The Rural Health Initiative’s ReThink Your Drink is coming to a farm near you.


sugared-beverages“Don’t drink your calories.”

You’ve likely heard it a time or two, but yet so many Americans still grab for the sweet tea, the 40+oz regular fountain soda or an energy drink for a quick energy fix. Despite the sugar content glaring at us on the label, we don’t think twice.

So, what’s all the fuss about?

It Is a BIG Deal.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are contributing to increasing waistlines, obesity and diabetes statistics within the United States. It’s also an international concern. recently released an article regarding the World Health Organization’s (WHO) encouragement of countries to tax sugar-sweetened beverages, claiming “drinking fewer calorific sweet drinks is the best way to curb excessive weight and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes.” To read the full article, click, WHO urges countries to raise taxes on sugary drinks.

The Rural Health Initiative is stepping up to the plate to help educate and encourage Wisconsinites to choose a healthier beverage.

rethinkyourdrinkReThink Your Drink.

Effective this week, the Rural Health Initiative is launching ReThink Your Drink, a 1 year project incorporating consistent educational messages into each visit with local farmers and agribusinesses, as well as at various community events.

Data will be collected throughout the project, including a pre and post assessment to measure impact.

Our Goal: The goal of the ReThink Your Drink project is to reduce the daily number of servings of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed by farmers or agribusiness.

Participants will:

  • Learn to check the nutrition label to know how much sugar is in their beverage of choice
  • Know the benefits of water versus a sugar-sweetened beverage
  • Receive scheduled written reminders throughout the year
  • Be encouraged to make a healthier beverage choice (“ReThink Your Drink”)

one-teaspoon-sugar-300x200Grams versus Teaspoons
. The project includes a hands-on visual display that physically shows individuals exactly how much sugar they are swallowing when they crack open a sugary beverage. Common examples include: regular lemon-lime soda (Mountain Dew, Sundrop, 7-Up); energy drink (Red Bull, Monster); thirst quenching sweet tea (Lipton) or lemonade (Minute Maid); hot chocolate (powdered Swiss Miss).

Water, the suggested (and most healthy) beverage, is also included in the visual display – proudly sporting ZERO grams or ZERO teaspoons of sugar.

Consistent Educational Messages.
Individuals will also receive a 2-sided educational handout at the initial visit, followed by scheduled written reminders throughout the year to help them make healthier beverage choices – both at work and while on personal time. At the following year’s annual visit, the Rural Health Initiative will reasses the number of servings of sugar-sweetened beverage each individual drinks per day.


Interested in Learning the Results?
  • If you are interested in learning more about the Rural Health Initiative’s ReThink Your Drink project, contact the Rural Health Initiative. Call (715) 524-1488 or email Program Manager Shaya Swanson at [email protected].
  • Is your organization doing something similar to ReThink Your Drink? We’d love to hear about it. Perhaps we can learn from one another and/or find an innovative way to collaborate with one another.
  • If you are interested in learning about the results of the ReThink Your Drink project (anticipated to be released in November/December 2017), email us at [email protected].