Healthier Beverage Environments

Overconsumption of sugary drinks is one of the leading causes of obesity today. We consume about 50 gallons of them per year! In King County, WA over half of adults and nearly one-third of children are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and depression. As a part of our work with Public Health – Seattle & King Count, we are searching for organizations in King County that believe in creating a healthier environment for staff, visitors, and patrons.

Be a leader – have your organization take our healthy beverage environment challenge today!

Why make a commitment to a healthier beverage environment?

  • You have an opportunity to be a part of the solution when it comes to the obesity epidemic. By creating a healthier balance of options in your organization for employees and visitors, you can make healthy choices within reach.
  • Setting an example of healthy institutional policies and practices can influence other King County organizations.

Put something healthy within reach of you, your colleagues and your visitors. Commit to a healthier beverage environment!

What are sugary drinks?

  • Sugary drinks are any drink with an added caloric sweetener. They provide little or no nutritional value; yet pack a large dose of sugar and calories.
  • Sugary drinks include non-diet sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened fruit and vitamin drinks, and sweetened coffee and tea.


Why provide healthier beverages instead of sugary drinks?

  • Sugary drinks are a leading cause of obesity today.
  • Unlike food, sugary drinks don’t tend to make us full, so we drink the calories – leading to weight gain and other health consequences.
  • A typical 20oz bottle of soda contains 16 teaspoons of sugar and 240 calories. In order to burn off these additional calories, one would have to walk briskly for 3 miles.
  • Each additional daily serving of soda increases a child’s risk of obesity by 60%.
  • Adults who drink one or more SSBs a day are 27% more likely to be overweight or obese.


How do marketing and corporate sponsorships affect us?

  • Marketing of unhealthy products is pervasive and targets us where we live, work, learn and play. Unfortunately, children are often most affected.
  • Healthy marketing strategies, on the other hand, can help to promote the healthiest beverage options (e.g. water, non/low-fat milk) by making them affordable, accessible, and prominent (e.g. placed at eye-level).
  • Corporate sponsorships can dictate that unhealthy products be highly visible and advertised, and run counter to an organization’s healthy mission.

It is possible to make this change without negatively impacting beverage revenues?

  • It is possible to change the beverage mix and maintain beverage revenues.
  • Many organizations have reduced or eliminated sales of regular soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, juices with added sugar, sweetened coffee and tea, and whole or 2% milk without a sustained loss in profits.


Stories of Success in King county

  • Seattle Parks and Recreation adopted a 100% healthy vending policy.
  • The Seattle School Board voted to keep advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages out of schools.
  • Walt Disney took a stand against childhood obesity by applying nutritional standards for food and beverage advertisers and making an effort to offer healthier options at their amusement parks.