Staten Island: Rethink Your Drinks

Put down the mocha latte and step away from the sugary energy drink.

On Tuesday, June 27, the Staten Island Child Wellness Initiative unveiled its new campaign to bring awareness to disparities in sugary drink marketing. More than a dozen community members gathered at the Pride Center of Staten Island to view a gallery about the dangers of sugary drinks and targeted marketing efforts by companies to black and Hispanic communities.

Here are some of the incredible stats shared through the gallery:

  • From 2008 to 2010, children’s and teens’ exposure to full-calorie soda ads on TV doubled (Fact from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut)
  • People of color are more likely to have limited access to healthy beverages, more inclined to consume sugary beverages, and more affected by preventable chronic diseases (Fact from Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
  • Sugary drinks and energy drinks often featured positive nutrition messages, including ‘all-natural’ or ‘real’ ingredient claims on 64% of packages  (Fact from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut)
  • Overall, Black youth saw more than twice as many TV ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks compared with white youth (Fact from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut)
  • Food and beverage companies disproportionately target marketing efforts promoting sugary drinks toward people of color (Fact from Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
  • Hispanic children saw 49% more ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks in 2010 than in 2008; in the same period of time, Hispanic teens saw 99% more ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks (Fact from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut)

Following the gallery walk through, visitors were welcomed into the conference room at the Pride Center of Staten Island, where

Dr. Ginny Mantello, Director of Health and Wellness at the Office of the Borough President, spoke about the consequences of sugary drink consumption. Members of the community chimed in with suggestions on how to better reach Staten Islanders. All attendees then walked to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal – St. George – to view the advertisement, which will run for the next five weeks.

To finish off a wonderful day dedicated to wellness on Staten Island, the group visited The Living Room, managed by Greensulate.

To learn more about the Staten Island Child Wellness Initiative, visit our website.

Nonprofit Urges Staten Islanders to Rethink their Sugary Drinks this Summer

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK (June 26, 2017) – Are you constantly reaching for sugary beverages to quench your thirst? If so, the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness (SIPCW) is asking you to rethink your drink. The nonprofit health organization announced today a new advertising campaign at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and a gallery event on June 27 to highlight disparities in sugary beverage marketing.

Sugary drinks are linked to chronic health problems such as heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. However, according to the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut, sugary drinks and energy drinks often feature positive nutrition messages on more than half of packages.

Making matters worse, sugary drink advertisements often target Black and Hispanic communities, where there are already higher rates of obesity. The Rudd Center also found that black children and teens saw more than twice as many ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks on TV compared with white children and teens in 2013, and advertising for sugary drinks and energy shots on Spanish-language TV increased by 44 percent from 2010 to 2013.

“Our message to Staten Islanders is simple: don’t be played and swayed by sugary beverage advertisements,” said Adrienne Abbate, Executive Director of SIPCW. “The regular consumption of these drinks can lead to a lifetime of health problems. Just because you have a certain ethnicity and live in a certain community, you shouldn’t have to experience poorer health outcomes because of targeted and irresponsible drink advertising.”

Beginning today, SIPCW’s public service advertisement calling attention to this important topic will be displayed at the Staten Island Ferry terminal in St. George. Tomorrow, June 27, community members will gather at the Pride Center of Staten Island to view a gallery presentation about sugary drink ads and hear from Dr. Ginny Mantello, Health and Wellness Director at the Office of the Borough President. Dr. Mantello will speak about the Borough President’s “Sodabriety” program and the health issues that stem from sugar intake. Following the gallery viewing, the group will march to the Staten Island Ferry terminal to view the ad.

This advertising campaign has been developed with the help of partners who are members of the recently launched Staten Island Child Wellness Initiative. The Child Wellness Initiative is a cross sector coalition of more than 60 organizations, comprised of community stakeholders, schools, community-based organizations, youth-serving organizations, food justice partners, healthcare systems, elected officials, faith-based leaders, parents, and children from Staten Island and New York City who have come together to fight the alarming levels of childhood obesity on Staten Island.

To learn more about the Staten Island Child Wellness Initiative and how you can get involved, visit SIPCW.org/childhood-wellness.

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ABOUT SIPCW

The Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness is a non-profit organization established to promote wellness and to improve the health of the Staten Island community through collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach. For more than 20 years SIPCW has addressed critical public health issues such as obesity, chronic disease prevention and behavioral health on Staten Island. Over the span of the past two decades, SIPCW has successfully convened stakeholders, enabled data-driven decisions and identified evidence-based strategies to collectively approach complex health issues for at-risk communities on Staten Island.

