The American Heart Association recommends that children ages 8 and under consume no more than 13 grams of added sugar each day, and children 8 to 17 consume no more than 20 to 30 grams per day. One bottle of Mountain Dew contains 77 grams of sugar, and other drinks like juice, iced tea, Gatorade, and Vitamin Water are not much better.
On April 27 students at Crescent Park Elementary learned how much sugar is in their favorite drinks thanks to a display provided by Bethel Family Health Center. AmeriCorps VISTA member Eva Greenthal set up the display for kids to interact with as they waited in line for lunch. The display asked “How Much Sugar Do You Drink?” and Greenthal talked to students about how much sugar a growing body needs, as well as the negative effects of consuming too much sugar. They learned that water is the best thirst quencher and the best choice of drink for growing bodies. The health center also provided toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss courtesy of Sharon Smith-Bouchard, IPDH who offers dental hygiene services at Bethel Family Health Center. The program was made possible through the HealthReach Youth Initiative, a program that promotes nutrition and physical activity to children and families in HealthReach communities. The Youth Initiative offers other programs for schools, including classroom lessons on healthy snacks, a StoryWalk, and more.