Rethink Your Drink

Girl drinking water at water fountainSugary drinks are a leading cause of obesity in San Mateo County

There is a direct link between sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soda and sports drinks, and obesity in San Mateo County. And this is not surprising given that in the U.S., $500 million is spent each year marketing carbonated drinks to children.  

More than one-third of all sugars consumed each day are from sugar-sweetened beverages. Here in San Mateo County, 33% of children from age 2 through age 11 drink one or more sodas every day, 50% of youth ages 12-17 drink one or more sodas every day and 14% of adults drink one or more sodas every day.

That’s a lot of soda, given that recent research shows sugar-sweetened beverages to be one of the leading causes of weight gain.

Get Healthy SMC launches "Choose Healthy Drinks" campaign!

Get Healthy San Mateo County just launched the Choose Healthy Drinks campaign. This awareness campaign is focused on South San Francisco, San Bruno and Daly City -- the three San Mateo County cities with the highest rates of obesity at 47%, 43% and 39% respectively.

San Mateo County joins our neighbors in San Francisco, Sonoma and Alameda Counties in this regional effort to educate our community about the harmful effects of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Look for these messages in Bart stations, on billboards and at corner stores! Choose Healthy Drinks campaign image

In San Mateo County, 34% of children and more than 50% of adults are overweight or obese – and these numbers continue to rise. Being overweight or obese often leads to serious chronic diseases like diabetes. Did you know that one out of every three children born in 2000 is expected to develop Type 2 diabetes?

Obesity and the diseases that result from being obese lead to a poor quality of life, contribute to children missing class and doing poorly in school, and are estimated to cost San Mateo County more than half a million dollars each year.

Here's how you can help your community

  • Stop buying or limit the amount of sugar-sweetened drinks you buy
  • Encourage your child, or a child you care about, to participate in Soda Free Summer
  • Eliminate serving sugar-loaded drinks at parties or events
  • Encourage your workplace and school to replace sugar-loaded beverages in vending machines

Read more about sugar-sweetened beverages in our Sip on This brief

Read more about the link between soda and obesity

The Health System has gotten social, too. Visit us at to join or start a conversation about sugary drinks.