Thanks to The Motherhood for making this conversation possible. #DPSBalance
Last week, I was asked to attend a webinar hosted by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS). I always go into these kinds of things pretty skeptical. I expect to hear about how great the company is and I just know that I’m going to get frustrated by a soda company telling me how to live a healthier life.
What I got, though, was actually some pretty great information about the industry and about some of the other products that DPS offers. I also found out about the DPS commitment to balance and it’s ongoing initiatives to balance calories in with calories out.
I think we are all aware of the nation’s obesity epidemic. It’s pretty easy to point fingers and blame this thing or that. Studies make it pretty clear that added fats and sugars have had an effect, making beverage companies like DPS an easy scapegoat. That’s why I was skeptical about attending this webinar.
I was surprised to find out, though, that, according to government studies, sugar-sweetened beverages account for only 6% of the calories consumed by the average American. In fact, sales of full calorie soft drinks have actually declined since 2000! DPS employs large teams of scientists, engineers, and other specialists at four R&D labs nationwide. These teams include flavorists who undergo a 7-10 year apprenticeship to become certified! Flavor is first and foremost even when developing low calorie drinks like the TEN lineup of low-calorie sodas.
For my part, I tend to shy away from these low-calorie drinks because they are sweetened with artificial sweeteners. I was happy to find out that DPS is currently testing out a series of NATURAL products that use sugar and stevia to sweeten the drinks at only 60 calories! It’s this sort of initiative that gives me a little bit of faith in the corporate world. On top of that, DPS has such a wide range of products. From soda to seltzer water, iced tea to fruit juice, and drink mixers to bottled water, the company really does have something for everyone.
On the other side of the coin, DPS is dedicated to helping to balance calories out. They know that kids just do not have the access to play like they did 30 years ago. For a variety of reasons, we, as parents, just don’t let them loose like our parents did to us. Did you know that two-thirds of children play less than an hour each day and that only 20% of kids live near a park?
In 2011, DPS launched the Let’s Play initiative, partnering with KaBOOM! to build and improve playgrounds, Good Sports to provide grants for sports equipment to underfunded team sports organizations, and by providing play ideas, a playground locator tool, and information on grants through it’s website, LetsPlay.com.
For years, we’ve heard from health advocates telling us to limit our intake of sugary drinks and, while evidence shows that we have, obesity rates are still climbing. Balancing those drinks with active time is really the key to controlling those calories. I think it’s great to hear that from a beverage company like DPS and I think that it’s time we have a little more conversation and a little less finger-pointing.
Do you let your kids drink sugary beverages? How much active play time do they get each day? Join the conversation and share your story!