This summer, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services launched a new campaign aimed at 0 to 5-year-olds and their caregivers. Play Every Day will introduce the state’s youngsters to key healthy habits that have proven to prevent chronic disease later in life.
Play Every Day’s staff created its new materials after talking with Alaska parents and discovering that they wanted to know more about which drinks hid large amounts of sugar—and just how much of it.
Alaskan parents often start serving their children sugary drinks at a young age. On any given day, more than 1 out of 4 Alaskan parents report serving their 3-year-old soda, fruit drinks, sweetened powdered drinks, sports drinks or energy drinks, according to the most recent state survey of Alaskan parents of preschoolers.
The labels on these sugary drinks often can make them look healthier than they really are. Play Every Day videos and materials help parents make sense of drink labels that highlight added vitamins and natural flavors, but obscure the large amount of added sugar within. Many drinks can be loaded with added sugar, even when they:
Alaska’s latest materials show how much sugar is hiding in drinks and communicates the health harms that can result when children start consuming sugary drinks and foods at an early age. The campaign uses kid-friendly posters, flyers, websites and video PSAs to reach families where they are with lively messages.
Parents are reminded that water has no added colors (food dyes) or sugars, and is the beverage kids need to be healthy. Kids are encouraged to make the healthy choice with colorful signage and characters that rally kids to drink more water.
The new campaign builds on Alaska’s materials for older kids. Visit www.playeveryday.alaska.gov to learn more and download resources.