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Obesity Prevention Coalition to Focus on Drinking Water

July 23rd, 2015 | Posted in Community, Press Release

Obesity Prevention Coalition to Focus on Drinking Water

Coalition works to get New Hanover County to “Rethink their Drink”



Angela Clinton, New Hanover County Health Department Health Promotion Supervisor, (910)798-6548

Tamlyn Shields, UNCW School of Health and Applied Human Sciences Lecturer, (910) 962-7964

Mebane Boyd, Smart Start of New Hanover County, Family and Health Services Manager, (910) 815-3731

Stephanie Smith – New Hanover County Schools, Child Nutrition Department, (910) 254-4296


Wilmington – March 31, 2015


A coalition of organizations has been meeting and collaborating to reduce obesity in New Hanover County, with the narrowed focus to get adults and children to drink more water. The group includes the New Hanover County Health Department, New Hanover County Schools Child Nutrition, Smart Start of New Hanover County, Division of Child Development, and Coastal Horizons.


Many local organizations work to reduce obesity through various messages, but it was decided by the Coalition in the fall of 2014 to focus on one singular message to increase the impact. Some of the projects undertaken by the Coalition include reducing juice consumption by child care centers, bulletin boards in New Hanover County Schools, distributing “Rethink Your Drink” kits to child care centers, and a group focus promoting “Rethink Your Drink” at the upcoming Healthy Kids Day at Empie Park on April 25th.


Most people try to reduce their calorie intake by focusing on food, but another way to cut calories may be to think about what you drink. The group will focus on messaging from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention such as:


  • Choose water, diet, or low-calorie beverages instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • For a quick, easy, and inexpensive thirst-quencher, carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.
  • Serve water with meals.
  • Make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon, or drink sparkling water.
  • Add a splash of 100% juice to plain sparkling water for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
  • Be a role model for your friends and family by choosing healthy, low-calorie beverages.


The committee meets monthly on the fourth Wednesday of each month at Smart Start of New Hanover County. Other organizations and individuals are welcome to attend. Please contact Smart Start of New Hanover County at 815-3731 for further details and/or to join the Coalition.


Smart Start of New Hanover County is part of Smart Start, North Carolina’s Early Childhood Initiative.  Smart Start of New Hanover County acts as a local leader in development a comprehensive, collaborative approach to serve the needs of all children, birth to 5, in New Hanover County.