This article was contributed by Samela Perez with San Benito County Public Health Services.
As we approach the hot summer months, Public Health Services reminds community members to stay hydrated with healthy beverages such as water instead of sugary beverages. To reinforce this message Public Health Services, in partnership with the state funded program Champions for Change, hosted Rethink Your Drink Day in support of establishing and maintaining healthy beverage habits.
Community members "refreshed‟ their beverage choices by participating in healthy, habit-supporting activities that stress the importance of swapping out sugar-sweetened soda, energy drinks, or sports drinks with sugar-free options or water. Activities included: introducing infused water tasting at various schools in Hollister during lunchtime breaks, teaching students about sugar quantities in sugar-sweetened beverages, promoting healthy beverage messages through the media, and working with local retailers to provide healthy beverage incentives to shoppers.
“Water is hands-down the best way to stay hydrated and feel refreshed,” said Dr. Gail Newel, health officer for San Benito County. “The Rethink Your Drink Day educational activities served as a fun, yet important reminder to be mindful about the beverages we drink, eliminate unnecessary sugars, and build a better, healthier beverage routine.”
Beverages account for almost half (47 percent) of all added sugars consumed by the U.S. population, and people who drink one or more sugary drinks per day have a 26 percent higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than those who do not drink sugary beverages or drink less than one serving a month.
“For information on how much sugar is in a favorite beverage, community members can go to the www.RethinkYourDrinkDay.com website,” stated Erika Perez, health educator with the San Benito County program. “This educational resource has an interactive experience called the Beverage Breakdown where visitors can calculate the amount of added sugar in different beverages and learn about the impact of sugary drinks and the benefits of drinking water. Community members can also follow Champions for Change on Facebook for more creative ideas, helpful resources, and delicious recipes to support families on the path to better health.”