According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, consuming too much sugar can increase the risk for health issues such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. For many children, a single can of soda contains more than their daily recommended amount of sugar, yet nearly two-thirds of kids in the United States drink soda or another sugary drink each day.
In response to this issue, the University of Nevada, Reno, started the Rethink Your Drink Nevada project to “promote healthy beverage choices and reduce the intake of sugary drinks.” Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) grant program, Rethink Your Drink has created a range of resources, from brochures to healthy recipes, to teach families about the risks associated with consuming too much sugar and empower them to make healthier choices.
In addition, Rethink Your Drink also provides dental and medical offices with a free toolkit of resources they can use to help educate patients and their families about this issue. The toolkit, which contains posters, handouts, and stickers in both English and Spanish, was distributed to more than 600 healthcare professionals in more than 200 offices in 2020 alone, and offices have continued to receive new materials regularly.
This outreach program has already begun to show success: According to USDA, “survey results show that use of the toolkit leads to more patient education on sugary drinks,” with 65 percent of SNAP households reporting that a medical or dental professional had talked with them or their child about sugary drinks.
To learn more about Rethink Your Drink Nevada, visit the program’s website at https://rethinkyourdrinknevada.com/.
To read about other successful SNAP-Ed projects, visit USDA’s website at https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/success-stories.