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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.