 

Coalition Launches Staten Island Child Wellness Initiative to Address Childhood Obesity

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK (June 7, 2017) – With a staggering 38.9 percent of Staten Island students in Kindergarten through 8th grade classified as either overweight or obese, a new coalition has formed to reduce childhood obesity and the associated burden of chronic illness to ensure that SI children have a healthy future.

The Staten Island Child Wellness Initiative (CWI) launched today during an event at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Facility to coincide with Global Running Day. The event, sponsored by the Office of the Borough President James S. Oddo and The Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness (SIPCW), was supported by New York Road Runners and the New York City Parks Department.

The CWI is a cross sector coalition of more than 60 organizations, comprised of community stakeholders, schools, community-based organizations, youth-serving organizations, food justice partners, healthcare systems, elected officials, faith-based leaders, parents, and children from Staten Island and New York City who have come together to fight the alarming levels of childhood obesity on Staten Island.

The idea for the CWI was generated out of a series of meetings of Borough President Oddo’s Health and Wellness Advisory Council when participants engaged in spirited discussions about how they could have the greatest impact on Staten Island’s health outcomes, particularly young people. Thanks to generous funding from The Staten Island Foundation, and a strong partnership between Borough President Oddo and SIPCW, the SI CWI has worked tirelessly on creating a thorough and ambitious action plan working to increase opportunities for healthy living where children and families live, learn, and receive care.

“Back in 2015 my Health and Wellness Council and I decided to focus on childhood wellness as the specific area where we should focus our attention and resources to make a maximum impact on the health of Staten Islanders,” said Borough President Oddo. “As someone who visits many of our schools on at least a monthly basis, it is clear to see that childhood obesity is a real problem that must be addressed to prevent a lifetime of illness.  That is why I am working so hard on piloting a new model for physical education based on the Naperville, Illinois experience reported in the book ‘Spark’ by Dr. John Ratey.  The CWI is ambitious, but so necessary, and I thank my partners at SIPCW and so many others for all their work thus far and to come.”

“By working together with partners across Staten Island to address this urgent issue, we can shape a healthy future for our children, and reverse the rising rates of obesity in our borough,” said Adrienne Abbate, Executive Director of the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness.  “Although this is a borough-wide initiative, the CWI will use data to target communities and neighborhoods that have higher need and poorer health outcomes.”

By 2026, the CWI aims to improve child health and wellness on Staten Island by:

  • Increasing accessibility and opportunities for active living
  • Increasing the availability and affordability of fresh and healthy food
  • Creating community-wide partnerships that shape the environment where a child lives, learns plays and receives healthcare
  • Bringing 80 percent of Staten Island children below high school age to a healthy weight

The CWI’s progress will be measured by changes in BMI over time in Staten Island children.

Today’s event featured an array of speakers and presenters from across New York. Deputy Mayor Dr. Herminia Palacio and Dr. Abigail Velikov from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene spoke about the issue of obesity and presented the problem from a medical standpoint. Meghan Rossi, co-founder and chief operations officer of Moral Kings, discussed the importance of partnerships with parents and businesses. Staten Island Borough President James S. Oddo shared his support for the initiative in the closing remarks.

The CWI is actively seeking partners and funding to implement the blueprint across Staten Island. To make a donation, visit the CWI’s fundraising website. To learn more about the CWI and how you can get involved, visit SIPCW.org/childhood-wellness.

ADDITIONAL QUOTE

“We are proud to stand with Staten Island Borough President Oddo and the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness to support the Child Wellness Initiative and its mission to improve the quality of life for the young residents of Staten Island. The launch is an exciting addition to the roster of Global Running Day events in Staten Island, which includes an NYRR Open Run at Silver Lake Park,” said Mike Schnall, vice president of community engagement initiatives at New York Road Runners. “Since 1999, New York Road Runners has offered free youth running programs to kids across the country and here in New York City’s five boroughs. We have seen firsthand the health benefits associated with getting kids active from an early age.”

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 ABOUT SIPCW

The Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness is a non-profit organization established to promote wellness and to improve the health of the Staten Island community through collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach. For more than 20 years SIPCW has addressed critical public health issues such as obesity, chronic disease prevention and behavioral health on Staten Island. Over the span of the past two decades, SIPCW has successfully convened stakeholders, enabled data-driven decisions and identified evidence-based strategies to collectively approach complex health issues for at-risk communities on Staten Island.