Soda Free Summer!

Six Bay Area counties have banded together to promote Soda Free Summer, especially among youth. Why should you care? Let’s take a look at what that sweet fizzy liquid you’re holding in your hand right now is costing you in terms of health, shall we?

Liquid Obesity* Question of the Day:

What has the same number of teaspoons of sugar as one 20-oz. Vitamin Water (ooh, “vitamin water” -that sounds so healthy, doesn’t it)?

a) Unsweetened coffee b) A celery stalk c) A Snickers bar

Answer: c. Keep in mind that Vitamin Water has half the teaspoons of sugar as either Cola or Sunny Delight. Yeowza! If you’re as appalled as we are, join the Soda Free Summer campaign, and pass the word along to friends and family. Take back your health this summer with good old plain water. Add slices of cucumber, lemon or lime to your refrigerated water pitcher, or jazz up your water with ice cubes frozen with mint leaves, lemon bits, raspberries or other berries in them. Little kids will love seeing colorful cubes floating inside a glass. But stay away from sugar-free or diet sodas – there’s a lot of data to suggest they may be just as bad for your health. *To find out why we here at Doc Gurley call soda “liquid obesity,” and how it can help you to do so too, read on: Calling soda “liquid obesity” is a form of what I call Doc Gurley counter-marketing. Counter-marketing can help us all change our behavior. To “counter-market” or “anti-market” something means attaching a very negative label to something we all know is bad for us. Counter-marketing is one way of counteracting all the years of positive marketing we’ve absorbed. For example, when you think of sodas and sweetened drinks as Liquid Obesity, they’re just not so yummy-sounding now, are they? Why Liquid Obesity? As the excellent healthcare blogger, Nancy Brown explains in her post on Soda Free Summer, “studies have shown that the extra calories from soda and other sweetened drinks leads to weight gain because they do not satisfy people’s hunger, therefore they are just extra calories. The Center for Weight and Health at U.C. Berkeley reports that sugared beverage consumption has increased 500% in the last 50 years, at the same time that obesity and diabetes rates have skyrocketed.” And, as the Soda Free Summer site points out, teens drink on average more than 720 cans of soda a year – or almost two cans a day. One 20-oz. soda a day for a year adds up to 25 extra pounds. That means an almost 50-pound gain a year can be blamed directly on drinking soda alone. No wonder weight is becoming a big issue for us. Let’s all join together, pass the word, and celebrate a Soda Free Summer!

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