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Five Facts for Cinco de Mayo

  • It’s not Mexico’s Independence Day

Many outside of Mexico mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of Mexican Independence but it actually commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th.

  • Cinco de Mayo was introduced in the United States in the 1960s

While many Americans now enjoy celebrating, Cinco de Mayo was not widely-known in the U.S. until after the 1960s. Today, Cinco de Mayo festivities in the United States even rival those in Mexico in scale. In fact…

  • Los Angeles boasts the largest Cinco de Mayo festival

While the Mexican state of Puebla has large Cinco de Mayo celebrations – often with military reenactments, parades and other festive events – Los Angeles is home to what is considered the largest Cinco de Mayo party in the world called Fiesta Broadway.

  • However, Cinco de Mayo celebrations happen all over the world

Cinco de Mayo parties can be found globally, including New Zealand, the Cayman Islands and Australia!

  • Millions of avocados are consumed on Cinco de Mayo

The California Avocado Commission estimates that 81 million pounds of avocados are consumed every Cinco de Mayo!

No matter how you decide to celebrate – have fun, stay safe and keep hydrated!


The Complexity of Obesity as Seen on TV

It’s no secret that obesity is one of the biggest issues our country is facing and a solution to this public health challenge has not come easily. Why? Because obesity is complex and caused by many different factors – both genetic and behavioral.

There has been an enormous amount of research trying to pinpoint causes and identify the best ways to combat obesity, and a lot of inaccurate claims are being circulated on the Internet.

But research on obese people who lose weight and then regain it illustrates how little we know about obesity and how much our inherited natural metabolism may be to blame.

Just this week, The New York Times published a fascinating piece about how people who competed on “The Biggest Loser”, NBC’s popular weight loss show, struggle to keep the weight off after the show has ended.

Researchers were shocked to find that the contestants metabolism slowed dramatically and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight, said researchers.

Dr. Michael Schwartz, an obesity and diabetes researcher who is a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, called the finding “new and important.”

“The key point is that you can be on TV, you can lose enormous amounts of weight, you can go on for six years, but you can’t get away from a basic biological reality,” Schwartz told The New York Times. “As long as you are below your initial weight, your body is going to try to get you back.”

No matter how you look at it, there is no silver bullet solution to both losing and maintaining a healthy weight. What works for some people, may not work for others, which is why nutritional advice that is focused solely on the elimination of one grocery item or one ingredient from the diet is not based in science. It’s about finding the balance that is right for you and your own lifestyle.


Government Should Stop Chasing Its Tail with Taxes

Attempting to tax people to better health is like a dog chasing its own tail. Governments that have tried to legislate behavior change through taxes have been unsuccessful time and again. Columnist Katrina Trinko looks at the latest failed experiment – a tax on beverages in Mexico – in piece for The Daily Signal.

One study found that the 1-peso per liter tax in Mexico has resulted in a reduction of six calories per day in an average daily diet of 3,024 calories. That reduction is so small it’s not even measurable on a bathroom scale.  “Six calories a day is not the change that is going to make people change from obese to healthy,” says Trinko.

While the tax in Mexico hasn’t made a drop in the bucket toward fighting obesity as proponents promised it would, it has proven to be highly regressive, crippled small businesses and contributed to the loss of jobs.

Trinko says the tax, “seems designed to hit low-income people the most,” and the facts certainly bear this out. Nearly two-thirds of the tax has been paid by lower income families. The tax was also a factor in the closure of more than 30,000 mom and pop stores across the country and the loss of more than 10,800 well-paying jobs in the beverage industry.

Trinko goes on to identify one of the many reasons taxes are bad policy – “let’s not forget how nutrition science has swung over the years on foods like eggs—or how many times the Department of Agriculture’s nutrition guidelines have shifted in past decades.” Trinko says it doesn’t make much sense to base policy on science that is not settled and advice that’s always changing.

Rather than wasting time on unproductive policies, government should focus on meaningful solutions to combat obesity and other health challenges. This requires educating people about living a balanced lifestyle that focuses on the entire diet. Only then will we begin to see change for the better.


Legislating Dinner Menus

America’s families do not need government in their grocery carts telling them what they can and cannot serve their families. This includes families who have fallen on tough times. A recent article from the Knoxville News Sentinel looks at ill-considered legislation to restrict certain aisles in the grocery store to SNAP recipients.

The legislation is proposed in the name of “public health” but does not recognize that SNAP restrictions are a misguided policy that does not address the complex problem of obesity. Rather, they are discriminatory and single out one item in the grocery cart for consumption by one segment of the population. Research shows that obesity is shared across all income levels and is not caused by any single food or beverage. Focusing on one source of calories is not a solution to obesity.

Families who are struggling to make ends meet should not be discriminated against because they need temporary help affording their groceries. People using SNAP benefits make the same food-buying decisions we all do; they don’t need government telling them which aisles they are allowed to go down and what to serve their families at home.

Allowing government to designate groceries as “good” and “bad” would create a food code more complicated and arbitrary than the IRS tax code. That would put us on a path of government intrusion into many decisions that have always been left to families to decide.


Ringing in the Month of May

Sunday is May 1st and around the world, many people will be celebrating May Day. May Day is a national public holiday in many countries and serves as both a celebration of spring as well as a celebration of workers worldwide.

Traditionally, the day is also a marker of springtime with celebrations that include gathering flowers, dancing and singing. Many of the traditional celebrations are rooted in the ancient Roman Festival of Flowers. The celebrations are ways to celebrate the rebirth of nature in spring and fertility.

So say goodbye to April showers and join us in welcoming May this weekend!


