Bay Area Lawmakers Take Aim at Sodas

By Jessica Greene
|  Wednesday, Oct 13, 2010  |  Updated 1:24 PM PDT
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Soda is not your friend.

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Don't drink the soda.

That's the message East Bay lawmakers are sending as they plan to pass a resolution aimed at getting people to stop drinking so much of the sugary drinks.

Contra Costa County supervisors are expected to pass the resolution Tuesday in an effort to curb obesity and urge residents not to drink soda and other sugary drinks this summer.

The campaign to reduce the number of sugary drinks people consume, called "Rethink Your Drink," is being led by the Bay Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative, which includes health departments in Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties.

As part of the campaign, participating health departments will be passing brochures out to help people keep track of their soda-free days. At the end of the summer completed brochures will be entered into a raffle, according to Contra Costa Health Services.

Americans consume an average of 100 pounds of sugar each year and much of that comes from soda, sports drinks and other sugar-laden beverages, Andrea Menefee, manager of Contra Costa Health Services' nutrition and physical activity program said. And in case you haven't heard yet -- sugary drinks are major contributors to the obesity epidemic.

Overweight Americans cost more than an estimated $1 billion in lost productivity and health dollars each year in California, according to Menefee.

A University of California Los Angeles study found that adults who drink one or more sodas per day are 27 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than people who drink fewer sugary drinks.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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