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P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
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Students learn adverse effects of sugary sodas
‘Rev Your Bev’ Day raises awareness
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Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston: Students at Benjamin Franklin Middle School learn about healthy beverages and the harmful effects of sugared drinks during the “Rev Your Bev” campaign from Y-Street in collaboration with the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth.

Monday, May 19, 2014


The health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages were brought to light last week for students at Benjamin Franklin Middle School.

BFMS was one of over 200 sites in Virginia celebrating "Rev Your Bev" Day, a statewide initiative to raise awareness about the health effects of sugared drinks.

Y Street, in collaboration with Virginia Cooperative Extension's (VCE) Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY), set up tables in the cafeteria for students to visit during their lunch period.

Questionnaires and surveys were handed out to test students' knowledge of sugary drinks and to bring to their attention the amount of sugar added to the different beverages consumed by Virginians each day.

Students filled out the surveys and turned them in to be included in a statewide data collection project.

According to last year's results, females are better at identifying sugar-sweetened beverages than males, and 33 percent of respondents consumed at least one sugar-sweetened beverage a day.

Only 24 percent of 5 to 10-year-olds were able to correctly identify sugar-sweetened beverages, and 69 percent of respondents did not know that 25 pounds can be gained by drinking just one 20-ounce soda a day for a year.

Students also learned how much exercise would be required to burn off the calories from each specific sugared drink. It would require 82 minutes of running in a gerbil ball, for example, to burn off the 780 calories contained in one 64-ounce soda. That same soda contained the equivalent of 87 sugar cubes, students learned.

The VFHY has formed a Healthy Community Action Team (HCAT) in Franklin County that strives to bring awareness to the importance of overall community health, said Amber Wilson, Franklin County VCE agent and chair of the Franklin County HCAT.

"We are also working to bring other community organizations together to focus on healthy living," said Wilson.

To learn more about HCAT, contact Wilson at (540) 483-5161.

Visit to read the full Rev Your Bev Day survey report.

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