COOS BAY –Rethink Your Drink Coos County was a pilot program in May to encourage the community to swap out some of their high-calorie drinks for healthy choices.  This idea began with a very small task force and grew to be a community wide committee consisting of hospitals, clinics, local school districts, the community college, public health, and tribal organizations.  The group came together with a common goal….to educate the community and promote community wellness.

Sugary drinks are a big factor in America’s epidemic of obesity and diabetes.  Extra weight around the midsection is associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes and even some cancers.

In 1700, the average American’s sugar intake was approximately 7.5 pounds per year.  Today it is approximately 150 pounds.  There are numerous factors surrounding this dramatic increase but a major change is the introduction of sugary drinks.  There is a great deal of sugar in soda pop, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened coffee and tea.  Even fruit juice can be a significant sugar source.

The campaign encouraged the community to drink water instead!!!  Many asked, what is so good about water…it helps in many ways!  It maintains healthy body weight and increases energy; decreases risk of certain types of cancer including colon, bladder and breast cancer; reduces joint pain, aids in digestion and much more.

The campaign was a multi-prong approach, education and a contest with the opportunity to win prizes.  During the month of May there were displays and pledge forms in 13 locations around the County.  The public, employees and students at the various locations filled out a weekly pledge form and kept track of their beverage consumption.  Each week names were drawn to win a stainless steel water bottle.  The last day to participate and turn in a tally sheet was Monday, June 2. 

Four lucky participants will win a grand prize of a $300 VISA gift card that will be drawn from a box of all entries during the month of May on Monday, June 9th at noon in the Bay Area Hospital lobby.  Many representatives from the sponsoring organizations will be on hand to celebrate the program that has been met with a great deal of success and enthusiasm.

We invite you to join us!