Don't Sugarcoat our Future

Pacoima Beautiful has been working on a collaborative effort with health organizations such as Community Health Councils, Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Dignity Health, Occidental College, Families in Good Health, California Food Policy Advocates, Roots of Change, California Center for Public Health Advocacy, American Heart Association and many more health advocates to reduce the amount of sugar in beverages and educate the community on the impact that sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) have on our health. In the month of February, the collaborative launched a social media campaign titled “Don’t Sugarcoat our Future” where individuals were encouraged to write about how sugar sweetened beverages impacted them, what they would like to see elected representatives do about SSBs or what they want to see change about SSBs.

At our February Members Meeting, Community Organizers, Mercedes and Mariaelena led community members through the social media campaign and educated them about the health risks SSBs can induce.  The activity brought up many questions ranging from how much sugar in contained in a can of Coke to the amount of sugar found in fruit juice marketed for children. Both organizers educated community members about the difference between the nutritional value in sugars found in fruits and vegetables to the sugars found in sugar sweetened beverages and their empty nutritional value that leads to overconsumption. This overconsumption can lead to health risks such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay.

Some of the captions shared by the members include concerns about family members diagnosed with diabetes, how much sugar is contained in children’s fruit juices, how we can avoid obesity and diabetes if informed about the actual amount of sugar we are consuming and wanting a natural alternative that is healthy.

We look forward to educating the community on the impacts of SSBs and will continue to work with our lawmakers and fellow health advocates to push for legislation that promotes transparency to help our communities make better decisions.