Healthy Vending Machine Options for Work

Nearly anyone who has ever gazed over the rows of brightly colored packages and deposited the right combination of coins and bills into a vending machine has noticed that most of the choices are unhealthy.   Lurking in the back of offices and schools, vending machines wait for people weakened by hunger pangs to come, change jingling in their pockets.  As most students and office workers know, making healthy choices is a difficult task, especially when hungry.   But there is hope for those square boxes full of snacky foods.
The Health District has developed point of purchase signs for vending machines, cafeteria lines and worksites to increase awareness and selection of healthier foods and beverages. We are creating ways to show employees which options are the healthiest and developing a toolkit to help businesses incorporate more healthy options into vending machines.
We have developed point of purchase signs that can be placed both on and around your vending machines, and worksites. These signs are FREE of charge and help indicated which items are the healthiest options. All signs are 8.5 x 11 in size. The signs come in both a cling form that will adhere directly to vending machines and glass surfaces or in the traditional form that you can affix to a wall.
We would love to work with your workplace to make changes to your vending machines to create healthier options for employees. If you are interested in receiving free clings or professionally-printed signage or help changing your vending machines, please email us at or call us at (702) 759-1270.

Homemade Powerade

A few days ago Coca-Cola’s President of Sparkling Beverages gave an interview to USA Today on her use of her company’s products. In it she recounts how immediately after her son’s lacrosse practice she rushes him over to a McDonald’s for a 32oz Powerade. In this video Dr. Freedhoff shows a humorous re-creation of what is in Powerade and its probably not too far off from the truth. Check it out here

Rethink your drink…its not just about soda!

It is officially the first day of Summer which means we are well on our way to a Soda Free Summer!  But this challenge isn’t just about not drinking soda, it’s about rethinking everything  you drink from your morning Starbuck’s fix, to your  carbonated beverage with dinner and all those sugar-sweetened liquids in between!!. So what exactly is a sugar sweetened beverage, you ask? It is a beverage sweetened with naturally-derived caloric sweeteners like sucrose (table sugar) or high fructose corn syrup.  And the list of drink that qualify as SSB’s is quite long!!!  It not only includes soda but,sports drinks or electrolyte drinks, sweetened tea, fruit-flavored drinks and punches, sweetened coffee drinks and others all make the list. For example, see how Gatorade, Starbucks and Monster compare to Coke in this diagram.

  Let’s look at sports drinks a little closer.  Sports drinks are marketed as a healthy alternative to soda., when in reality some sports drinks can have just as much sugar as a soda.  Many parents are confused by the nutritional content of sports drinks and think they are doing good by their kids by letting them drink these types of beverages.
Sports Drinks are designed for athletes or individuals participating in prolonged vigorous physical activity.  However they are now commonly consumed by youth and adults who might not even be doing any activity and even when children are active they do not engage in the level of activity to warrant such a drink. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children being vigorously active should drink water before, during, and after exercise. If children are participating in prolonged vigorous physical activity in hot, humid conditions for more than one hour, small amounts of sports drinks may be appropriate.  However, for the typical child or adolescent engaging in routine physical activity for less than three hours in normal weather conditions, the use of sports drinks in place of water is unnecessary.
The makers of sports drinks have led us to believe that water is not good enough, and that is just not true. more info.

They also market specifically to children and teenagers.  For example, Coca Cola developed a reduced-calorie, smaller-sized variety of Powerade sports drink  (Powerade Play) for younger children.  Powerade Play is advertised with the tagline, “The sports drink for the young athlete.”  And the re-branding of “Gatorade” as “G” in 2008 was meant to grab teenagers’ attention.
So the next time you or your child reach for a sports drink, think about it.  Do you really need it, or will water quench your thirst.  Rethink your drink!

Soda Free Summer Challenge!

Some call it soda and some call it pop, while others call it coke. But whatever you call it these fizzy sweet drinks can have a sour effect on your health.  Sugar sweetened beverages ( non-diet soda, energy drinks, sports drinks etc)  are the single largest source of calories in the American diet and account for half of all added sugars consumed. The single largest and it’s not even food!! And unlike any other food or beverage, only sugar sweetened beverages have been shown to have a causal role in promoting obesity. Each additional sugary drink consumed per day, according to one study, increases the likelihood that a child will become obese by about 60 percent. There is a strong indication that a soda drinking child is probably also an overweight or obese child. 
When you think about what you ate today, you probably don’t even think to include whatever you drank as well. But an average 20 oz bottle of soda contains 240 calories and about 16 packs of sugar! Not to mention refills. You could eat another small meal just in liquid!

If you want to do one simple thing to better your health and possibly lose weight…Stop drinking Soda..or pop or coke or whatever you might call it!

Together this summer lets pledge to kick the can and enjoy a SODA FREE SUMMER CHALLENGE! The Get Healthy Staff challenges you to not drink any soda this whole summer. We know this will be a challenge, we know it might leave you craving that bubbly beverage BUT we all know you can do it!  We will be writing regular posts about ways to wean yourself off the fizzy liquid, what drinks to consume instead, how marketing plays a role in how much we drink and more!

For now if you have any good tips for how you stopped drinking soda please leave us a comment and tell us about your journey, we would love to share your story!

Generic Names for Soft Drinks by County
Infographic Brought to you By Pop Vs. Soda
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Places to Play….find out all park info

Looking for a close place to get outside? Check out a local park in your neighborhood. Don’t know where your local parks are located? Check out our link to “Places to Play”  

Perhaps you are wondering where the dog parks are near your house. Maybe you wanted to go play tennis but you weren’t sure which parks have tennis courts. Its possible you wanted to go play catch or kick the soccer ball but you wanted to know what parks have open fields to use…..Check out our Places to Play! All your park info in one easy to use place!!

To win, we have to lose

Ever cringe when you step on the scale? Now, think of the entire country stepping on that scale. Imagine the weight of our nation… 
HBO along with the nation’s leading research institutions bring to us a film that discusses the consequences and challenges of obesity that Americans face. Through individual stories, this film describes how the strong forces at work in our society are causing children and adults to consume too many calories and expend too little energy; tackling subjects from school lunches to the decline of physical education, the demise of school recess and the marketing of unhealthy food to children. This fascinating film uncovers a real look at the weight of our nation. To win, we have to lose.
To watch this four part captivating documentary visit