Rethink Your Drink Campaign

Rethink Your Drink Campaign Background

One of the objectives in the IAPO Obesity Action Roadmap is to “increase consumption of healthy food and beverages in relation to consumption of unhealthy food and beverages that have minimal nutritional value, such as sugar-sweetened beverages and calorie-dense, low-nutrition fast foods.”  More

Passing a penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugary drinks is a long-term goal the coalition defined to help reach the over-arching objective. IAPO members have focused on mobilizing, educating, and advocating with community residents, leaders, and policymakers to reduce access to and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages since the start of IAPO.

IAPO_Rethink_Your_Drink_ProclamationA Rethink Your Drink 2014 campaign was kicked off with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn declaring February, 2014 as “Rethink Your Drink Month” in Illinois.  More

With sugary beverages making up 46% of added sugars in the American diet, IAPO partners encouraged residents to “go on green,” drinking beverages with less than 5 (1.25 teaspoons) grams of sugar per 12 fluid ounces and to “stop on red” with drinks that have 12 (3 teaspoons) grams or more of sugar per 12 fluid ounces.

In the fall of 2013, IAPO developed its first ever legislative agenda for the spring 2014 session of the Illinois General Assembly. Included on the agenda was the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Act, which placed a penny per ounce excise tax on sugary beverages with revenues going to community prevention (50%) and the Illinois Medicaid program (50%). More

Governed by a state Council of Agencies with input from an Advisory Board, the funds would help support nutrition and physical activity initiatives, local food systems, school health and wellness, public health departments and infrastructure, active transportation, oral health, and expansion of Medicaid prevention services. While the bill did not pass in the spring 2014 legislative session, IAPO will continue to advocate for this legislative proposal as one tool that could reduce obesity in Illinois.


Rethink Your Drink Tools and Resources

Join us by hosting educational events in your community and/or sending out educational messages about the health impacts of sugary beverages and how people can take steps to rethink their drinks and reduce consumption of sugary beverages through policy and environmental strategies.



For quick and fun ideas on how to participate, view the IAPO Rethink Your Drink Toolkit.





Help spread the word with the Rethink Your Drink poster, available in English or Spanish, great for hanging in schools, clinics, workplace lunch rooms/vending areas, or after-school programs.





Handout the Rethink Your Drink Brochure (also available in Spanish) to give community members helpful tips for choosing healthier options.





1012-IAPO-HEAL-billboard (2)


Rethink Your Drink Banner




Infographic: Sugary Beverages by the Numbers 








Use this educational postcard to help people see just how much sugar is in sugary drinks and how that impacts their health.




Register to listen to IAPO’s webinar: Providing Clarity on Lobbying vs. Non-Lobbying activities for Rethink Your Drink Illinois (recorded on January 22, 2014)


Healthy Eating + Active Living Act Resources





New! Health Eating + Active Living (HEAL) Act infographic








Healthy Eating + Active Living Fact Sheet







Healthy Eating + Active Living Frequently Asked Questions





Rethink Your Drink Newsletters

  • Rethink Your Drink Newsletter March 2015
  • Rethink Your Drink Newsletter February 2015
  • Rethink Your Drink Newsletter January 2015

If you need additional resources or materials, please contact , Campaign Coordinator.



Share your events and follow the campaign on the IAPO Facebook page and Twitter! #RethinkYourDrinkIL


Strategies for Promoting Healthier Beverage Environments

In May, 2011, the Institute of Medicine IOM) released a report Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation that shared recommendations and strategies for reversing the obesity epidemic in the United States.   One of the goals was to “create food and beverage environments that ensure that healthy food and beverage options are the routine, easy choice.”  More

Five strategies are listed, including calling on “decision-makers in the business community/private sector, in nongovernmental organizations and at all levels of government” to “adopt comprehensive strategies to reduce over-consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. IAPO set a long-term goal of creating and advocating for nutritional standards in vending machines, canteens, and a la carte lines in all publically-owned or operated buildings and venues and has worked with partners at the American Heart Association and Healthcare Without Harm to implement Rethink Your Drink activities to achieve this goal.



View the “Rethink Your Drink Toolkit for Healthcare” to see how hospitals and healthcare systems can improve their beverage environments. View the “Big 5” resource for physicians to use to talk with families about childhood obesity prevention. Additional resources are available by clicking here.