It may sound simple, but a new campaign encouraging Kansans not to drink soft drinks on Sundays is part of an important effort to create healthy choices and reduce medical costs.
Kansas Action for Children, a Topeka-based child advocacy organization, is spearheading a statewide “Pass on Pop” campaign. It is encouraging Kansans to sign a pledge – at kac.org/passonpop or at facebook.com/passonpop – to go soda-free on Sundays.
Unlike some attempts to restrict food or drink options, this campaign focuses on making healthier choices, not taking away choices, KAC president and CEO Shannon Cotsoradis told The Eagle editorial board.
It can be difficult to make lifestyle changes, so the campaign recommends starting small by forgoing pop (and other sugar-added beverages) one day a week. It picked Sunday because it is a good day to make changes as a family or community, KAC said.
The campaign is supported by a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, which also is backing initiatives by four other organizations to create healthy food and beverage options in Kansas.
This is also an important public policy issue. An estimated $1.3 billion is spent annually in Kansas on obesity-related health care expenditures – a significant share of which is paid for by the state and federal governments.
Passing on pop is a small step, but it’s a valuable start in addressing a big problem.