Boston Public Health Commission Wants You to Become ‘Sugar Smart’

The new duel language campaign aims to raise public awareness about the health impacts of sugary drinks.

Soda image via shutterstock

Soda image via shutterstock

First they asked you to “Swap the Salt” and now, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is tackling sugar. In a new duel-language campaign launching this week called, Sugar Smarts/Azúcar Sabia, the BPHC is urging residents to choose water over sugary drinks.

The Commission could have tried to be clever like the MassDot “Use Yah Blinkah” campaign and gone with it’s own, “Be Sugah Smaht” idea, but I digress.

Regardless, it’s clear to everyone that consuming high amounts of added sugars, also known as sugar-sweetened beverages or SSBs, are a major contributor to increased obesity and the “diabetes epidemic” in our country.

According to the BPHC, approximately 50 percent of all Boston residents are overweight or obese:

These rates of obesity are disproportionately high in Black and Latino communities where approximately 62% of Latino and 69% of black Bostonians are either overweight or obese. Through this campaign, BPHC aims to reach all Boston residents, particularly those that are disproportionately affected by obesity.

The campaign will be featured on transit ads, billboards, and social media, focusing on parents of young children. “Parents do so much to prevent childhood accidents and injuries. They buckle their children into car seats, vaccinate them against disease, lock up medicine cabinets, and prevent falls from windows. They are the primary advocates for the health of their children,” said Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission in a statement. “However, the harm of sugary drinks is often overlooked—including juice drinks which may seem like healthier choices than soda. Making this information easily accessible in both English and Spanish will help parents go one step further in protecting the health of their families.”

For some scary stats and in-depth information on the detrimental health effects of sugary drinks and some great info on how to choose water instead, visit

Sugar Smarts/Azúcar Sabia is funded by a three-year Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) $4.6 million grant received in 2012 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address obesity and hypertension among Black and Latino residents.