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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.