Rethink Your Drink


Healthy West Chicago invites institutions and organizations to support our local Rethink Your Drink (RYD) Initiative. As of January 2017, twenty-nine businesses and/or institutions joined this community-wide effort to educate our community about the harmful effects of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages. Sugary drinks are the leading cause of obesity, and West Chicagoans buy more soda than 60 - 80% of communities all around the country.

HWC is partnering with Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity’s (IAPO) and the American Heart Association (AHA) to encourage healthier beverage options, and thus opportunities for healthy living in Illinois. Medical research indicates that people who drink too many sugary beverages are likely to suffer from Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer and are at greater risk for being overweight or obese.


Many foods contain naturally occurring sugar, however processed foods and beverages have large quantities of “added sugar” – meaning it was added to enhance flavor, etc. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the following daily limits of added sugars:

  • 36 grams (9 teaspoons) for adult men

  • 24 grams (6 teaspoons) for adult women

  • 16 grams (4 teaspoons) for children

The largest source of added sugars in the American diet comes from sugar sweetened beverages. To calculate how much sugar is in your beverage find "sugars" in grams on the label and multiply that by the number of servings in the container. Then divide the number of grams per container by 4 to get teaspoons.


Make the healthy choice the easy choice!

  • Stock the refrigerator with fresh cold water, sugar-free tea, low-fat/ fat-free milk and other healthy beverages

  • Keep a pitcher of water infused with fruit, such as lemons, berries, and melons, or cucumbers in the refrigerator

  • Add a splash of 100% fruit juice to sparkling water for a special treat

  • Keep healthy beverages within easy reach for children

  • Choose drinks with no more than 25 calories per 8 fluid ounces