creamery Road, the billboard will be visible to fans driving up Highway 41 for the Oct. 2 game between the Packers and the Denver Broncos.