Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Boston Launches Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Awareness Campaign

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Boston Launches Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Awareness Campaign

Article excerpt

As Boston phases out sales of sugar-sweetened drinks in city-owned buildings, Mayor Thomas M. Menino has unveiled a public awareness campaign to encourage residents to reduce consumption of the beverages, which are linked to rising obesity rates.

Developed by the Boston Public Health Commission, the campaign targets parents and caregivers, who often make grocery-buying decisions for their households, and teens and young adults, who consume more sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweet teas and other sweetened beverages than any other age group.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through an initiative called Communities Putting Prevention to Work, the campaign began in September with a media blitz that includes television, radio, web, print and billboard advertising.

The campaign launched a month before the mayor's executive order to phase out the sale, advertising and promotion of sugar-sweetened beverages in municipal buildings was set to take effect.

Signed in April, the executive order gave city buildings and departments until October 7 to phase out the sale of beverages known to be loaded with sugar, such as non-diet sodas, pre-sweetened ice teas, refrigerated coffee drinks, sports drinks and juice drinks with added sugar.

The order also prohibits promotion of such beverages in city buildings through sponsorship agreements with city departments. The new rules apply to cafeterias, vending machines, concession stands and beverages served at meetings, city-run programs and events where food is purchased with city dollars. …

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