What This Campaign Means to Me

Despite numerous other alternatives, sugary drinks are everywhere. At parties, youth sporting events, and even at school.

As a mom, I’m concerned about how these sugary drinks are affecting my children— the empty calories, how they affect sleep and attention spans, cause cavities, and increase the potential for obesity and life-threatening diseases. With 1 in 4 Maryland children overweight or obese, reducing sugary drink consumption is an easy and immediate step we can take to reduce the intake of empty calories and improve the health of our kids and our community.

As the head of a health foundation, I recognize this is the biggest public health issue facing our county, and we can’t stand idly by.

This is why we launched Howard County Unsweetened.

We want to make it easier for parents to do the right thing, to make better beverage choices and keep their kids healthy. But we can’t do it alone. We need your help. We want to hear from you about what’s working in our community and for your family to help kids make better beverage choices.

We’ll be posting to our blog here on HoCoUnsweetened.org with honest health tips, personal stories, recipes, facts and information for and from parents just like you. But remember, you are the experts and can help us keep Howard County’s children healthy. Tell us your story at info@HoCoUnsweetened.org and we will work to share it here on the site.

This issue is personal for me. I want my two children, and all of Howard County’s children to be surrounded by better drink choices and other community organizations that support their health and wellness. Working together, we can make a real difference.

Nikki Highsmith Vernick
President and CEO, Horizon Foundation

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