Yolo County hosted ‘Rethink Your Drink Day’ on May 11

Program encourages people to replace sugary drinks with water

By SHRADDHA JHINGAN , city@theaggie.org

In a press release published on April 27, Yolo County announced that Rethink Your Drink Day would be held on May 11. The event was held at various CommuniCare health centers throughout Yolo County.

The press release explains that Rethink Your Drink Day is part of a larger movement across the state of California encouraging people “to ‘refresh better'” by replacing sugary drinks with water. At the event, people had the opportunity to try infused waters for free alongside recipes to create on their own. Attendees were also able to obtain resource guides that can help track how much sugar is in various popular drinks.

Laurel Denyer, the outreach specialist for Yolo County, explained further what the program consists of.

“The Rethink Your Drink program happened […] in the month of May in California, so it’s a statewide program and it’s done by local public health departments like ourselves where we promote having […] water instead of sugary beverages,” Denyer said.

Denyer added that in addition to water in place of sugary drinks, the program also promotes healthy eating options such as produce and fruits.

,[…] The number one source of added sugar in American diets is through beverages,” Denyer said. “So, it’s all about two things: water for health reasons – prevent obesity and types of diabetes – as well as tooth decay and cavities.”

According to Healthy Food America, soda composes 65% of the sale of sugary drinks. In Yolo County, in addition to water, an alternative to sugary drinks is the apple juice sold at the Apple-A-Day stand at the Farmer’s Market, whose only ingredient is apples.

Carlene Upton, the manager of the Apple-a-Day stand, explained that the product is a staple in Davis, and many people come to try it.

“We’ve been here — I want to say — about 30 years, and it has been popular with the students and the residents of Davis all along,” Upton said. “Even today, a young person came back and said they had it as a kid. They bring their children back. Every time that people have had Apple-a-Day apple juice, they come back.”

Denyer further explained that the event held on May 11 was held in three different CommuniCare health centers across Yolo County: Davis, West Sacramento and Woodland.

“We had free infused water samples, as well as stickers and freebies for kids, as well as recipe cards for the water that we had as well as other recipes people could make, they could try at home,” Denyer said.

In addition to samples for people to try and other ways people could make their diet healthier, there were also interactive activities. Denyer explained what the activities involved of.

“And then we had a wheel that would spin and it lands on different kinds of [sugary] beverages, and we would help them figure out how much sugar was actually in that beverage,” Denyer said. “So that’s what we did on May 11, last week, and there was a KCRA 3 interview as well […] to promote it.”

For those who are looking for other ways to cut back on sugar, and replace sugary drinks, UC Davis also offers the Healthy Beverage Initiative. More information can be found on its website,

Denyer explained that in addition to the Rethink Your Drink program on May 11, the team was also at the Aggie Compass Basics Need Fair and among other things was also distributing water.

Such programs help Yolo County residents, as well as the foster community in Yolo County, make healthier choices. This is especially important after more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, where many local businesses struggled.

“It’s been a pleasure trying to stay open in spite of all the difficulties, but what made it much easier is the fact that our regular customers showed their support by showing up and by generously tipping our employees,” said Sinisa Novakovic, the owner of Mishka’s Café, in a previous interview with The Aggie about the transition to purple tier for local businesses during the pandemic.

Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor highlighted the importance of retaining community and positivity, which such programs can help to do, especially as a result of the pandemic.

“We are catching sight of the light at the end of the tunnel, but our culture has been forever changed. I see this in the businesses I frequent and hear about it from people in our community and beyond,” Saylor said via email. “In general, prices are higher, personal interactions are different, and our way of navigating the world has shifted. I am hopeful that our resilience, our determination, and our commitment to each other and our community will keep us strong as we persist through this, and any future, challenges.”

Written by: Shraddha Jhingan , city@theaggie.org

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