By MAGGIE MENDERSKI
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The Adams County Health Department has teamed up with the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Rethink Your Drink Month is a statewide campaign to limit the number of sugar-sweetened beverages Illinois residents drink. Emily Andrews, an AmeriCorps member with the Adams County Health Department, said the health department will challenge the community to drink 8 ounces of water eight times per day.
She explained avoiding the extra sugar intake can reduce risk for obesity, while drinking extra water can help flush toxins from the body. Andrews said drinking just one sugar-sweetened beverage per day increases an adult's risk for becoming overweight by 27 percent.
"People are pretty shocked when they realize how much sugars are in the drinks that they consume," Andrews said.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that people make small choices throughout the day to reduce overall calorie intake. Swapping a 16-ounce latte with whole milk for a 12-ounce latte with fat-free milk can cut back more than 150 calories. Replacing a full-calorie soda with seltzer water and a splash of fruit juice can omit more than 200 calories from a diet.
Sugary beverages make up 46 percent of added sugars in the American diet. The Adams County Health Department urges residents to drink beverages with less than 5 grams of sugar per 12 ounces. Andrews said often individuals pay more attention to the flavor of the beverage than the actual sugar intake.
Andrews said the health department has issued challenge cards to local government agencies, schools, after-school programs, hospitals and work places. The cards help the individuals keep track of beverages consumed. Anyone who successfully completes the 8 ounces of water eight times per day challenge will be entered into a raffle. Andrews said the Adams County Health Department has not yet determined the raffle's prize. The contest runs through Feb. 21.
CALORIES IN A 20 OUNCE BEVERAGE
Fruit punch 320
100% apple juice 300
100% orange juice 280
Regular lemon/lime soda 247
Regular cola 227
Sweetened lemon iced tea (bottled, not homemade) 225
Tonic water 207
Regular ginger ale 207
Sports drink 165
Fitness water 36
Unsweetened iced tea 3
Diet soda 0
Carbonated water 0