Boston launches Soda-Free Summer Challenge

Soda from a marketing perspective: “It’s bubbly, sweet and drinking it makes your life like a non-stop party!” The reality of excessive soda consumption: sugar-heavy sodas have been linked to America’s growing rates of obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease and depression.

In an effort to put a cap on young Bostonians’ soda drinking, the city is initiating the Soda-Free Summer Challenge, where participants pledge to abstain from drinking soda all summer. In exchange, participants are eligible to win great prizes like athletic gear, grocery gift cards, athletic club memberships and more. Sign up for the challenge here.

David Ludwig, MD, MPH, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Clinic was a keynote speaker at yesterday’s Soda-Free Summer Challenge launch, and with good reason; Ludwig has been an active player in the movement to create legislation aimed at reducing sugar and soda consumption among young people nationwide. He has done research on the subject, written and been interviewed on the topic for medical publications like the Journal of American Medical Association and Pediatrics, as well as mainstream media outlets like the New York Times, LA Times and the Boston Globe.

Not to be outdone by national publications with big time budgets, Thrive has also spoken at length with Ludwig on the dangers soft drinks pose for kids if their intake isn’t closely monitored and restricted. Check out our exclusive coverage on the dangers of too much soda for kids, as written by Dr. Ludwig: Artificially sweetened beverages: Is it nice to fool Mother Nature? and Taxing soda by the ounce?