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Physical Activity and Nutrition

Key Initiatives


Publications & Materials

School Health Program

Get out and Play Every Day!


Program Contacts

3601 C Street, Suite 722
Anchorage AK 99503
Fax: 907-269-5446

Healthy Drinks for Healthy Kids

Water is a Healthy Drink: A young elementary school aged girl takes a drink from a chilled water bottle during lunch.

Banner image credit: CDC/Amanda Mills


The Healthy Drinks for Healthy Kids project was a two-year pilot funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve dental health and prevent obesity and other chronic diseases in Alaska. The pilot was supported by the Alaska Dental Society and dental providers across the state.

During 2018, Alaska Obesity Prevention and Control Program staff trained more than 100 dentists, dental assistants, and dental health aide therapists, as well as pharmacists, pediatricians, physician assistants and diabetes prevention professionals how to use a new, brief guide called When Sugar is Not So Sweet.”

The trained dental providers are now using the guide to talk with families about the large amount of sugar hiding in many drinks, the health risks linked to that added sugar, and steps families can take to cut back on sugary drinks and choose water or milk instead. The brief guide is available for free online. A rack card about picking a plan to cut back on sugary drinks also is available online.​

The project also developed new patient and public education materials. Alaskans saw public education materials focused on reducing sugary drink consumption. One video announcement shows how cutting back on sugary drinks can help prevent serious health problems, including tooth decay and type 2 diabetes. The other video shows parents switching out unhealthy food items for healthier options at meals, but stresses that parents would be doing more to protect their children’s health if they also stopped serving them sugary drinks and served water or low-fat milk instead. Educational posters​ were hanging in hundreds of schools across Alaska, as well as in public health centers, medical and dental clinics, and in Women, Infants, and Children offices and could be found on social media.


Healthy Drinks for Healthy Kids materials are at Play Every Day:

Even ONE is too much! Just one soda has more sugar than kids should have in a day. Sugary drinks can lead to cavities, weight gain and type 2 diabetes.


Katie Reilly, MPH
Unit Manager
Ann Potempa, MPH
Play Every Day Coordinator

Webpage updated January 2022