Sode Free Summer Challenge

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How about sitting down to a whopping 10 teaspoons of sugar? That is the amount of sugar in a 12-ounce can of regular soda. These drinks contribute to obesity, tooth decay, and type 2 diabetes. This summer, the Southern Nevada Health District’s Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is launching its Soda Free Summer Challenge to encourage children and adults to opt for healthier beverages and reduce or eliminate sugary drinks. The Challenge kicks off Thursday, May 5 and continues through Saturday, August 6. Promotoras Las Vegas (PLV) will bring education and information to the Hispanic community through social media and community events. For more information on how to participate in the Soda Free Summer Challenge visit the Health District’s Get Healthy Clark County or the Spanish language Viva Saludable websites for more information.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, sugary drinks account for about 35 percent of the average consumption of added sugars in the U.S. Sugary drinks include sodas, sports drinks, and fruit drinks, as well as tea and coffee sweetened with added sugar. Nationally, 63 percent of adults aged 18 or older reported having sugary drinks once daily or more. The average American consumes about 45 gallons of sugary drinks each year, which is 39 pounds of sugar. For additional information about the impact of sugary drinks on children’s health, visit the Robert Wood Johnson State of Childhood Obesity webpage.

Added sugar in drinks comes in many different forms, and consumers are advised to read nutrition labels to determine how much added sugar is included in their drinks. The largest source of added sugar in most people’s diets comes from soda and other sweetened beverages. The new daily dietary recommendations per day are approximately 25 to 36 grams of sugar for adults, and 25 grams for children. Regular and fizzy drinks and juices have, on average, between 36 to 44 grams of sugar in a 12-ounce can, which translates to between nine and 11 teaspoons of sugar. Individuals should limit sugar consumption, including soda, energy drinks, juice and opt for healthier beverages including unsweetened tea, water, and non- or low-fat milk.

For information about how to identify added sugars, visit the Get Health Tips for Eating Healthy and the Viva Saludable webpages.

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