Substitute water for sugary drinks

Daily Editorial Board

Sugary drink consumption in the United States is falling, but remains a problem worldwide. Foods and beverages with artificial sweeteners and added sugars remain prevalent, adding up to nearly three-quarters of the national food supply.  
 
Sugar-filled drinks remain especially popular among University of Minnesota students in the form of energy drinks, flavored coffees and even fruit juices. 
 
Also at risk for sugar consumption are children, who have experienced dramatic increases in obesity and diabetes rates over the last decade. 
 
This trend has prompted a reaction from the Minneapolis Health Department. A campaign called “ReThink Your Drink” aims to educate the public about the negative health consequences of sugary foods and drinks and to improve the available range of dietary options.
 
According to Minneapolis public health specialist Vish Vasani, one problem is that low-income communities have high rates of sugar consumption, especially because of sugary beverages. 
 
Dentists associations like Children’s Dental Services, which combats the corrosive effects of sugar on underserved children, have partnered with the MHD. 
 
We support “ReThink Your Drink,” and we urge community leaders and schools to get involved. However, we find it troubling that the campaign has yet to address the elephant in the room — many companies like Coca-Cola actively sponsor schools and ensure that their sugary products are readily available in them. 
 
To that end, “ReThink Your Drink” should also consider pursuing an end to the proliferation of sugary drinks in schools.