LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -Oklahoma health officials came to Lawton Wednesday to encourage people to fuel their bodies with something nutritious, instead of overloading on sugar.
Shape Your Future is a health initiative program that's supported by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust to educate people to rethink your drink and understand why we should chose water over sugary drinks. They set up banners, displays and passed out flyers in Elmer Thomas Park in an effort to spread their message.
Some parents were extremely worried after they studied a few labels showing just how much sugar is in one can of soda, but even they say it's hard to resist the temptation when your kids are watching and mocking what you do and put in your body.
"It's a monkey see monkey do kind of thing. If they see us drinking sodas then they're going to do it too," said Kristina Keller, Cub Scout day camp director.
Keller is in charge of many kids the throughout the day, and one of her biggest responsibilities is making sure they're hydrated.
"They've got water bottles, they bring CamelBaks and we push water all day long," said Keller.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oklahoma consumes more sugary drinks than any other state in the country and the amount of sugar consumed is staggering.
"Three and a half donuts in one soda...I did not know that," said concerned mother Penny Owens.
Owens says she learned almost as much as her kids today, and that protecting her children from diabetes or obesity is a top priority.
"The first thing I want to know is how I can keep my kids healthier. The kids are our future," said Owens.
Sugar-sweetened drinks are by far the biggest source of added sugar in the average Americans diet, which is why TSET director of health communication Sjionna Paulson says they want to help people understand what exactly they're putting into their bodies.
"We have already seen that Oklahomans are changing their knowledge, attitudes and behavior towards positive things about our messaging and that's exactly what we want to see, is people understanding what it is to live healthy lifestyles and to start implementing it one little step at a time in their life," said Paulson.
Paulsen also says Oklahoma young adults consume more than 21 pounds of added sugar per year or 38 pounds per person. For more information on the program or the shape your future initiative, visit www.OklahomaTSET.com