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Employees Urged to Rethink Their Drink

By Tricia Schug

Would you agree to take a 25-minute run to burn off calories every time you drink a sugary soda? Or, swim laps for 30 minutes after a milkshake? How about walking briskly for 50 minutes after each mocha you enjoy?

Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital employees may choose to reach for non-sugary beverages to quench their thirst, especially after a month-long “Rethink your Drink” awareness campaign that begins Friday, Sept. 1. The campaign will highlight how much sugar is actually in some beverages (17 teaspoons in a 20 oz. soda, for example), the associated health risks (obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer) and how much exercise it takes to burn off those calories.

“Our objectives with the campaign are to promote an atmosphere of health and wellness among our employees with everyday choices,” said Rich Waller, community health improvement coordinator for Samaritan Health Services.

A recent campaign held at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital saw a 10 percent reduction in the purchase of sugary beverages there, and a 26 percent spike in the sales of non-sugary beverages during the month of the campaign. Other Samaritan-affiliated hospitals have seen similar results.