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A collaboration of San Francisco Bay Area Counties

Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks are drinks that contain added sugars or sweeteners. Sugary drinks include soda and other carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, juice drinks, sweetened tea and coffee drinks, and sweetened milk or milk alternatives. The added sugar in these drinks add calories but little or no nutrients.

Hold your mouse over each drink to see the amount of sugar and calories it contains, and how many minutes of walking it takes to burn off the drink:

Juice Drink
23 y
sugar packets

305
calories
66
minutes to
burn off

Soda
22
sugar packets

242
calories
52
minutes to
burn off

Energy Drink
17
sugar packets

230
calories
50
minutes to
burn off

Sports Drink
12
sugar packets

125
calories
27
minutes to
burn off

Chocolate Milk
9
sugar packets

160
calories
34
minutes to
burn off
Calculations based on calories and grams of sugar per container.

Health Impacts

Drinking even 1 sugary drink a day may lead to unhealthy weight gain (obesity), type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay.

Click on the icons to learn more about how drinking sugary drinks may affect you.







   Men
Women
Children

Choose Healthy Drinks

Drink unsweetened tap, bottled, or sparkling water, unsweetened low-fat milk or tea, or 100% fruit juice in limited amounts*.

*Depending on age, children can drink ½ to 1 cup, and adults up to 1 cup of 100% fruit juice.

Flavor plain or sparkling water by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, orange, watermelon or even a splash of juice.

Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.

Cut Back on Sugary Drinks

Avoid the sugary drink aisle at the supermarket.

Make a rule not to have sugary drinks in your house.

Don't introduce sugary drinks to your kids. If they don't have them, they won't want them.

Cut back to only having a sugary drink as a rare treat or not at all.

If you are going to drink a sugary drink, choose a smaller size.

Nutrition Labels

Read the list of ingredients on the nutrition label to see how much sugar is in your drink. Sugars and sweeteners can have many names that are not always obvious.


Here are some other names for sugar:

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Cane sugar
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Dextrose
  • Sucrose
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Maple syrup
  • Barley malt


Ingredients are listed in order of the amount that the drink contains. The first few ingredients listed are the ones that appear in the largest amounts. If "sugar" (or a sugar from the list above) is one of the first three ingredients, think about choosing a healthier option.

Sugar Calculator
Enter the grams of sugar and servings per container listed on the nutrition label of your drink to see how many packets of sugar and calories from sugar it contains.

(3 Grams = 1 Packet of Sugar)

Resources

Videos

Educational Resources and Materials

Rethink Your Drink Resources

Look here for educational materials, activity sheets, and healthy beverage recipes. The Rethink Your Drink Campaign provides nutrition education and skills, such as label reading, to help people make healthier beverage choices. Developed by the Network for a Healthy California.

Make Better Beverage Choices: 10 Tips Get Started

What you drink is as important as what you eat. Here are 10 tips to help you make better beverage choices. Developed by MyPlate.gov.

Sugary Drinks F.A.C.T.S.

Learn more about sugary drink companies, products, nutrition and industry marketing approaches from health researchers at Yale University.

Potter the Otter Campaign

A First 5 campaign that includes facts, activities, coloring sheets and more to get children (ages 0-5) to drink fewer sugary drinks and more water. Developed by First 5 California.

Healthy Weight - Rethink Your Drink

This site provides tips and tools on how to cut back on sugary drinks. Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Water Resources

Sonoma Country Water Agency's
Water Education Program

The Sonoma Country Water Agency's Water Education Program provides lessons and materials on water conservation and stewardship of the local watersheds. Materials and programs are free to schools within the Sonoma and Northern Marin counties service areas.

City of Santa Rosa's Take It From The TAP program

Provides in-class education to Santa Rosa students in Sonoma Country about water quality and the health and economic reasons to drink tap water. Offers free stainless steel reusable water bottles to students.

About

This website is a collaborative effort of San Francisco Bay Area Counties to prevent chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma Counties are coming together to encourage Bay Area residents to reduce their consumption of sugary drinks.

The initiative is funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Community Transformation Grant (CTG) program to improve the health of small communities across the nation. Learn more about the CTG Program here.

Alameda County – Soda Free Summer

Alameda County Public Health Department, Nutrition Services has run the Soda Free Summer Campaign annually for 7 years (and counting). The campaign has inspired thousands of residents and hundreds of organizations to make a lasting commitment to good health by reducing or eliminating sweetened beverages and sugary foods. Check out their website for Soda Free Summer tips sheets, activities, posters and more to help parents, kids, teachers and other childcare providers cut back on sugary drinks, http://www.sodafreesummer.org/.

San Francisco County – Shape Up San Francisco

Decreasing consumption of sugary drinks has been a priority for the Shape Up San Francisco Coalition since 2008. Their work is grounded in the growing body of science linking sugary drink consumption to chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and heart disease, and we strive to make it easy and fun for San Franciscans to reduce their consumption of these harmful beverages. To learn more about the work of Shape Up San Francisco, visit their website at www.shapeupsfcoalition.org.

San Mateo County – Get Healthy San Mateo County

Get Healthy San Mateo County's goal is to increase access to healthy food and opportunities for everyday physical activity to make the healthy choice the easy choice in San Mateo County. To learn more about Get Healthy San Mateo County, visit their website at http://gethealthysmc.org/.

Sonoma County – Department of Health Services

By the year 2020, we envision that Sonoma County will be the healthiest county in California to live, work, and play…a place where people thrive and achieve their life potential. Collective action is necessary to improve the health of our county and eliminate health disparities. Obesity prevention efforts are a key element of this initiative, which includes a commitment to reduce consumption of sugary drinks in Sonoma County and to collaborate with other San Francisco Bay Area Counties to achieve this goal.

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