Familiar words, right? You’ve heard them from your mom, your teachers, and public ad campaigns. You’ve seen them along the freeway, in restaurants, and in small letters at the bottom of a TV commercial. Usually, they refer to alcohol. Imagine my delight when, for the first time ever, I saw them in reference to something different.
As a registered dietitian, I was overjoyed when I saw this sign posted above the soda fountain at Liberty Market in downtown Gilbert, Arizona. I was enjoying a leisurely Sunday lunch with my sweetheart when I glanced across the restaurant and saw this. I wish I could copy/paste this warning to the top of every soda tap in the world. I immediately excused myself to snap a picture with my phone.
Wherever I go, I find myself doing this. When I read the news, I usually go to the food & culture page first. At bookstores, I never leave without a stroll through the health and nutrition section. After years of sharing pictures, articles, and thoughts on Facebook, I finally decided to turn my compulsion into something a little more formal. This is my second attempt at blogging, and hopefully more successful than the first – a blog of weekly resolutions that ran out of steam after about 3 months. Given my history, though, I have higher hopes for this one!
Some months ago, I took a trip to California with the aforementioned sweetheart. We started the weekend in Sacramento, where we visited The California Museum to see their exhibit on furniture designer Ray Eames. Luckily for me, one of the other ongoing exhibits at the museum was called Health Happens Here. The exhibit highlights some of the factors that affect our health: nutrition, physical activity, education, safety, and location. Unsurprisingly, my favorite features were the ones about nutrition. Here’s a shot of one of their pieces, a soda machine refashioned to highlight the health consequences of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages:
Here’s a close-up of the options on offer.
There’s so much that can be said about soda from health and economic perspectives. I’ll leave you with just a few short references.
- The link between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity
- The healthcare costs of obesity
- Finally, a highly recommended article on soda consumption in Mexico, the country with the highest per capita consumption in the world. The pictures alone are worth a look.