Childhood obesity remains an American epidemic – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every five children ages 6-19 is obese. Overweight and obese children are at increased risk of developing chronic disease, such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as social and psychological problems. The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB’S) is one factor that contributes to obesity and research shows that substituting zero calorie water in place of SSB’s can help reduce weight gain. In Contra Costa County, 17% of youth ages 12-17 drank one or more soda the previous day. Recognizing a need to create a positive impact, Contra Costa County 4-H and Nutrition Family and Consumer Science (NFCS) Advisors collaborated to educate teens at John Swett High School (JSHS) in the Bay Area, where 55 percent of the teens qualify for free and reduced lunch.
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