Parents Help Swap Sugary Drinks for Healthier Options in Schools



The nutritional quality of lunches is improving in schools in Fairfax, Va., which has a large Latino student population. But the news wasn’t all good. Parents saw that, despite healthier lunch improvements, sugary drinks remained stocked in vending machines. Sugary drinks consumption contributes to increased rates of obesity and diabetes, studies show. So several parents banded together and, with the support of a member of the local school board and students alike, made a change to remove sugary drinks and replace them with healthier options in vending machines at seven schools. EMERGENCE Awareness: The Fairfax School District serves around 184,000 students. In the district’s 25 high schools, Latinos make up 19% of the student body. JoAnne Hammermaster has two kids in the ...

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Neighbors in East Austin Say No to Soda



Parents in the East Austin neighborhood of Dove Springs saw how sugary drinks were adding pounds not only on to their own waistlines but to their children's as well. Wanting to take control of their health and motivate others to do the same, the parents formed Manatial de Salud, with the mission to promote well-being in the Dove Springs community through healthy lifestyles and positive environments. The group began a "No Soda Challenge", where families would sign up and pledge to reduce their sugary drink intake. Manatial de Salud promoted their pledge at school festivals and other community events. On their website, you can check out videos (in Spanish) highlighting families that are phasing-out sodas and replacing them with water and delicious fruit-filled waters, like agua ...

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The First Lady Urges Kids to Drink More Water



In the newest effort to combat childhood obesity in United States, the Partnership for America's Health along with First Lady Michelle Obama has launched a new campaign to encourage kids and adults alike to drink more water, Drink Up. The First Lady helped kick-off the campaign in Watertown, Wisconsin, and spoke at a local high school According to the press release, In the next year, supporters will carry the Drink Up logo on nearly 300 million packs of bottle water; more than half a billion bottles of water; 200,000 packages of reusable bottles; and more than 10,000 reusable bottles. Additionally, more than 10,000 outdoor public taps are expected to carry the brand over the next few years. Check out ...

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Rethink Your Drink Campaign



The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's "Rethink Your Drink" is an educational campaign that informs kids and parents about the hidden sugar in everyday beverages. The campaign promotes water as the best alternative to sugary drinks, whether its tap water, sparkling water, or water with a little fruit juice. Communities across the country have used materials from "Rethink your Drink" to educate folks about sugary drinks. The California Department of Public Health has taken a lead role in promoting healthy beverage choices through "Rethink your Drink." Some noteworthy resources include: Brochure with sugar and calorie information on everyday drinks and healthier alternatives A pledge you and your family can sign committing to reduce your ...

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Riverside Community Rethinks Their Drinks



"Rethink Your Drink" began as a educational campaign captained by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many communities across the country have used the campaign to educate folks on how sugary drinks affect your body and to identify healthy, tasty alternatives to high-calorie sugar-sweetened beverages. Currently, Riverside County, California is bringing medical professionals, schools, policy makers, and community groups together to fight sugary drinks through the "Rethink Your Drink" campaign. With the prevalence of childhood obesity in Riverside County at 38.2 percent (higher than California’s 38 percent) and, with scientific evidence that links consumption of sugary beverages with weight gain as being stronger than any other food category, the campaign has been ...

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Want Healthier Snacks at Your Kids’ Sports Games?



After-school sports are a great way to for kids to be active, build confidence, and make new friends. However, many parents bring  junk food for snacks after the game and between innings, sending mixed messages about health to the kids. If you want to take a stand against unhealthy snacks at your kids' sports games, but don't know how to get other parents on board, consider this Soccer Snacktivism Handbook courtesy of Real Mom Nutrition. In it you'll find a sample letter to other team parents, answers to frequently asked questions about healthy snacks, and a slideshow. Who knows? Maybe your voice was just the right nudge other parents needed to kick out the ...

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Sugar Bites; Ad campaign against sugar-sweetened beverages



An ad campaign created as a collaborative effort of First 5 Contra Costa and Healthy and Active Before 5, depicts soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages with sharp, scary teeth. Sugar Bites is a social marketing campaign that aims to encourage parents to provide their children with healthier beverages. The ads are featured in both English and Spanish, in order to reach as many people as possible. Advertisements like these can help educate people and use the same tactics large corporations use to advertise unhealthy drinks and snacks. It is hoped that these memorable ads will stick with people, to lower the amount of soda intake in Contra Costa, Ca., which currently greatly affects the amount of tooth decay, obesity, and type II diabetes in children. Sugar Bites was posted ...

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South Carolina to Eliminate Junk foods from School Vending Machines and Lunchrooms



There is a bill now in front of the House Education Committee that will eliminate certain foods that are considered "junk foods" from lunch rooms and vending machines in South Carolina. The bill would also allow for only water, 100% fruit juice, and fat-free or low-fat milk to be offered in schools. Changing regulations would require the snacks served in the lunch room or in vending machines must not have more than 200 calories, 35% of total calories from fat, 35% of their total weight composed of sugar, or 10% of their total calories from saturated fat. These rules will only apply to events and locations during the school day, and will not be regulated during after school clubs, activities, or fundraisers. The regulation of food and nutrition at fundraisers will be debated in the ...

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Health Groups Ask Supermarkets and Pharmacies to Promote Healthier Drink Options



Supermarkets and pharmacies are well-positioned in their communities to encourage folks to make healthier food and drink choices. However, some stores continue to promote sugary drinks over healthier options, like water. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) along with other advocacy groups and health professionals are calling on store owners to rethink how they market sugary drinks and to consider giving no and low calorie drink options more prominent shelf space. Little decisions like placing a case of bottled water at the check out line instead of soda is a small but effective way for a store owner to promote better beverage choices in the community. CSPI and others have crafted letters to send to large supermarket and pharmacy stores urging them to consider making ...

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