Statewide survey examines Virginia’s consumption and perception of sugar-sweetened beverages
RICHMOND – A new statewide survey of more than 8,900 Virginia residents found that one in three respondents (33 percent) consumed at least one sugar-sweetened beverage per day during the past week, including more than one-third (35 percent) of 5- to 19-year-olds. The survey also found that many Virginians are unaware of the health impact of sugar-sweetened beverages.
The survey was conducted by members of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s award-winning high school volunteer group Y Street as part of Rev Your Bev Day, a statewide day of action hosted by VFHY to raise awareness about the health effects of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. The second annual Rev Your Bev Day will be held on May 14 in communities across Virginia.
More than 175 organizations throughout Virginia held Rev Your Bev Day events in May 2013, collecting 8,950 surveys using a sample of convenience in 300 zip codes statewide.
Additional survey findings included:
· Only half (51 percent) of respondents could correctly identify beverages sweetened with sugar.
· Respondents who live in Southwest Virginia were least likely (59 percent) to think they drink too many sugar-sweetened beverages, but reported consuming more sugar-sweetened beverages than respondents who live in other regions.
The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth is also excited to announce the second annual Rev Your Bev Day. On May 14 youth volunteers, teachers, community organizations and health advocates across the state will once again come together to help change the way Virginians think about what they drink. Rev Your Bev Day 2014 will focus on Virginians’ knowledge about sugar-sweetened beverages and provide education about the energy balance equation to help Virginians make the healthiest choices for themselves and their families. A Free Rev Your Bev Day Toolkit – which includes all the materials needed to host an event – will be available to groups who qualify to host a Rev Your Bev Day event. For more information on Rev Your Bev Day 2014, visit www.RevYourBev.com.
Y Street will serve as an important partner for Rev Your Bev Day 2014. In addition to hosting numerous Rev Your Bev Day events, Y Street members are launching a Rev Your Bev Day speaker’s bureau comprised of nine talented, passionate and enthusiastic Y Street members. These youth will be speaking at select Rev Your Bev Day events, serving as consultants to event organizers and demonstrating to their peers in the community that making healthy beverage choices is an important issue for all ages.
Tausif Islam, a Y Street member from Park View High School in Sterling, is volunteering for Rev Your Bev Day because she’s concerned about the amount of sugar kids have in their diets. “I cannot wait for Rev Your Bev Day,” she says, “because I feel it’s important for the youth to be aware of what they’re putting into their bodies.”
About the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth:
Established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1999, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth is responsible for statewide efforts to prevent and reduce youth tobacco use and childhood obesity. Since the Foundation began its work in 2001, high school smoking in Virginia has been cut more than in half and the number of middle school smokers has dropped more than 70 percent!
The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth directly reaches about 50,000 children each year through classroom-based prevention programs in public schools, after-school programs, community centers, daycares and other youth centers across the state. VFHY’s award-winning marketing campaign delivers prevention messages to more than 450,000 children annually through TV and radio ads and Internet content.
For more information about the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, please visit our website at https://www.vfhy.org/.
About Y Street
Y Street is the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s award-winning youth-led volunteer program with a mission to increase public awareness and knowledge of two critical health issues: obesity and tobacco. To date, more than 6,500 teens have participated in Y Street across Virginia. Y Street members have presented data from their health surveys to top government officials, including the U.S. Surgeon General, committee members at the Food and Drug Administration, and Virginia’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of Health and Human Resources.