Health Departments, Associations Launch Campaign against Sugary Beverages

September 1, 2011

A coalition of over 100 U.S. health departments and associations is uniting on a campaign to reduce consumption of sugary beverages, including sodas, fruit juices with little to no juice, and sweetened iced teas.

A coalition of over 100 U.S. health departments and associations is uniting on a campaign to reduce consumption of sugary beverages.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study finding that about half of the U.S. population consumers a sugar-added drink each day, with men consuming an average of 174 calories a day from these products.

Called “Life’s Sweeter with Fewer Sugary Drinks,” the campaign includes backers from major city health departments (including Boston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Antonio) to national health organizations, including the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.

The campaign will encouraging employers, hospitals, and government agencies to adopt policies to curb consumption of sugary drinks, including sodas, fruit-flavored beverages with little or no juice, energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, and sports drinks.

In a Wednesday press release, The Center for Science in the Public Interest (Washington, DC) highlighted recent city-level initiatives to reduce sugary beverage consumption:

 

Many big cities are already campaigning to reduce soda consumption. In New York City, for instance, officials have run hard-hitting ad campaigns connecting soda to weight gain, and highlighting the sugar content of soft drinks. Similar ads have been run in Seattle and Philadelphia. In Boston, Mayor Thomas Menino barred sugar-sweetened beverages from vending machines and concession stands on city property. Officials in San Antonio and San Francisco have similarly rid vending machines of high-calorie drinks.

 

“With new scientific evidence suggesting that drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage per day raises the risk of high blood pressure, it’s imperative that we do more to help communities kick the soda habit,” said Rachel Johnson, PhD, vice chair of the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee to CSPI.

Check out the Life’s Sweeter campaign for a full list of partners.