February 1, 2017 – All Kids and Families Invited to Celebrate Drinking Water
Choosing to drink water over sugar-sweetened beverages is the focus of “Water Month” this February by the Healthy Kids Community Challenge Peterborough. To raise awareness about the considerable health benefits of water consumption, a number of community-led projects will be celebrated throughout the month.
Five interactive contests will be happening through the Healthy Kids Community Challenge Peterborough Facebook page throughout February. Participants can win several prizes donated by local partner organizations. “Water Month” will also celebrate Healthy Kids Community Challenge Peterborough’s goal of ensuring water is more accessible to children where they play. For example, several water refill stations have been installed in local arenas and other community hubs in nearly all local municipalities and First Nations communities.
“The Healthy Kids Community Challenge is encouraging the development of active and healthy lifestyles,” said Peterborough Mayor Daryl Bennett, one of Healthy Kids Community Challenge’s community champions. “Drinking water is essential to nurturing those healthy choices in our children. To support this activity, the City has been increasing access to water in community locations that are well used by children.”
Peterborough County Warden Joe Taylor also spoke about the importance of water, especially to children. “Water plays a vital role in the health and well-being of all of us. This focus by the Healthy Kids Community Challenge on the importance of water to our children is paramount. As we strive to ensure the health and well-being of our children, it is up to us to ensure our youth have the knowledge to make good choices in life.”
Research shows that sugar-sweetened beverages are the single largest source of sugar in kids’ diets. Almost half (44%) of the sugar children and youth take in every day comes from beverages, such as milk, fruit juice, regular soft drinks and fruit drinks. Too much sugar can lead to health problems, tooth decay, and cavities. Sugary drinks, including sport drinks, are also highly marketed to children and families, often with a misleading emphasis on their benefits to health or performance.
Studies also show that kids who are used to drinking water at a young age are more likely to drink water later in life. Water is essential for good health and has no sugar. It keeps kids hydrated, feeling energetic, and alert. Water is natural and healthy.
The Healthy Kids Community Challenge is a community program where partners from different sectors work together to organize activities that promote and support healthy behaviours for children, including healthy eating and physical activity. Help spread the word on Facebook and Twitter @HKCCPtbo and #healthykidsptbo. Families and organizations can also “take the pledge” at www.waterdoeswonders.ca.
For further information, please contact:
Deanna Moher, MPH
Healthy Kids Community Challenge Project Coordinator
705-743-1000, ext. 355