City launches campaign promoting healthier beverage choices

Minneapolis has a new campaign called ReTHINK Your Drink — a program promoting healthier beverage choices among its residents.

The city’s Health Department will be partnering with various organizations to engage and educate the community about the adverse health effects sugary drinks can have.

“The main goal is to educate residents about sugary drinks, second to promote healthier options, and third, of course, to encourage people to choose the healthier beverage when they are thirsty instead of sugary drinks,” MHD Public Health Specialist Vish Vasani said.

Engagement will take many forms in order to read a wide audience, Vasani said. ReTHINK Your Drink may visit city-wide and community events, send out a regular newsletter through its website, as well as reach out directly to workplaces, asking them to “create healthy beverage environments.”

The campaign is the city’s response to statistics citing sugary drinks as the one of the largest source of calories in the U.S.

Studies have linked sugary drinks to increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Recently, a report published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation found an estimated 25,000 deaths in the U.S. were linked to sugary drinks, in 2010.

Vasani said now is the perfect time for Minneapolis residents to start considering healthier beverage options. “There’s no better time to start rethinking your drink than summer, so we’re really excited to officially launch the campaign,” she said.