Make a Good Choice: ReThink Your Drink
What you drink can make a big difference in the number of calories consumed. The Alabama Obesity Task Force wants to make people aware that calories in beverages can add up quickly. If the beverage is in a package, the Nutrition Facts label will list the amount of calories. However, many of our drinks are not in packages. But there is good news: you have plenty of options for reducing the number of calories you drink.
"ReThink Your Drink" is a health message to address overweight/obesity issues. This message has the potential to affect policies, environmental changes and programs that support lifestyle changes. There will be four messages shared with the people of Alabama to encourage making wise beverage choices. The following materials support these messages.
- Alabama Obesity Task Force Position Statement: Reducing Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption
The Alabama Obesity Task Force supports a comprehensive approach to addressing obesity and overweight in Alabama. This paper addresses the Task Force's position in regards to the use and marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages, and the effect such beverages have on the health of Alabamians.
- American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Report: Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks for Children - This article from the Pediatrics journal encourages parents and adolescents to review the health risks of sports and energy drinks. The recommendation made is that routine consumption of carbohydrate-containing sports drinks by children and adolescents should be avoided or restricted due to potential excessive caloric consumption and an increased risk of overweight and obesity as well as dental erosion. Water is the beverage of choice.
- American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement - This AAP statement sites potential health problems associated with high consumption of sweetened drinks as: 1) Overweight or obesity attributable to additional calories in the diet; 2) displacement of milk consumption, resulting in calcium deficiency with an attendant risk of osteoporosis and fractures; and 3) dental caries and potential enamel erosion. The AAP encourages school officials and parents to become well informed about these health issues. Suggested actions include a policy to restrict the sale of such drinks at school.
- American Heart Association Scientific Statement - This statement provides sugar consumption data. The AHA supports the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommendation and encourages Americans to reduce intake of added sugars.
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Sweetened Beverage Consumption and Children - This article focuses on the consumption of sweetened beverages by children. It states that sweetened beverages, not including milk or fruit juice intake, was positively associated with increased fat cells from age 5 to 15 years. Also, for the same age group, the higher intake of sugar added beverages was associated with a higher percentage body fat, waist circumference and weight status. The conclusion was early intake of sweetened beverages predicts adiposity and weight status across childhood and adolescence.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Rethink Your Drink Brochure - This brochure explains the importance of paying attention to calories in beverages and offers suggestions on how to reduce calorie intake from beverages.
- National Dairy Council: Low-Fat Milk as Valuable Source of Nutrients - This article recognizes the benefits of low-fat milk and cites the AAP's statement regarding potential problems with sports and energy drinks.
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The Make a Good Choice: ReThink Your Drink message has the potential to affect policies, environmental changes and programs that support lifestyle changes. Examples of policy changes that can be implemented include creating healthy vending machines and hosting healthy meetings. Visit Healthy Vending Machines or Hosting Healthy Meetings for more information.
The following message are each approximately 30 seconds in length and are available for download.
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- What Are You Drinking - Intended for middle to high school aged children. This presentation teaches children the different types of sugar and what qualifies as a sugar-sweetened beverage. It also gives advice on healthier drink choices and information on how these choices will benefit the children.
- Liquid Candy - Intended for an adult audience. This presentation explains the different types of sugar-sweetened beverages and why they can be thought of as "liquid candy." It offers practical advice for making healthier beverage choices.
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