The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut has a new study out on the Howard County Unsweetened campaign.
The study’s key findings:
- Sales of sugar-sweetened soda declined nearly 20 percent
- Sales of 100 percent juice fell 15 percent
- Sales of fruit drinks with added sugars fell a little more than 15 percent
The study attributes the success of the campaign to its policy work:
- Eliminating sugary drinks in school vending machines
- Increasing access to water in schools
- Getting a state law passed to improve healthy drinks in childcare centers
- Getting a state law passed to make healthier drinks available on government sites
- Engaging nearly 50 community organizations to offer healthier drinks
It also notes community-wide public health outreach efforts:
- TV ads, social media messages, and online ads
- Direct dissemination of public health information at community and athletic events, local swimming pools, and health fairs
- Training of healthcare professionals
This was a big effort. Big efforts pay off.