Marin County's Quest For A Soda-Free Summer

The crunchy California county is trying to keep kids off soda, but with nothing so harsh as a ban. Instead, they’re going for a more gentle approach.

New York City has made headlines recently for its planned ban on big sodas, but Mayor Bloomberg is not alone in his crusade against fizzy drinks. Marin County, California—home of wealthy, outdoorsy hippies—announced this month the return of its annual Soda-Free Summer campaign, which implores the locals to replace sugary beverages with less exciting alternatives like water and milk.

Marin isn’t seeking a legal ban on soda, but it has put up a cheerful website with tip sheets, activity packets for kids (including the Sugar Savvy Maze, where sugary drinks are dead ends), and materials featuring Potter the Otter, a cartoon otter that teaches the benefits of drinking water.

In all seriousness, Marin does lay out some compelling reasons to slow down on soda consumption (and if you need any more, check out this disturbing infographic). But convincing kids to quit soda? That will take more than a friendly cartoon otter and a pleasant website.

Soda Free Summer’s Facebook page seems to be on to something, linking to this story that compares meth mouth to a soda drinker’s mouth. If that doesn’t inspire soda lovers to put down the can, nothing will.

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  • MaureenABA

    isn’t uniquely caused by the consumption of one specific food, drink, or
    ingredient.  In fact, a recent New York
    Times article explained why focusing on calories from sugar will do little to
    combat obesity since it plays only a minor part in the increasing number of
    calories being consumed by Americans (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/....  It’s also worth noting that as obesity rates
    continue to climb, sales of soft drinks have actually declined by 12.5% since
    1998.  -Maureen Beach, American Beverage Association