Warrnambool City Council has teamed up with health promotion foundation VicHealth to encourage local residents to sign up for the H30 Challenge and improve their health.
The H30 Challenge encourages Warrnambool residents to take a pledge to drink water, instead of the sugary drinks they might normally drink, for 30 days.
Sugary drinks include sugar-sweetened soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, ready-to-drink iced tea, flavoured water and cordial.
As an additional incentive, Warrnambool residents who sign up before April 10 can go in the draw to win one of 25 gift vouchers from InterSport valued from $50 to $200 each.
A 2013 Department of Health survey showed that more than one in eight adults in Warrnambool consume soft drink every day. This is an increase of almost three per cent since 2011.
Warrnambool City Council Manager Community Policy and Planning Lisa McLeod said that making a switch from sugary drinks to water can lead to a range of benefits.
“Sugary drinks are bad for your health, your teeth and your wallet,” she said.
“Most people understand that soft drink isn’t a healthy choice, but many don’t realise that sports drinks, energy drinks and ready-to-drink iced tea can have just as much sugar.
“I’d love to see hundreds of people across Warrnambool drink water instead of any sweet drinks they would normally buy for 30 days and experience all the benefits that could come from that simple change.”
Warrnambool City Council is one of 18 Councils in Victoria who is working with VicHealth to promote the switch to water in their local community.
VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter welcomed Warrnambool’s involvement in promoting the H30 Challenge for the second year in a row.
“The H30 Challenge costs nothing to be part of and could make a big impact on your life,” she said.
“A regular 600mL bottle of soft drink contains about 16 teaspoons of sugar and there are around 11 teaspoons of sugar in a sports drink. You wouldn’t put this much sugar in your coffee or tea, but many people are unknowingly consuming high amounts of sugar on a daily basis.
“With nearly two-thirds of Victorians overweight or obese, reducing intake of excess kilojoules by reducing or removing sugary drinks is one way to improve health, prevent tooth decay and save money at the same time.”
Organisations across Warrnambool including Wannon Water, South West Healthcare, SW TAFE, Deakin University, South West Primary Care Partnership, Brauer, Warrnambool and Emmanuel Colleges, Warrnambool Basketball Inc, Warrnambool City Netball Association, Warrnambool Swimming Club and Dennington Football Netball Club are supporting the campaign by encouraging their staff, students, players and supporters to sign up.
Warrnambool’s ARC Stadium and AquaZone are also supporting the H30 campaign by removing sugary drinks from view in their canteens during March and April. While they will still be for sale, the aim is to see if reducing the visibility of these drinks will have an impact on purchasing habits.
For more information or to sign up, go to www.h30challenge.com.au/lga/warrnambool.
Winners of the InterSport vouchers will be randomly selected by VicHealth from those residents who sign up to the H30 Challenge on or before April 10 2017. To be eligible for prizes, you must live in the City of Warrnambool (municipality).