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Healthy Beverage Letter
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Healthy Beverages in Every School

Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) or sugary drinks are leading sources of added sugars in the American diet. Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain/obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.1-4 Limiting the amount of SSB intake can help individuals maintain a healthy weight and have a healthy diet.

Dear School Leader,

The Massachusetts Health Council has created a “Healthy Beverage Campaign” to educate students about the health harms of soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, syrupy coffees as well as a myriad of other sugar sweetened beverages, heavily marketed and popular among school age children. It works because it is easy to implement and can be modified for your unique school community. A simple concept with the potential to have a big impact.

Applications reviewed and accepted in this calendar year are eligible to receive up to a $500 stipend for materials, prizes or incentives. We encourage nurses, teachers, school wellness committee members, student leaders and others to build a diverse team, collaborate on implementation and generate enthusiasm.  

While each district is unique, we recognize that there are some standard components that should be implemented at all locations to assist in tracking progress. These components we’ve designed for you but can also be modified to fit your school community.

Easy-to-use online student poll; fun, interactive presentations for a single class, grade or whole school; passionate presenters within your community.

We encourage you to identify classroom policies regarding water accessibility during the school day taking into consideration the needs of teachers as well as the needs of a healthy student. Finally, we are excited about creating a healthier future and hope you will join us. For more information and to apply, please email Stefanie Hergt at

David Martin
Executive Director
Massachusetts Health Council


  1. Malik V, Popkin B, Bray G, Desprs J-P, Hu F. Sugar-sweetened beverages, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease risk. Circulation. 2010;121(11):1356-1364.
  2. Malik VS, Hu FB. Fructose and Cardiometabolic Health: What the Evidence From Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tells Us. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;66(14):1615-1624.
  3. Bomback A, Derebail V, Shoham D, et al. Sugar-sweetened soda consumption, hyperuricemia, and kidney disease. Kidney International. 2010;77(7):609-616.
  4. Bernabe E, Vehkalahti MM, Sheiham A, Aromaa A, Suominen AL. Sugar-sweetened beverages and dental caries in adults: a 4-year prospective study. J Dent. 2014;42(8):952-958.