“How much sugar is in your drink?”
That’s the question Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Elementary School’s Health Action Team (HAT) asked fellow peers after learning about the downside of choosing sugary drinks over water.
To help keep the school community healthy, HAT member held presentations to students in grades 1 to 8 which relayed two key messages, “Rethink your Drink” and “Choose Water First for Thirst.”
Working with HAT teacher advisors and the school public health nurse, members created interactive learning sessions that tested students’ knowledge of sugar levels in common beverages, while focusing on the benefits of choosing water. Student attendees had a chance to put some common drinks (e.g. juice, coffee, energy drinks, and soft drinks) in order from what they thought had the least amount to most amount of added sugars.
With increased sugar levels, students are also at a high risk for cavities.
HAT members encouraged classmates who have sugary drinks to rinse with water after the snack or lunch and, where possible, brush their teeth. They also learned that added sugars also contribute to the risk of heart disease, diabetes and unhealthy weights.
To help students make healthier choices moving forward, HAT members explained how to calculate added sugars in drinks using nutrition labels.
Some students were surprised to learn how much added sugar is in some drinks, said Public Health Nurse Maureen Kelly.
“Promoting hydration, given our brain is about 77% water, is a great way to support social-emotional learning,” she said, adding that choosing water over sugaring drinks is essential for not only physical health, but mental.
“A hydrated brain improves our ability to learn, manage our emotions and behavior, and reduces the unwanted risk of headaches due to dehydration.”
We’ll cheers to that.