Sugary beverage consumption continues to be one of the leading causes of childhood obesity. While Colorado is the least obese state for the adult population, the prevalence of overweight and obese children has risen substantially since 2003. According to data collected by the Healthy Beverage Partnership, a significant factor is that in Colorado, 18.2% of children consume at least one sugary drink per day. Sugary drinks are just “empty” calories. Consumption is directly linked to expensive, chronic illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
To help Colorado’s kids create lifelong, heart healthy habits, the American Heart Association is excited to announce that our local advocacy and health strategies teams partnered with Longmont’s City Council to pass the Healthy Beverages for Children’s Meals Ordinance in the City.
The ordinance makes it easy for kids to select healthy beverages when dining out. Longmont dining establishments will now make still water or sparkling water with no added sugar, or dairy milk or nondairy milk substitutes with no added sugar the default choice on restaurants kids’ meal menus.
Our work isn’t done. We’re putting the health of Colorado’s kids first and are working with local municipalities in Denver and Golden to pass additional beverage ordinances. Stay tuned for updates on the work that we’re doing locally around these healthy beverage ordinances as we work to create a healthier Colorado for all.