Colorado’s Boulder County Board of Public Health has never accepted any type of funding or donations from the sugar-sweetened beverage industry, but in a symbolic gesture of leadership, its board unanimously approved a resolution that now prohibits them.
Times-Call Business has more details, but here are some highlights:
- “”As a public health agency, we are charged with protecting and promoting the public’s health,” said Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) Executive Director in a news release Tuesday morning. “When our residents are struggling with heart disease, unhealthy weight, and diabetes and these diseases are linked to consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, we are obligated to take a stand.”
- “Health agencies from across the country have been accepting money from the soda industry for years. It hurts the integrity of an agency and needs to stop. Boulder County is the first to do this,” “Jake Williams, executive director of Healthier Colorado in Denver, said.
- “Boulder County Public Health has never received funding from the beverage industry, but made this move to demonstrate the agency’s commitment to be unbiased and evidence-based in its future decisions and policies.”
- “Last month, the Colorado Board of Health passed new rules which ban sugary drinks from all day care centers in the state.”
PepsiCo — which spent almost $310 million in advertising for its sugar drinks in 2013, per the article — has been an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsor for over five years.
There is a major opportunity here for one or more AND leaders to take a similar courageous and progressive stance. Donations from a company that sells and markets sugar-sweetened beverages are simply inappropriate for a nutrition organization (even if their product portfolio extends beyond sugar-sweetened beverages).