What you choose to drink can have a big impact on your well-being, so the City of Evanston and NorthShore University HealthSystem are joining forces to help those who live, work and play in Evanston sip their way to better health. 

A “ReThink Your Drink” campaign encouraging people to drink more water and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages will launch with celebratory toasts at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 21, 2016, at the Morton Civic Center, Room G300, 2100 Ridge Avenue, Evanston.

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Health and Human Services Director Evonda Thomas-Smith, NorthShore University HealthSystem pediatrician Lynn Chehab, MD, and influential Evanston leaders will raise glasses of delicious fruit-infused or herb-infused water and pledge to drink more water and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.

The dignitaries will be joined by the heads of Evanston businesses, organizations and institutions who have committed to reduce their personal consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, as well as to take steps to reduce access to those drinks in their vending machines and cafeterias. Interested Evanston residents are invited to attend the toast on April 21, take the pledge, and then encourage others to join the ReThink Your Drink campaign.

Dr. Chehab will present an abbreviated version of her “Sugar Show,” an eye-opening presentation illustrating the amount of added sugar hidden in many popular beverages. Although sugar-sweetened beverages make up half of the added sugar consumed by Americans, she says that most people have no idea how much sugar is added to soda, tea, sports recovery drinks, and energy drinks

This is such an important issue. There is no doubt that the over consumption of refined sugars contributes to a whole host of serious health problems” said Dr. Chehab. “We want to make people aware of this and also let them know there are fun and tasty alternatives to sugary drinks.”

Dr. Chehab’s Sugar Show has been a popular presentation at Evanston schools, including Chute Middle School, and was featured on WGN-TV. Dr. Chehab will take her show on the road to visit many other Evanston schools throughout the year as part of the ReThink Your Drink campaign.

The goal of the ReThink Your Drink campaign is to improve the health of the Evanston community by raising awareness of the benefits of consuming drinks without added sugar. Those who attend the event will be toasting with chilled tap water infused with fruit or herbs and will leave with recipes that will allow them to replicate the drinks at home.

For more information, visit cityofevanston.org/rethinkyourdrink or call/text 847-448-4311.