Citywide Campaign Launches at Healthy West Chicago Task Force Meeting
An impressive crowd of community leaders, organizations, businesses and citizens gathered on Friday, January 27, 2017 at the ARC Center in West Chicago to learn more about the new citywide campaign launched by Healthy West Chicago, an organization dedicated to helping to make West Chicago the healthiest community in the region.
Executive Director Andi Cooper presented the case to “re-think your drink” by sharing the results of medical research indicating that people who drink too many sugary beverages are likely to suffer from Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer and are at greater risk for being overweight or obese. Sugary drinks are the leading cause of obesity and West Chicagoans buy more soda than 60 – 80% of communities all around the country.
Cooper delivered a message that she hopes will resonate with each local organization in attendance and inspire a full-court press to educate the entire community about the need to reduce the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).
To live a long healthy life, the American Heart Association recommends that individuals consume only 6 – 8 teaspoons of sugar daily. However, an average 12-ounce juice or soda contains around 8 – 10 teaspoons of sugar.
Some helpful tips on decreasing SSBs follow:
- Treat sugary beverages like dessert. You wouldn’t eat dessert for every meal.
- Drink more water. Drinking tap water can reduce cavities and dentist bills.
- Try drinking fruit-infused water.
- Eat the whole fruit instead of drinking the juice.
- Babies less than a year old shouldn’t have juice unless recommended by a physician.
Earlier this year, Healthy West Chicago produced a short video in which West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda, Northwestern Medicine’s Director of Community and Government Affairs Tammy Pressley, and Cooper talk about the health risks associated with consuming SSBs.
The West Chicago community will begin to see more educational materials to ” re-think your drink” throughout the city in the coming weeks and months as the campaign picks up steam, and Cooper hopes that the consistent messaging will break through and positively influence the community to avoid SSBs and provide support in making the healthy choice the easy choice.
For more information about the ReThink Your Drink campaign, visit http://www.healthywestchicago.com/.
ReThink Your Drink Poster – .pdf 4MB