Health officials launch ad campaign against sugary drink consumption

County Health Dept. launches campaign against sugary drinks

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has launched an ad campaign urging parents to protect their children from sugary drinks and serve them water instead. 

Titled “Our kids are drowning in sugar,” the campaign is part of the Dept. of Public Health’s ongoing efforts to prevent childhood obesity. The message calls attention to the abundance of sugary drinks surrounding children in today’s environment and the dangerous health consequences including obesity. 

The bilingual English and Spanish ads will be featured in newspapers as well as on billboards, buses, transit shelters and check cashing facilities in San Jose and Gilroy. The campaign will run through the end of November.

The ad campaign is part of Santa Clara County’s INSPIRE Obesity Prevention initiative, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of this two-year project is to raise awareness in the community about how simple changes in behavior can help reduce risk factors for obesity, and promote healthy food and drink choices.

Risks associated with sugary beverages 

Soda is the number one source of added sugar in the American diet, as it contains large amounts of sugar and very few nutrients, according to a press release from the SCC Dept. of Public Health. One 20-ounce bottle of soda contains about 17 teaspoons of sugar. The consumption of one 20-ounce soda a day amounts to over 100,000 calories – an extra 28 pounds of weight, a year.

California has some of the nation’s fastest growing rates of obesity in children and adolescents. Nearly one in four school-age children in Santa Clara County’s public schools were obese or overweight in 2008, according to a 2007-2008 California Healthy Kids Survey. Obese children frequently grow up to be obese adults, putting them at increased risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of death, according to the press release. 

To learn more, visit the campaign Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/ChooseWaterNow.

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