Start today. Take on the Life's Sweeter Challenge to limit soda and other sugary drinks in your home, your workplace, and your community.
Help protect our children, our families, our co-workers, and
ourselves from the harmful effects of soda consumption, one of the
biggest contributors to obesity in America.
Support a realistic goal to reduce consumption of soda and other
sugary drinks by more than half to a maximum of 3 per person per week by
2020, a healthy target proposed by the American Heart Association.
Reasons to Join the Challenge
There are many reasons to join the challenge to reduce sugary drink consumption. Here's just a few of them:
- More than two-thirds of American adults and one in three children are overweight or obese.
- Health-care costs related to obesity total about $150 billion per year.
- Sugary drinks, few of which have any nutritional value, account for half of all added sugars in the average American diet.
- Research has demonstrated a direct
relationship between consumption of sugary drinks and an increase in the
risk of overweight and obesity, which in turn promote diabetes, heart
disease, stroke, and many other health problems.
- Consumption of calories from sugary
drinks doubled between 1977 and 2002, though consumption has declined
somewhat since then; in the mid-1990s, consumption of sugary drinks
began to exceed the intake of milk.
- Sugary drinks' empty calories displace calories from foods, such as low-fat milk, that are rich in nutrients.
- The sizes of standard sugary drink
containers have exploded in the past decades, expanding from Coca-Cola's
6.5 ounces in the 1950s to 20 ounces today.
- Each additional sugary drink consumed
per day increases the likelihood of a child's becoming obese by about 60
percent, according to one study.
- The sugar and acid in soft drinks
promote tooth decay and enamel erosion, which are particularly prevalent
among low-income and minority youth.
- According to the Federal Trade
Commission, in 2006, the carbonated beverage industry spent $492 million
marketing directly to youth.
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, individuals should drink water instead of sugary drinks. www.choosemyplate.gov
Family Life Can Be Sweeter
You don't have to join the challenge alone. Join as a "team" and support each other in efforts to reduce sugary drink consumption. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Choose non-caloric drinks like water, unsweetened teas, seltzer, or eat a piece of fruit.
- Drink fewer sugary drinks, such as colas, energy drinks, sweetened teas, and sports drinks.
- Stop serving sugary drinks, carbonated or not, to children under 6, limit them for older children, and provide healthy drink alternatives for children of all ages.
- Educate yourself and your family on the negative effects of sugary drinks and make a point of choosing healthier alternatives.
- Join with neighbors, friends, and parents' groups to urge schools, child-care settings, after-school programs, parks, recreational facilities, pools, zoos, and other youth venues in your community to stop selling carbonated and non-carbonated sugary soft drinks and to provide access to fresh drinking water.