Bexar co. health group launches campaign aimed at sugar

New campaign pushes for less sugar in diet

Sugar: You drink more than you think.

Health officials say 29 percent of Bexar County residents are considered obese, and according to local research, the culprit is sugary drinks.

The Bexar Healthy Beverage Coalition just launched a campaign to help families make better choices in their diets. It's called, 'Is your Drink Sugar-Packed?'

The coalition is made up of members from the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Bexar County, The Health Collaborative, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, University Hospital and others working together to bring awareness of the excess sugar we consume.

Part of the message: 'You would never eat 16 packets of sugar. so why drink them?'

"It's a specific campaign zeroing in on where most of the sugar is coming from. And it's an education campaign - not one that tells people, 'Don't drink this or don't ever have any sugar' - it's an education campaign so they will better understand the intake they are getting with sugar drinks," said Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.

Your favorite 20 oz. soda, energy drink or fruit punch has anywhere from 13 to 16 packets of sugar per drink.

Leaders with The Health Collaborative said they did research looking into what diseases and conditions are prevalent in the community. They say it's apparent that sugar in sweetened beverages plays a big role in our health problems.

Health officials say the twin epidemics of obesity and diabetes have hit us hard in Bexar county and San Antonio. We rank as the most overweight large metro area in Texas.

With the average American consuming 80 pounds of sugar per year, The Health Collaborative has set up a website with information on healthy drink alternatives and even an easy sugar calculator to tell you how much sugar is in your favorite sweet drink.

Some good news? The local obesity rate has gone down from 35 percent of the population to about 29 percent.


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