#TBT Earth Day

Here at Sip & Savor, every day is earth day. So this throwback Thursday we are taking a look back on how we celebrated last week’s Earth Day and how our industry has been leaders in environmental sustainability.

Beverage companies have been leading for decades on issues such as conservation, reuse and restoration of our resources and we are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to protect our planet.

Whether it’s by increasing our fuel efficiency or conserving water, we know that it matters – for our business but most importantly for our planet. And we will continue to work together and work with the government to continue to drive solutions to keep our planet beautiful.

Visit InnovatonNaturally.org to learn more about the work our industry is doing to protect the environment and check out this great infographic on how our member companies are conserving water.


Making a Difference in Fontana

Congratulations to the city of Fontana and Mayor Acquanetta Warren for their efforts to combat childhood obesity through nutrition education and physical activity.

Yesterday, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America (ABFHA) presented Mayor Warren with the Childhood Obesity Prevention Award to support the city’s “Healthy Kids for a Healthy Fontana” program. The program provides hands-on experience to kids in after-school programs to help them learn about selecting different foods and beverages for a balanced lifestyle. The program also offers children the opportunity to try different physical activities.

Initiatives like “Healthy Kids for a Healthy Fontana” will have a long-lasting impact in communities and bring about meaningful results. That is why the beverage industry supports efforts to educate people about balance – it gives them information they need to make decisions that are right for them. Visit USMayors.org to learn about the award program and click here for a video overview of the “Healthy Kids for a Healthy Fontana” program.


Meaningful Solutions to Complex Challenges

Childhood obesity is a complex health challenge our nation is facing. It is important that we come together with other industries, communities and government in public-private partnerships to address this challenge. America’s leading beverage companies are doing their part to advance innovative, solutions-based initiatives ranging from our School Beverage Guidelines to our most recent Balance Calories Initiative.

In 2006, we partnered with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation on the National School Beverage Guidelines – an initiative to remove full-calorie sodas from schools and replace them with a range of lower-calorie, smaller-portion choices. As a result of this ambitious effort we slashed beverage calories in schools by more than 90 percent and successfully changed the beverage landscape in schools across the country. This voluntary step by the beverage industry later helped form the basis of the beverage component of USDA’s regulations for foods and beverages sold in schools.

We know it’s important for mom and dad to have the information they need to make informed choices for their family, so in 2010 we launched Clear on Calories – our calorie labeling effort which prominently displays calorie information on the front of every bottle, can and pack we sell ––in support of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. We are also placing calorie information on more than 3 million vending machines, self-serve fountains and retail coolers to make it easier for people to choose the drink that’s right for them.

In 2014, we joined with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation again to create our Balance Calories Initiative. We have set a goal to reduce beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20 percent by 2025. A component of this effort is Mixify™, a first-of-its kind national consumer awareness and engagement program encouraging teens and their families to balance their calories by moderating what they consume, including from beverages, and getting more active.

We take seriously our role in offering meaningful solutions and we hope others will join us. To learn more about the beverage industry’s commitment to fighting obesity, visit DeliveringChoices.org.


#dyk: A Carbonated Drink Won’t Explode Under Water

Have you ever opened a fizzy drink and gotten an unexpected shower? Did you know that phenomenon will never happen under water?

In an article for Nerdist, Commander Chris Hadfield, a former Canadian astronaut who was the first Canadian to walk in space, explains the science behind it.

Basically, carbonated drinks like seltzer or soda get their fizz from dissolved carbon dioxide. When you open the can or bottle, you expose the liquid to pressure imbalance (i.e. the pressure outside of the container is lower than the pressure inside it). So, if you shake the can or bottle before opening it, it will increase the pressure inside the can and when you pop the top it will cause an impressive soda explosion.

When you are about 60 feet (18.2 meters) below the waves, the pressure outside is so high that it forces the bubbles back into the liquid hence no explosion. And yes, your soda opened at depth will stay fizzy longer too.

For more science-based information on our industry’s products, visit LetsClearItUp.org.


Happy Earth Day!

We’ve come a long way since Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson to draw attention to the importance of protecting and preserving natural resources. Today, governments and industry worldwide are partners in making sure the environment is a priority.

Beverage companies have been leading for decades on issues such as conservation, reuse and restoration of our resources.

We have been promoting the revolution in recycling nationwide. Our companies fund improvements to recycling systems in cities and towns and provide grants for recycling  bins in public spaces. We now produce 100 percent recyclable aluminum, plastic and glass beverage containers. Even the plastic caps can be recycled. In our own facilities we divert 94 percent of waste from landfills, and our goal is to ensure all facilities waste is reused or recycled.

Our water conservation is among our proudest achievements. Our companies are renowned for having among the most efficient water usage rates in all industry. We’ve reduced water use by 14 percent per unit over five years even as production increased by nearly 20 percent. We fund major watershed restoration projects in the Great Lakes and many rivers such as the Colorado, Brazos, Rio Grande, Verde, Chattahoochee, Suwanee and Mississippi.

Our industry initiated a phase–out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) equal to taking 15 million cars off the road. At the end of the phase-out, 100 percent of new company-controlled coolers will be HFC-free.

We have the largest fleet of fuel-efficient heavy-duty hybrid commercial vehicles in North America and have improved average fleet miles per gallon by 13 percent since 2010. We have a goal of improving fuel efficiency by another 10 percent at least by the end of the decade.

We are also doing more to reduce our packaging footprint. We’ve saved millions of pounds of raw materials through lightweighting and packaging reduction. We’re innovating still to reduce the materials used in bottles and cans even further.

Earth Day should be a reminder to us all – industry, government and the public – to do what we can to keep our planet viable and our resources plentiful and safe. Check out Innovationnaturally.org to see what the beverage industry has been up to.