No More Sugary Sodas!
The Lodi District Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 envisioning project- Vision2020- created Vision Action Teams (VATs) to tackle five areas of improvement for our community: Workforce Development, Economic Competitiveness,Livability, Business & Community Health, and Tourism. While these five VATs have evolved and narrowed in their goals over the years, a city-wide initiative emerged from the Business & Community Health VAT to combat agrowing epidemic in Lodi. Did you know that by the beginning of 2020, 50% of Lodi’s population will be pre-Diabetic or Diabetic? This statistic is higher than San Joaquin County’s average of 1 in 3 people being pre-Diabetic or Diabetic by 2020. Healthy Lodi’s kick-off breakfast took place in January at Hutchins Street Square and the outcome shocked us all- over 100 local businesses agreed to join the effort to supply their employees and families with healthier alternatives.
According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that men have no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day and women have no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day. The average soda contains 35 to 40 grams – or 7 to 9 teaspoons- of added sugar. More than your recommended days consumption comes from one soda, and we know that doesn’t include any other item with added sugar during the day. Eating and drinking foods that have added sugar is a cause of the diabetic- and subsequently the obesity epidemic- in the United States. Added sugar is also linked to increased risks of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inflammation of the body.
Since the inception of the Healthy Lodi Initiative, the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce has been in search of ways to “walk” the talk. And we’ve found it. This year, we will be replacing sugary beverages at the Lodi Street Faire with healthy alternatives. Events Manager Karen Cannon has partnered with the brand Zevia – a zero-calorie soda alternative. In contrast to traditional soda options (Sprite, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Fanta), Zevia only has 0 to 3 grams of added sugar per can. They come in Cola, Dr. Zevia, Cream Soda, Ginger Ale, Black Cherry, and Root Beer flavors. In addition to the Zevias, the Lodi Street Faire will also be selling a multitude of sparkling waters, including brands like La Croix, Arrowhead, etc. Diabetes, obesity, and many diseases springing from these physical impairments ultimately cause employers higher medical costs, and as well as shortened life-spans of those in our community. Information regarding this change will be available at each drink booth at the Lodi Street Faire. We invite the community to embrace this change and join us in our quest to end the sugar epidemic in our town.
The Lodi District Chamber of Commerce is an organization dedicated to “Securing Lodi’s Economic Future.” Our priority it to be a catalyst for business growth, a convener for leaders and influencers to create positive change, and a champion for the community. For more information on Healthy Lodi and how to get involved, visit HealthyLodi.com.