Local health groups launch ‘Rethink Your Asian Drink’ campaign



A coalition of health and community organizations recently launched the “Rethink Your Asian Drink” campaign, in an effort to bring awareness to various Asian drinks such as Boba and milk tea, that are sugary and have literally little or no value. The goal of this campaign is to empower the public and bring awareness and health concerns regarding these sugary drinks.

Due to a large number of people currently suffering from high levels of Obesity and diabetes here in America, this campaign was created to provide information on the nutritional value of nearly 300 popular Asian drinks. Recent statistics show that obesity rates among children are alarming with 32 percent overweight and 17 percent are considered obese.

According to a recent LA Times report, while obesity rates among Asian Americans are low,  they have a higher rate of diabetes at 10 percent, as compared with 7 percent among the white population.

On average, a person consumes the equivalent of 39 pounds of sugar each year from sugary drinks, which are the single, largest source of calories in the American diet. Boba drink for example, contains133 grams or 27 teaspoons of sugar.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugar to no more than half of one person’s daily discretionary calorie allowance. For most women, this is no more than100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men or about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men.

The coalition behind the “Rethink Your Drink” Campaign includes: The American Heart Association (AHA), American Lung Association, Asian Pacific Healthcare Venture (APHCV), Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA), Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON), Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), Health Net, LA County Department of Public Health Planning Area 3 and 4 and Pacific Islander Health Partnership (PIHP).

Speakers during the program launch were: Dr. Tony Kuo, Acting Director, Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, LA County Dept. of Public Health; Scott Chan, APIOPA and Health Initiative Member; Joni Byun, AHA Western States Affiliate Board Member and SVP of Nakatomi & Associates; and Sous Chef, Nico De Leon of LASA Restaurant, who personally demonstrated the calorie counts on their sample Boba and Milk Tea drinks.

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