Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Jefferson County Public Health Warns Parents and Caregivers About Hidden Sugar in Beverages

Many parents and caregivers are not aware of the hidden sugar in many of the beverages that they give to their children. That’s why the Healthy Beverage Partnership in conjunction with Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is promoting a new campaign aimed at educating parents and caregivers about the harmful effects of sugar and informing them of the high sugar content in many of the beverages they may be giving to their kids. 
Sugary beverages are the single largest contributor of calories to our diet. By drinking just one sugary drink a day, a child has 25 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, 55 percent greater risk of being overweight or obese, and 150 percent greater risk of developing fat deposits in their liver, contributing to diabetes and heart disease. 
“The ‘Hidden Sugar’ campaign was designed to bring to light the many surprising places where sugar can hide,” said Allison Wilson, JCPH Healthy Beverage and Food Specialist. “You would never give your child 10 cookies for breakfast, but that’s exactly what you’re doing when you give them a 10 ounce bottle of fruit punch. And most parents don’t realize that.” 
Through simple graphics, the Hidden Sugar campaign compares the sugar levels of sugary drinks like juice drinks, sports drinks, and soda to the sugar levels found in sugary foods and desserts, such as cookies, donuts, popsicles, and more. The campaign also promotes healthier options including tap or fruit infused water. 
Andrea Perez signs the Hidden Sugar pledge.
Photo by Christy Steadman
A full story about the Hidden Sugar Campaign recently ran in 17 newspapers around the Metro Area — see it here — and featured information about a pledge parents can take, in which they pledge to serve fewer sugary drinks to their family for the next 30 days. Anyone who takes the pledge will be entered to win some amazing passes to family-friendly places in the metro Denver area.
Details on the Hidden Sugar campaign can be found at Hidden-Sugar.org. For further information on the local Sip Smart Coalition or the Healthy Beverage Partnership you can contact Allison Wilson at Jefferson County Public Health at 303-239-7007 or via email at awilson@jeffco.us.

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