Making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Haciendo la opción saludable la opción mas fácil.

Healthy Eating


Sugary drinks, like soda, fruit juice, sweet tea, energy drinks, horchata, smoothies and many coffee drinks, are a leading cause of obesity and chronic diseases. Many of these drinks contain the same amount of sugar as 20 sugar packets!

It’s not just sodas that are bad for us either: even drinks with “natural” sugar can be just as bad for us as “artificially sweetened” drinks.

Sugar-sweetened beverages increase health risks like heart disease and diabetes. (Not to mention toothaches and cavities!) And, sadly, West Chicagoans buy more soda than 60-80% of communities all around the country.

West Chicagoans buy more soda than 60-80% of communities all around the country.

Quick Facts

  • Sugary drinks increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
  • A study that followed 40,000 men for two decades found that those who averaged one serving of a sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than men who rarely consumed sugary drinks. (2)
  • People who consume sugary drinks regularly—1 to 2 servings (8 oz.) a day or more—have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks. (1)
  • A 22-year-long study of 80,000 women found that those who consumed a serving a day of a sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of gout than women who rarely had such drinks. Researchers found a similarly-elevated risk in men. (3)

Our Goals

West Chicago is working to empower people to make healthy food choices by increasing their knowledge on nutrition and encouraging people to develop healthy eating and drinking habits. Healthy The is the recipe for a long, happy healthy life.

To improve your chances of a long, happy, healthy life, follow these tips for decreasing the number of sugary beverages that you and your family drink:

  • Treat sugary beverages like dessert.

    Sugary drinks, like soda, juice, horchata, smoothies, sweetened coffee drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks should be treated like dessert — that’s how much sugar they have! You wouldn’t let your kid eat dessert for every meal; likewise, no one should have sugary drinks with every meal.

    Drink water instead.

    West Chicago’s tap water is safe, clean and delicious! Our water is pumped out of aquifers deep in the ground. The water is treated and tested every year to ensure that it tastes good and is safe to drink.

    Drinking tap water can reduce cavities.

    Drinking sugary drinks instead of tap water is a double whammy for our teeth. Sugary drinks can corrode our teeth while water provides extra fluoride that keeps them strong. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is added to our drinking water to help our teeth stay strong, which helps reduce risk of cavities. Cavities can be painful—and expensive to fix! Studies prove water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing dental decay by at least 25% in children and adults. Drinking tap water is an easy way to stay healthy—from your teeth to your heart!

  • Eat whole fruits instead of drinking them.

    While juice seems like it is good for you because it’s made from fruit, doctors and nutritionists say it is much better to eat the whole fruit instead of the drinking the juice. By eating the actual piece of fruit, you get other nutrients, like fiber, too, and you don’t get any additional sugar that is put into the juices.

    Jazz up your Water.

    Try drinking sparkling water or flavored water—just be sure there is no sugar added! Visit for delicious flavored-water recipes and more infrmation about infusing your water.

    Give your baby water instead of juice.

    Doctors recommend that babies less than one-year-old shouldn’t have any juice, even 100% fruit juice, unless recommended by a physician.



Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Despres JP, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. 2010;33:2477-83.


de Koning L, Malik VS, Kellogg MD, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sweetened beverage consumption, incident coronary heart disease, and biomarkers of risk in men. Circulation. 2012;125:1735-41, S1.


Choi HK, Curhan G. Soft drinks, fructose consumption, and the risk of gout in men: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2008;336:309-12.