Let's Drink Water Campaign
Surveys by the Health Promotion Board show that a large proportion of Singaporean children and teenagers consume sugary drinks frequently. Read about Singapore's first Let's Drink Water Campaign to encourage children and teens to drink more water and less sugary drinks.
The Students Heath Survey in 2009 by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) revealed that 43 per cent of students in secondary schools, junior colleges and the centralised institute consumed sugary drinks daily.
1. The habit seems to be cultivated when they were younger, with another HPB survey conducted among parents and caregivers between 2008 and 2009 showing that 28 per cent provided sugary drinks more than once a week to their children between four and nine years old. This percentage increases to 34 per cent for children aged 10 years and above.
2. Research shows that the consumption of sugary drinks is associated with poor dietary choices and obesity in children . and these health issues follow them to adulthood. Limiting consumption of sugary drinks among local children and teenagers therefore has a substantial impact on Singapore.s public health in the long run.
3. To urge school-going children and youths to replace sugary drinks with water, as well as drink enough to stay healthy and hydrated, HPB is launching Singapore.s first Let.s Drink Water Campaign. During the campaign, HPB will be working with pre-schools, primary schools, secondary schools and Post-secondary Education Institutions (PSEIs) to raise awareness of the importance of water consumption and encourage students to replace sugary drinks with water.
4. As part of the Let.s Drink Water Campaign, HPB has helped pre-schools develop a lesson plan for teachers to encourage water drinking among children. In addition, under HPB.s CHampioning Efforts Resulting in Improved School Health (CHERISH) framework, primary schools, secondary schools, junior colleges and the centralised institute are encouraged to make water coolers available around their premises.
5. Some new initiatives in pre-schools to educate students on the importance of reducing the intake of sugary beverages and drinking water instead include:
- Revising the criteria for certifying pre-schools as CHERISH Junior pre-schools to include the provision of adequate water breaks throughout the day, the provision of water as part of every balanced and healthy meal served at the school, and an enhanced curriculum to teach students the benefits of drinking water over sugary drinks
- Training pre-school Health Ambassadors to encourage their peers to drink water instead of sugary drinks as well as lead the class in singing the .Sip to be Cool. water jingle
- Providing stickers for children.s water bottles and posters around the school to encourage drinking water.
6. Meanwhile, HPB is working with primary schools, secondary schools, junior colleges such as Wellington Primary School and Canberra Secondary School to encourage schools to initiate water breaks after lessons as well as put up posters to remind students to quench their thirst with water instead of sugary drinks. Stickers at places selling beverages will also be introduced at polytechnics and universities to drive home the point.