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Soda Free Summer

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Background of Soda Free Summer
In 2007, the Alameda County Public Health Department, Nutrition Services launched the Soda Free Summer campaign to encourage youth and families to decrease consumption of soda and other sweetened beverages. Based on the success of that program, the Bay Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative implemented a regional Soda Free Summer (SFS) campaign in 2008 for all six Bay Area Counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara). The regional campaign reached over 100,000 community residents and generated over 2,000,000 media impressions for the campsfs_activitiesaign from the regional and local campaign launches. News of the success of SFS has spread and organizations from around the state have expressed interest in adopting the SFS model. BANPAC led another regional SFS campaign in 2009 and we are currently collecting and analyzing the number of people reached through campaign materials and media impressions.


San Francisco’s 2008 Soda Free Summer

sugarsavvybannerSan Francisco kicked off the 2008 SFS campaign with a carnival themed event at Francisco Middle School. Sixth graders participated in an interactive educational assembly, "Be Sugar Savvy," followed by a variety of other games and activities. SF’s Mayor Newsom presented a proclamation declaring it a Soda Free Summer in San Francisco. After the assembly, the sixth graders tested their knowledge with an "Are you more Sugar Savvy than a Fifth Grader?" contest. Shape Up SF Partners provided a variety of activities for students to enjoy. Among the most popular were guessing which teeth were soaked in different substances (soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, or water), and samples of "spa water", water flavored with a variety of slices of fresh fruit.

Bay Regional SFS Campaign Evaluation, funded by The California Endowment
Field Research Corp conducted the 2008 SFS evaluation. The full report is available online (PDF)

  • 600 telephone interviews with a random sample of Soda Free Summer (SFS) campaign participants from six Bay Area counties. Campaign participants were Bay Area residents who had returned a card pledging their commitment to being "Soda Free" during summer 2008. The survey assesses exposure to the campaign, changes in sweetened beverage consumption and support for policies that improve community nutrition environments.
  • Survey with 21 stakeholders to assess how partner organizations throughout the Bay Area were engaged in SFS

Highlights from the participant survey:

  • Almost half (47%) of the survey respondents who reported taking the SFS pledge say they decreased their soda consumption and 40% increased water consumption
  • Hispanic respondents reported drinking soda more frequently than other ethnic groups and over half (55%) said they recently decreased their soda consumption
  • Strong support exists among respondents for environmental changes that facilitate healthful eating.
  • Large majorities of respondents want governments at all levels to do more to combat childhood obesity.

The following chart shows the level of support for policy changes related to healthy nutrition:sfs_figure_3


Highlights from the stakeholder survey:

  • Stakeholders used the SFS campaign to educate staff within a wide array of organizations, as well as to reach a diverse group of at least 100,000 Bay Area residents.
  • Campaign success was attributed in part to the tools provided including posters, cards, brochures, demonstrations and Be Sugar Savvy Workshops.
  • The SFS campaign was regarded as effective in getting people to reduce sweetened beverage consumption and becoming more conscious of their overall sugar intake.
  • Half of the stakeholders reported an impact on their organizational policies regarding soda and unhealthy snacks and indicated they would support local or state policies limiting availability of soda and other unhealthy foods in their community.

San Francisco’s 2009 Soda Free Summer Introduces "Drink Water!" Said the Otter

Drink Water Said the Otter In addition to getting a signed proclamation from the State of California and the SF Board of Supervisors, declaring it a Soda Free Summer, Shape Up SF led the development of a new character, The Otter, to teach youth about the dangers of drinking too much soda and the importance of drinking water. Research shows that a child’s brain develops most dramatically in the first five years and what parents and caregivers do during these years to support their child’s growth will have a meaningful impact throughout life.

To encourage drinking water, Shape Up SF distributed free copies of a 12-page children’s book "‘Drink Water!’ Said the Otter" (DWSTO) and an accompanying toolkit including letters and fact sheets to parents/guardians, stickers, posters, and activity sheets to preschools, child care centers, caretakers and parents of children 5 and under throughout the Bay Area. In the fall of 2009, Shape Up SF sent a toolkit to every kindergarten and pre-kindergarten teacher in the San Francisco Unified School District and enough DWSTO books for each of their students to take one home and share with their family. Read about the launch of the DWSTO campaign. Download DWSTO materials such as posters, activity sheets, letters, and did you know facts.
Shape Up promoted the Soda Free message widely at all six Sunday Streets events in 2009, and are proud to announce that all nine 2010 Sunday Streets events will be soda free!
Last updated: 12/27/2013 4:46:27 PM