Officials are encouraging kids to drink less soda and more water.
Children are drinking far more soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks than 30 years ago, putting them at higher risk of weight gain, obesity and long-term health problems like type 2 diabetes. On Friday, the Frederick County Health Department will launch an awareness campaign to warn kids and their parents about the health consequences of these high-calorie beverages.
The four-week campaign, which includes transit ads in English and Spanish on city busses, was created in partnership with Frederick Memorial Hospital and the Diversity Leadership Institute, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing disparities in healthcare and education.
The campaign posters feature colorful, cartoon images of a water bottle, milk carton, and glass of fruit juice, with the slogan ‘Rethink Your Drink-Choice Matters!’ The goal of the posters is to promote beverages that are healthy alternatives to soda and other sweetened drinks.
"Sugar-sweetened beverages-including soda, sports drinks and energy drinks--are the largest single source of calories in the American diet," said Jacqueline Dougé, Deputy Health Officer. "Encouraging kids to drink less soda and more water is a simple and important way to reduce the risk of childhood obesity."
Childhood obesity in the United States has more than tripled in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008.
The ‘Rethink Your Drink’ campaign also includes an online toolkit of downloadable materials such as a healthy beverage fact sheet for kids, sample healthy beverage policies for schools and childcare, and a ‘Rethink Your Drink’ pledge for children to sign.
Graphic design for the posters and other materials was donated by Onawa Rock and Helen Truitt, students in the Digital Media Design program at Frederick Community College. Funding for the campaign comes from the Maryland Community Supported Health Resources Commission grant and Frederick Memorial Hospital.