Rethink Your Drink Campaigns: Thirsty to Quit Soda

Summer’s heating up and throats are getting parched. Instead of a can of soda, thousands across the country are reaching for a cold bottle of water or unsweetened, homemade iced tea. Many of the newly converted owe their recent bout of willpower to the Alameda County Health Department’s rockin’ Soda Free Summer Campaign.

Last month, Alameda and Pleasanton Pediatric Dentistry announced our support of Soda Free Summer. We’ve found the enthusiasm to “kick the can” infectious, fitting in to a larger movement across communities toward healthier, farm to fork dining.

Here’s a glimpse into some of the Rethink Your Drink campaigning that’s going strong here in California and further east:

Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente’s health educators and pediatricians are actively using Soda Free Summer campaign materials to illustrate soda’s role in obesity and other health issues. On YouTube, Kaiser Permanente San Jose’s Chief of Pediatrics, Chynna Bantug, and Assistant Chief, Padmaja Pakalkar, can be found discussing the ills of consuming too much sugar. Chynna and Padmaja explain how they lead by example, serving water instead of sweetened beverages at all their department meetings.

Shape Up San Francisco
The City & County of San Francisco has been a Soda Free Summer supporter since the campaign’s 2008 kick-off, when SF school kids participated in a “Be Sugar Savvy” assembly and Mayor Newsom presented a Soda Free Summer Proclamation in San Francisco. Today, the support from the City by the Bay continues, with formal pledge cards distributed to SF residents, Be Sugar Savvy workshops going strong, and more.

North Coast Nutrition and Fitness Collaborative
The North Coast Nutrition and Fitness Collaborative is taking to the schools and other community settings to educate children and parents about reading labels and determining sugar content in their beverages. The organization is coordinating Rethink Your Drink educational events all summer long through Sonoma, Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties.

First 5 LA
Further south, First 5 LA is prioritizing public outreach on the dangers of sugary beverages. First 5 LA is partnering with the regional office of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation to adopt policies like requiring healthier foods in vending machines.

Also in Los Angeles, Councilman Mitch Englander, who serves as president of the local chapter of the American Diabetes Association, pitched the city on banning soda at parks and libraries. Go Mitch!

Outside the Golden State, Soda Free Summer is going strong in cities like Fall River, Massachusetts, where the Healthy City Fall River initiative sponsored a Soda Free Summer pledge campaign with participating elementary schools; and New York City, which is proposing an ambitious ban on the sale of large sodas and sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters, and street carts.

It doesn’t stop there! Many more organizations, agencies, and individuals are taking the pledge to drink less soda and other sugary drinks. Is your family?

If so, we invite you and the kids to join Alameda and Pleasanton Pediatric Dentistry’s Soda Free Summer campaign. Use the attached calendar (below) to mark off every day you DO NOT DRINK SODA. Bring in your calendar marked with 7 days of NO SODA and get a special prize!

LIKE US on FACEBOOK for this event and we’ll enter you into our drawing for (your child to win) a $25 gift certificate at Jamba Juice.

Our Campaign Calendar: Soda Free Summer Pledge (3)-1

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