SF launches 'Soda Free Summer' campaign

June 5, 2008 1:47:59 PM PDT
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is joining school district and public health officials in launching a campaign today that aims to fight obesity by challenging residents, specifically children, to make it through the summer without soda or sweetened beverages.

"Soda and other beverages sweetened by high-fructose corn syrup are standing in the way of our efforts to combat obesity," Newsom said in a prepared statement. "I urge all students and their parents to commit to a healthy, soda-free summer."

The average Bay Area resident consumes about half a pound of sugar a day and this Soda Free Summer campaign provides an opportunity for residents to cut back on their consumption, according to Shape Up San Francisco, a group that includes representatives from city government, community based organizations, businesses, schools and health care organizations.

In addition to San Francisco, the campaign is being launched in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Marin counties in conjunction with the Bay Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative.

The campaign was piloted in Alameda County last year where 42 percent of randomly polled participants said they reduced the amount of soda and sweetened beverages in their diet at the end of the summer, according to Shape Up San Francisco.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution Tuesday declaring Soda Free Summer in the county.

"An African American or Latino child born today has a 50 percent chance of developing Type 2 diabetes," the resolution stated. "The prevention of diabetes and obesity are among the most urgent challenges of our day."


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