Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Boulder County Board of Health votes to reject beverage industry funding

The Boulder County Board of Health approved a resolution prohibiting Boulder County Public Health from receiving in-kind or cash donations from the sugar-sweetened beverage industry. The resolution is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.

Between 2009 and 2014, beverage companies spent more than $100 million to defeat public health efforts to reduce sugary drink consumption.

“As a public health agency, we are charged with protecting and promoting the public’s health,” said Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health Executive Director. “When our residents are struggling with heart disease, unhealthy weight, and diabetes and these diseases are linked to consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, we are obligated to take a stand.”

While Boulder County Public Health has not received funding from the beverage industry, the Board of Health resolution illustrates the agency’s commitment to be unbiased and evidence-based and serves as a model for other organizations.
The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and dental cavities. Drinking just 1 sugary drink per day increases a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes by 25%, for childhood obesity by 55%, and for death from heart disease by 30%.

In Boulder County, 45% of adults and 21% of children ages 1-14 years are obese or overweight.

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