Health District promotes healthy alternatives to sugary drinks

Most Americans are consuming too many added sugars in their diet. Sugar-sweetened beverages including sodas, energy drinks, and fruit drinks are a main source of added sugars. A regular, 12-ounce can of soda can contain a full 10 teaspoons of sugar. Because of the added sugar, soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages can contribute to health issues including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay.

To raise awareness of this issue, the Southern Nevada Health District’s Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion will conduct its annual Soda Free Summer Challenge from Friday, May 3, through Saturday, Aug. 31. The campaign urges everyone to choose healthier beverages in favor of soda and other sugary drinks.

For information on how to participate in the Soda Free Summer Challenge, visit or To learn about local, upcoming events associated with this campaign, visit the Get Healthy Clark County Community Calendar or Calendario de la comunidad.

Sugary drinks include sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks, as well as tea and coffee sweetened with added sugar. Nationally, 63% of youth and 49% of adults reported having sugary drinks once daily or more. On average, children consume more than 30 gallons of sugary drinks per year, enough to fill an entire bathtub.

The average American consumes approximately 17 teaspoons of added sugar each day. Adolescents (12-19 years old) are the highest consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages. In Clark County, 11.4% of adolescents drank one can, bottle or glass of soda at least once per day during 2019. That rate increased to 13.3% in 2021. However, the 2021 rate was down significantly from the 23.3% recorded in 2007.

According to the American Heart Association, men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day. For women, the recommended daily maximum is 6 teaspoons. Adults and children are encouraged to limit sugary drinks and opt for healthier alternatives including water, unsweetened tea and plain milk.

Consumers are advised to read nutrition labels to determine how much added sugar is included in their drinks. For information about how to identify added sugars, visit the sugary beverages web page on the Get Healthy or the Viva Saludable Spanish language website.

The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at Follow the Health District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.