A recently launched campaign on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas is urging students, faculty, and staff to think twice about drinking sugary beverages.
The university has launched a Rethink Your Drink campaign in an effort to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, a major contributor to Arkansas’s obesity epidemic. Jenna Davidson, director of UCA’s Office of Student Wellness and Development, worked with UCA Employee Wellness Coordinator Alicia Landry and Campus dietician Lauren Allinson to create a campus action plan using the Healthy Active Arkansas Rethink Your Drink toolkit.
The action plan includes a series of educational events in the Student Center where non-sugary drinks are available for free and nutrition experts are on hand to provide guidance. The next event is scheduled for today (Sept. 23) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Other items in the action plan include a challenge to the university’s faculty and staff to go 30 days without drinking any beverages containing added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or alcohol; a Bring Your Water Bottle to Work/School Day; placement of Rethink Your Drink posters and related materials around campus; social media and email campaigns; and a webinar for UCA employees. More details are available here.
ACHI, a partner in Healthy Active Arkansas, has provided UCA with refillable water bottles to hand out at its Rethink Your Drink educational events. ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson and Baptist Health CEO Troy Wells, vice chairman and chairman, respectively, of Healthy Active Arkansas, visited the UCA Student Center during an educational event on Thursday, Sept. 19. They spoke with the campaign’s organizers and viewed a display illustrating, with sugar cubes, how much added sugar various beverages contain.
Healthy Active Arkansas is a 10-year framework to increase the number of Arkansans at a healthy weight. There are nine priority areas, including sugar-sweetened beverage reduction and healthy worksites, that include evidence-based strategies that impact the health of the state.