Illinois’ Cook County Department of Public Health recently announced a “Rethink Your Drink” ad campaign bashing soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages in a misguided attempt to promote healthy lifestyles.  The ads, which are funded with taxpayer money, suggest products - which account for just 5.5 percent of the calories in the average American’s diet - are driving obesity and diabetes.  Talk about misplaced priorities!  People can decide what’s best for their families without government help.

Our member companies are committed to being part of meaningful solutions to obesity. We’re making it easier for consumers to choose the beverage that’s right for them by placing calorie labels on the front of every bottle, can and pack we produce, putting information at their fingertips before making a purchase. Through initiatives such as Clear on Calories and our national School Beverage Guidelines, where we removed full-calorie beverages from schools and replaced them with more lower-calorie, smaller-portioned options, our industry is doing its part and providing real, practical help for consumers.

These are real efforts that will have a lasting impact, not a sound-bite solution with a fancy slogan and little substance.