Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust

New Health Campaign Targets Juice Drinks

Press Release



Concord, CA – Images of toothy monsters on juice drink containers are providing East Bay parents with an aggressive wake-up call about the dangers of sugary juice drinks. The Sugar Bites health campaign, sponsored by First 5 Contra Costa, Healthy and Active Before 5, and Kaiser Permanente, encourages parents to sharply curtail the amount of unhealthy drinks they give their children in an effort to reduce tooth decay, obesity, and type II diabetes. 


“Most parents know that soda isn’t good for young children, but deceptive marketing tactics trick them into believing that juice drinks are a healthy alternative. They’re not. Most popular children’s juice drinks contain little fruit, unnecessary calories, and loads of sugar,” said Contra Costa Health Services pediatrician Dr. Diane Dooley. “Eight ounces of soda and eight ounces of apple juice both have over 6 teaspoons of sugar.”


The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children between age one and six consume no more than four to six ounces of 100% fruit juice a day. The reality is preschoolers drink twice that, and even more if they live in low-income households. Already, half of California children experience tooth decay before kindergarten.


According to researchers, sugary drinks are the largest source of added sugar in the diets of children and contribute to childhood obesity. While national obesity rates for preschoolers appear to have declined, rates remain three to five times higher for African American and Latino preschoolers than white children. Unless trends change, health advocates say one in three U.S. children born after the year 2000 – and nearly half of Latino and African American children – will develop type II diabetes in their lifetimes.  


"There is no benefit to consuming juice over whole fruit. Drinking a large amount of sugar without the fiber in fruit that makes you full is not good for anyone, especially young children,” said retired cardiologist and former Richmond City Council member Dr. Jeff Ritterman. “Even diluted juice drinks can give kids cavities and increase diabetes in the future. My advice to parents is to serve children water or milk."


The Sugar Bites public awareness campaign consists of bilingual English and Spanish ads on BART platforms, transit shelters, billboards, and convenience store windows in Bay Point, Concord, Pittsburg, and Richmond. Pamphlets and posters will also be distributed in health centers, nonprofit organizations, and child care programs.  



“New evidence shows that children who are overweight or obese by kindergarten are five times more likely to be obese as adults,” said Cally Martin, First 5 Contra Costa’s Deputy Director and the Chair of Healthy and Active Before 5.  “One remedy is simple: Serve kids water instead of sugary drinks.”


To learn more, visit the campaign website:


About First 5 Contra Costa

Research shows that a child’s brain develops most dramatically in the first five years. Based on this research, California voters passed Proposition 10 in 1998, adding a 50 cents-per-pack tax on tobacco products to fund programs for expectant parents and children ages 0 to 5.  Since its inception, First 5 Contra Costa has invested over $115 million in programs that help children grow up healthy, nurtured by their parents, and ready to succeed in school.  Learn more:


About Healthy and Active Before 5

Healthy and Active Before 5 is a collaborative committed to reducing childhood obesity in Contra Costa County. The collaborative includes over 50 Contra Costa community organizations who serve families with children up to age five. The Sugar Bites campaign is partially supported by Kaiser Permanente’s Monument HEAL Zone grant, a three-year $1 million investment to promote active living and healthy eating in the Monument community of Concord.  Learn more:



This press release was published in March 2014 so may be outdated after sometime. thanks Tracy Irwin for this press release. If you have any questions or if you need more information, please visit the campaign website at