Contra Costa Urges Residents to Combat Obesity and ‘Rethink Your Drink’
June 21, 2010
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In an effort to keep a lid on sugary drinks that carry significant health and economic effects, the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors will pass a resolution Tuesday urging residents to "Rethink Your Drink" and have a "Soda Free Summer."
The resolution is at the request of a six-county campaign urging people to drink healthier alternatives to sodas, sports drinks and other sugar-laden beverages. The Board of Supervisors meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 22 in the Board Chambers, 651 Pine Street, Martinez.
"As the weather heats up, people begin to break out the beverages to quench their thirst," said Andrea Menefee, Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion Program Manager at Contra Costa Health Services. "Actually, water is the best and healthiest way to quench your thirst and it's available almost everywhere at almost no cost."
According to Menefee, Americans consume an average of 100 pounds of sugar a year, a big portion of which comes from sweetened beverages and soda.
"Soda is one of the major contributors to the obesity epidemic," Menefee said. "The obesity epidemic costs over a billion of dollars in lost productivity and health care costs every year in California."
According to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, adults who drink one or more sodas per day are 27 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than those who drink less.
This is the third year of the "Rethink Your Drink" and "Soda Free Summer" campaigns led by the Bay Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative, which includes health departments from Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties. Among other campaign activities, the collaborative is distributing brochures to help people keep track of their soda-free days. At the end of summer, completed brochures will be entered into a raffle.
"Kids can make tasty and healthy alternatives to sugary drinks by adding a slice of fruit or cucumber or a few berries to water," Menefee said.
Find more healthy alternatives online at www.cchealth.org/topics/nutrition/.
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- Andrea Menefee