Poster made by Floyd County High School students in Laura Cantrell’s Culinary Arts class

You wouldn’t eat 54 cubes of sugar, so why are you drinking them? Stop trying to fuel your body with sugar, and “Rev Your Bev.”  That’s the message being delivered by New River Valley Community Services (NRVCS), youth activists, teachers, and health advocates across the state to raise awareness about the health effects of soda and other sugary drinks.

The Rev Your Bev campaign is led by Y Street, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s award winning youth activism program. Rev Your Bev Day events focused on collecting information on what Virginians think about sugary drinks and what they know about health effects.

“Rev Your Bev” is also spreading throughout the New River Valley. Floyd County High School’s culinary art students created posters to inform younger students about the high sugar content in soda, tea, and common sports drinks. Mrs. Cantrell’s culinary students also handed out pins, bracelets, and cards informing peers that for each sugary drinks consumed per day, a child’s risk of becoming overweight increases by 60% and that it takes over an hour of walking to burn off the 240 calories in a 20-ounce bottle of cola.

NRVCS Prevention Specialist Katie Van Horn took the message to the local Girl Scout’s troop. The girls were surprised to learn that there was sugar in “Vitamin Water.” They assumed that since the bottle said “water” that it would be free of sugar. The girls proudly put on their Rev Your Bev bracelets and pledged to spread the message.

At Floyd Elementary School’s field day, a healthy snack station encouraged students to fuel their bodies with water versus sugar. A few of the local schools have started changing their field day snacks from the typical popsicles, juice, and cookies, to water and fruit kabobs.  The Floyd Moves group also brought the message to the Bluegrass and BBQ Festival at Chantilly Farm.

In Radford, NRVCS Prevention Specialist Connie Clark hosted a Rev Your Bev booth during lunch time for Radford High School and Dalton Intermediate School. The high school students were very interested in learning about the sugar content and were shocked by how much sugar they were actually ingesting each day.  They were also very curious about other drinks they consume that were not on the table.  Both the high school and middle school students were excited to go home and share this information with their friends and family.

To learn more and to join New River Valley Community Services in spreading the message of avoiding sugary drinks, visit www.VFHY.org.