Many people don’t realize how much sugar is found in common beverages such as soda, flavored waters, juice, sports drinks, and coffee drinks. Although, many factors influence the rates of obesity and being overweight, scientific evidence supports the association between sugar-sweetened beverage, known as SSB, consumption and an increased prevalence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and other chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. The largest single source of excess non-nutritional calories in America comes from sodas. A 20 ounce bottle of soda contains approximately 250 calories and 17 teaspoons of sugar. Drinking 20 ounces of soda per day may lead to gaining 25 pounds per year. Once considered a Saturday night treat, soda is now a significant daily caloric contributor.
Today, hospitals are implementing healthy beverage policies and are replacing sugary drinks with healthier beverage choices. The Holy Redeemer Health System has taken a leadership role in transitioning to healthier choices and believes, as one of our values, we must not just promote, but exemplify health and wellness to the staff, patients, visitors and surrounding community. In the Fall of 2016 the Rethink Your Drink Healthy Beverage Initiative was implemented throughout the Holy Redeemer Health System to increase healthy beverage options for the patients in the hospital and what is offered in the vending machine, gift shop, cafeteria and during staff meetings.
Rethink Your Drink is a three color-coded system, using the traffic light analogy, to provide a visual association to differentiate the beverages that should be consumed freely from green to yellow to “rarely” red. The goal is not to just educate about healthier choices, but to make it easier and accessible to have the direct experience and create a new sustainable healthy behavior.
Please go on green! Choosing the right beverage is important to maintain weight, hydration, teeth and bone health, and feeling more energized.