For Immediate Release – May 17, 2017
Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth sponsors day of action to raise awareness about the contents of popular sugary drinks
RICHMOND – On May 18 hundreds of Virginia organizations will be participating in the fifth annual Rev Your Bev Day, a statewide day of action raising awareness about the amount of sugar in everyday beverages as well as the health benefits of drinking healthy alternatives. Rev Your Bev Day is an initiative of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and its award-winning teen volunteer group Y Street.
“Rev Your Bev Day is a tremendous opportunity to reach out to Virginians across the state, build an understanding of the impact of sugar on your health and create new knowledge around ways to be healthier,” says VFHY Executive Director Marty Kilgore. “When one in three children in Virginia is obese or overweight, we have a responsibility to address nutrition issues — and sugar-sweetened beverages are one source of sugar and calories in the American diet.”
Y Street volunteer Sarah Chichester, a senior at Skyline High School in Front Royal, says, “I am so excited for Rev Your Bev Day 2017. I am ready to educate my community on sugary drinks, their harmful effects and offer up healthier alternatives they can drink instead. We also have an awesome new commercial out that will assist us in spreading the message this year!”
Local Rev Your Bev Day event hosts receive a free event kit from VFHY stocked with interactive learning tools, visual aids and beverage dispensers for infusing water with flavors like strawberry, cucumber or mint. Rev Your Bev Day participants also take a survey designed to assess their understanding of the sugar content and health impacts of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Over the past five years Rev Your Bev Day has grown from a standalone day of action to the centerpiece of a wide-ranging campaign to improve knowledge about the health benefits of drinking water instead of sweet tea, sports drinks and soda. This year the Rev Your Bev campaign is launching two new television commercials that will be aired throughout Virginia, as well as additional ads that will be delivered on radio, social media and online. VFHY has also developed “The Drink Profiler,” an online tool for assessing one’s daily sugar intake.
“Our most important goal for this campaign is to educate Virginians and give them the tools they need to make informed decisions,” Kilgore says. “Most people aren’t aware of just how much sugar they’re consuming, and while there’s nothing wrong with a sweet tea or latte, these can add up if you don’t have the knowledge.”
To learn more about Rev Your Bev Day and to see a full list of events statewide, visit RevYourBev.com.
About the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY)
Established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1999, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth empowers Virginia’s youth to make healthy choices by promoting active, nutritious and tobacco-free living. Since the Foundation began its work in 2001, high school smoking in Virginia has been cut by more than 70 percent and the number of middle school smokers has dropped by 85 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, day cares and prevention programs across the state. VFHY’s award-winning marketing campaigns deliver prevention messaging to more than 500,000 children annually. For more information, visit VFHY.org.
About Y Street
Started in 2004, Y Street is the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s teen volunteer group for high school students. Y Street youth work on obesity and tobacco-use prevention to help create a healthier Virginia. Y Street members have been invited to testify before the FDA and have worked on public health issues with top government officials, including the U.S. Surgeon General, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Virginia’s Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and the First Lady of Virginia. Since 2004, more than 8,000 teens statewide have participated in Y Street. For more information, visit YStreet.org.